Before we head to Augusta next week, the PGA TOUR will remain in Texas, for the Valero Texas Open. TPC San Antonio (par 72, 7,494 yards) is the home of this event, and has been since 2010, excluding last year’s edition, which was one of the unfortunate cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Corey Conners secured the first win of his PGA career at the 2019 Texas Open, finishing at -20, which is the lowest winning score since TPC San Antonio took over as the host. There wasn’t much wind during the week of his win, but in previous seasons, we have seen it become a huge factor at this Texas venue. Fortunately, the wind gusts are expected to stay under 15 MPH for all four days of the tournament this time around, which should lead to some low numbers once again.
TPC San Antonio is a par 72 that favors world class ball strikers. Conners ranked 2nd in SGT2G two years ago, and seven of the ten golfers to win the Texas Open at this course have finished inside the top-five in this stat. As expected, you have to also be dialed in with your irons to take home the lucrative prize at the Valero. The Bermuda greens are small and difficult to stick consistently, and Conners and 2018 winner Andrew Landry both led their fields in SG APP. Similar to the greens, finding the fairways at a high rate can be tough at TPC San Antonio, but the rough isn’t overly penalizing. Off-the-tee stats haven’t been very significant at this track in the past, and I believe both bombers and short course mangers are viable this week. The four par fives here are on the longer side, but they still rank as four of the five easiest holes on the scorecard, and being efficient on these four holes is a must. Of the ten golfers to come out victorious at TPC San Antonio, four have ranked 1st in SG on the par fives.
With the season’s first major just one short week away, we have a weaker group of players teeing it up in south Texas this week. Following Dustin Johnson’s withdrawal Monday, only ten of the top-60 ranked players in the world remain in this field of 142. After a totally different format at the WGC-Dell Match Play, we got back to a normal week of DFS golf at the Texas Open, with a standard a top-65 and ties cutline taking place after the first 36 holes.
John Huh, $7,400
For every tournament, I always use Vegas odds to help me identify underpriced golfers and Huh instantly stands out at only $7,400. Relative to his cheap DFS salary, the 30-year-old’s +7000 odds to win the Texas Open on the DraftKings Sportsbook are very encouraging, and to put this in perspective, these are better odds than Rickie Fowler, who costs $8,100 on DraftKings this week.
Huh is in the midst of a very solid season, missing only one cut in nine starts, with five top-25s. He currently ranks 22nd in SGT2G and since his first start of the year, which was a T19 at the Shriners back in October, Huh has made a huge move up the world golf rankings, improving 342 spots. He is 5/7 at TPC San Antonio and nearly almost picked up his second career PGA Tour victory at this par 72 back in 2012 (T2). Huh has legitimate top-ten upside in this weak field, and based on his track record, I suspect he won’t be a common name in GPPs. This season, Huh has only garnered a DraftKings’ main GPP ownership of 5.9%.
Sam Ryder, $7,400
Ryder impressed at the Honda Classic, posting a T8 in just his second career start at PGA National. He then followed this up with a T2 at the Corales Puntacana Championship this past weekend, and has now made six of his last eight cuts, with a notable three top-ten finishes. Ryder’s irons have been very solid, with a 69% GIR rate over his last five starts, and he has been doing most of his damage on par fives, ranking 4th in SG on par fives across his last 12 rounds.
Combine this compelling form with a 2/2 record at TPC San Antonio, and Ryder is one of the top value plays of the week.
Patton Kizzire, $7,200
In his last start, Kizzire missed the cut at the Honda Classic, but this was the first time he wasn’t playing on the weekend in 12 starts. Overall, the two-time PGA Tour winner is 14 for his past 16, and the last time he competed in the Lonestar state, Kizzire recorded a T11 at the Houston Open. Throughout his career, the Auburn graduate’s best results have come on Bermuda grass, including his win at the 2018 Sony Open. Furthermore, the 35-year-old has proceeded through the cut in eight of his last ten starts on Bermuda, finishing inside the top-ten on two occasions.
This will be his debut at TPC San Antonio, but this exactly the type of course and event that Kizzire thrives at, and his ownership should be low with the MC from the Honda in his game log.
Martin Laird, $7,100
It’s hard to argue against Laird at this low of a price. He is a true course horse at TPC San Antonio, making six of seven cuts and winning the Texas Open at the track back in 2013. This victory is one of four top-20s Laird owns at this par 72, and when we analyze all of these golfer’s histories at TPC San Antonio, the 38-year-old ranks 3rd in total strokes gained.
He is coming into this week fresh off back-to-back made cuts, and Laird should get the job done and return value with four rounds of golf this weekend.
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