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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: Valero Texas Open Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of the Valero Texas Open.

The PGA TOUR completes its Texas two-step before heading to Augusta National for the first major championship of 2021 at The Masters next week. Before, that, though a strong field will face a tough test at TPC San Antonio in the 2021 Valero Texas Open.

Each week this season, this post examines two of the key factors to consider when building your DraftKings fantasy golf teams—course history and current form. In the charts below, check out the most notable players scheduled to tee it up this week who have had success at this venue in the past or have been playing well in recent weeks.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $700K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]

Course History

The Valero Texas Open has been held at TPC San Antonio since 2010. The Oaks Course was designed by Greg Norman with consultation from Sergio Garcia, and it has played as one of the hardest regular stops on the PGA Tour. The event was canceled last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but here are the notable results for the previous six tournaments:

Course History

Player Name Salary 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Player Name Salary 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Tony Finau $11,000 -- -- 68 3 -- --
Jordan Spieth $10,700 10 2 -- -- -- 30
Scottie Scheffler $10,400 -- -- 68 3 -- 20
Corey Conners $9,500 -- -- -- -- 26 1
Ryan Palmer $9,400 56 6 4 6 95 84
Charley Hoffman $9,200 11 11 1 40 64 2
Brendan Steele $9,100 CUT 8 13 62 30 42
Si Woo Kim $8,900 -- -- 99 22 45 4
Chris Kirk $8,600 -- 8 13 93 8 84
Ryan Moore $7,900 -- -- -- 18 7 3
Branden Grace $7,800 79 30 9 10 -- --
Martin Laird $7,100 CUT 50 -- 18 11 36
Kevin Chappell $6,900 CUT 66 4 1 30 --
Graeme McDowell $6,700 -- WD -- 27 51 7
David Hearn $6,300 -- CUT 13 148 16 --
Jimmy Walker $6,100 16 1 146 30 4 30

TPC San Antonio and PGA National (home of The Honda Classic from two weeks ago) are each designed to help players prepare for The Masters with very difficult layouts, but they create that difficulty in different ways. While PGA National uses a ton of water and risk-reward opportunities, TPC San Antonio only has three water hazards. Instead, the track is set up very long at just under 7,500 yards and demands precisely placed drives to set up long approaches into well-guarded greens. Missing the fairways can result in big numbers, like Kevin Na’s nightmare in 2011 that resulted in a 16 on the par-4 ninth. The cut has been over par in each of the events held at TPC San Antonio and even in 2019 when Corey Conners ($9,500) set the tournament record it played as the 14th-toughest track on the PGA Tour.

Conners came out of nowhere to win that event as a Monday qualifier, but there have been several players who have made regular appearances on the leaderboard over the past few seasons. Charley Hoffman ($9,200) seems to have solved the tricky track with eight top-15 finishes, including a win in 2016 and a pair of runner-up finishes, one of which was in the most recent tournament in 2019. Hoffman comes to this event with some solid form as well, having made five straight cuts since missing the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, highlighted a pair of top-10 finishes at Pebble Beach and Bay Hill. If you’re a player that buys into course history, Hoffman is a must-own this week.

Around the same price as Hoffman, Chris Kirk ($8,600) and Brendan Steele ($9,100) have strong course records as well. Steele won here in 2011 and is seven-for-eight making the cut, highlighted by three top-10 results. Kirk hasn’t won here but did finish in the top 15 in three of his past five trips. He has been playing very well on the PGA TOUR this year with six top 25s in his nine most recent events.

There are two previous winners at this course that come extremely cheap in Kevin Chappell ($6,900) and Jimmy Walker ($6,100). After struggling in the Fall Series, Chappell has only played two events in 2021 but is coming off a T13 at the Honda Classic two weeks ago. Walker missed six of seven cuts to start the season but also made the cut at The Honda, finishing T58.

As is typically the case, the most predictive stat for success at TPC San Antonio is Shots Gained: Approach although Shots Gained: Off the Tee is a close second. Hitting greens in regulation is another key factor in finding success and avoiding double-bogey or worse is key to playing the weekend. Two of the Par 5s play at over 600 yards and the Par-5 finishing hole checks in at over 590, so players that excel at scoring on holes of that length typically do well at TPC San Antonio.

