The PGA TOUR stays in the Lone Star state this week for the Valero Texas Open, which will be played at TPC San Antonio (par 72, 7,438 yards, POA Trivialis greens). Outside of 2020, when this event was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this course has hosted every Valero Texas Open since 2010. A year ago, J.J. Spaun picked up the first PGA TOUR victory of his career at TPC San Antonio, with a winning number of -13, which was two strokes clear of Matt Kuchar and Matt Jones.
TPC San Antonio was designed by Greg Norman and is a venue that both long and short hitters can succeed at, that first and foremost, requires impressive work with your irons for success. The greens are difficult to stick at a high rate, and four of the past five winners at this track have finished the week top-five SG APP. Prioritizing elite par five players is also a must at TPC San Antonio. Each of the four par fives at this par 72 yields a birdie rate over 20%, and four of the past five Valero champions have ranked top-10 in par five efficiency during their victories. Finally, seeking out golfers who have had success on POA Trivialis greens is a sharp move this week. This season, we have seen this type of putting surface at the following courses: TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, TPC Sawgrass for the PLAYERS Championship, the Copperhead Course for the Valspar Championship and Austin Country Club for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
With most of the best players on the PGA TOUR preparing for the first major of the season next week, the Masters, only two of the top-25 ranked golfers in the world will be teeing it up at the Valero. Nine players in this field will be competing at Augusta next week, and the golfer who wins the Valero will also gain an invite to the Masters. The Valero presents a field of 142 players, and there will be a standard top-65 and ties cutline following the first two rounds.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite bargain plays for the Valero Texas Open that are all priced under $7.5K on DraftKings.
Francesco Molinari ($7,400) – After missing three straight cuts, Molinari has regained his form, finishing T14 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then T60 at the PLAYERS. During both of these finishes, Molinari gained strokes from T2G and on APP while shooting under par in five of these eight rounds, which is an impressive accomplishment given the difficult conditions of both these Florida tournaments.
As for course history at TPC San Antonio, Molinari withdrew during the first round of his Valero debut in 2015 but posted a solid T42 the following season. With his game trending in the right direction, Molinari should top this showing with an even higher finish this week.
Ben Martin ($7,100) – Martin is arguably the best value available for the Valero at this low salary. The 35-year-old enters this week as the maker of his last five cuts, with three of these finishes being top-15 results. Martin has moved up 109 spots in the world golf rankings during this current cut streak, which can mostly be credited to some outstanding ball striking. Over his last 24 rounds, Martin ranks sixth in SG APP and 11th in SGT2G.
The Clemson product boasts a 4-for-5 record in terms of made cuts at TPC San Antonio and not only is an attractive option for DFS this week but is a great bet for a top-20 finish on the DraftKings Sportsbook at +320.
David Lingmerth ($7,100) – Lingmerth has advanced to the weekend in his last two appearances at TPC San Antonio and returns to the Texas track riding a five-made cut streak. Most notably, the Swedish professional carded T10 at the Honda Classic and a T6 at the PLAYERS during this run, both of which he gained over 6.0 strokes on APP at.
In fact, Lingmerth has impressively gained strokes on APP at each of these past five tournaments and ranks 10th in the metric when we compare this field’s last 24 rounds. In this type of form as a ball striker, Lingmerth has top-25 upside in this weak field.
Kevin Streelman ($7,000) – In his last start, Streelman had his best ball-striking performance of the season, gaining over 4.0 strokes from T2G and on APP at the Valspar en route to a T27 finish. The veteran will now look to build off this compelling showing at TPC San Antonio, where Streelman has been superb at throughout his career.
In eight starts at the par 72, the 44-year-old has never missed a cut and has recorded six top-20 finishes, three of which have come since 2018. Streelman ranks third in this field in career strokes gained at TPC San Antonio and is an easy choice at this soft price tag, which is a massive discount from his $8.7K salary for last year’s Valero.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.