Current Form

Last week, the PGA TOUR had a pair of events with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin along with the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. While there are a few stars playing for a second straight week in the Lone Star State, most of the players in this field took the week off or played in the Dominican since they didn’t qualify for the field of 64 at the PGA TOUR’s version of March Madness. Whether they teed it up last week or not, here’s a look at some of the players with the best current form coming into this week in San Antonio:

Current Form

Player Name Salary The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda WGC-Match Play
Player Name Salary The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda WGC-Match Play
Jordan Spieth $10,700 -- CUT 4 3 15 -- 4 48 -- R16
Scottie Scheffler $10,400 CUT CUT 7 -- 20 5 -- CUT -- 2
Corey Conners $9,500 -- 37 17 -- CUT -- 3 7 -- T61
Ryan Palmer $9,400 -- 2 42 -- -- 54 -- 17 -- 17
Cameron Tringale $9,300 56 18 17 7 26 -- 31 CUT 13 --
Charley Hoffman $9,200 CUT CUT CUT 7 52 -- 10 17 -- --
Brendan Steele $9,100 21 -- 30 34 43 -- 18 41 3 --
Cameron Davis $8,800 3 32 -- 14 43 -- CUT CUT 33 --
Chris Kirk $8,600 16 -- CUT 16 -- -- 8 48 25 --
Adam Hadwin $8,300 32 18 50 -- 26 -- CUT 29 8 --
Andrew Putnam $7,600 21 -- 7 55 32 -- 4 CUT -- --
Sam Ryder $7,400 47 10 57 CUT -- -- -- CUT 8 --

While Billy Horschel isn’t playing this week following his win at Austin Country Club, Joel Dahmen ($8,200) will be looking to make it two wins in a row after his first PGA Tour victory last week at the Corales. Sam Ryder ($7,400) and Rafael Campos ($6,900) finished T2 with Graeme McDowell ($6,700) and Michael Gilgic rounding out the top five. While Dahmen’s win came despite him making just one cut in his previous seven tournaments, the strong result continued a good run for Ryder, who also notched a top-10 finish at The Honda Classic the previous week. Ryder has been on point with his approach game this season, gaining .433 shots per round in his 28 measured rounds, and he has looked passable on the greens after struggling with the flat stick early in the season. McDowell’s good finish is also worth noting since it was his first made cut on the PGA TOUR in 2021 and comes ahead of his trip to TPC San Antonio where he has had success (see his spot in the chart above).

Texas natives Jordan Spieth ($10,700) and Scottie Scheffler ($10,400) are both high-priced options that have posted good results in 2021. Spieth had three top-five finishes in his five most recent stroke-play events and advanced to the knockout round before running into Matt Kuchar last week. He has been gaining strokes throughout his bag during his recent resurgence and will look to prepare for The Masters by getting his first win since 2017’s Open Championship. Scheffler made it all the way to the Finals of the WGC-Match Play last week, so fatigue could be a concern, but he has looked very sharp over the past couple of months after returning from COVID-19, with the exception of a missed cut at THE PLAYERS.

While he hasn’t been quite as near the top of the leaderboard as Scheffler and Spieth, Ryan Palmer ($9,400) is another Texan who has been producing good results this season including top-25 finishes at the WGC-Match Play, THE PLAYERS, and the Farmers Insurance Open in three of his past five starts. Palmer has the kind of well-rounded game that should allow him to continue to produce good results and he’s a steady midrange target.

If you’re looking for players in top form with their irons specifically, Harry Higgs ($7,100) and Chase Seiffert ($7,100) are a pair of bargain names to check out. Higgs led the field in SG: Approach at The Honda Classic with 2.014 shots gained per round, giving him a narrow lead over Seiffert, who gained 1.968 shots per round on his approaches. Higgs played his college golf at SMU and comes in off a T29 at THE PLAYERS and a T19 at The Honda Classic. Seiffert turned his great approaches into a T3 at The Honda and followed that with a T18 last week at Puntacana. There was no shot tracking at either event last week so SG: Approach and similar stats are not available. Both Seiffert and Higgs showed they could excel in tough conditions at PGA National and will hope to continue that ball-striking form this week in San Antonio.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $700K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]

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