The Valero Texas Open kicks off Thursday in San Antonio, TX, for what will be the tournament’s 100th anniversary. As always, this tournament serves as the appetizer for the first major of the year next week, The Masters at Augusta National.
For much of the field, this week will mark their final opportunity to qualify for Augusta, as the winner gets an automatic exemption for a shot at golf’s most coveted jacket. Let’s take a closer look at the course and one guy I’m keyed in on who I think has a great chance to take home the trophy come Sunday at TPC San Antonio.
Previous Winners of the Valero Texas Open
- 2021: Jordan Spieth
- 2020: N/A
- 2019: Corey Conners
- 2018: Andrew Landry
Course Preview: TPC San Antonio – AT&T Oaks Course
Comprised of two courses, the Valero Texas Open goes off at TPC San Antonio’s Oak Course as it has every year since 2010. A Par 72, the Oaks Course comes in at 7,494, a couple of hundred yards more than the average these guys see weekly on Tour. While it has the standard four Par 5s, it has two behemoth holes that measure over 600 yards.
In addition to the distance, this course requires driving accuracy, as it averages 6% lower driving accuracy than we see on Tour each week. With fairways that are tree-lined on almost every non-Par 3, accuracy is paramount off the tee to have a chance at hitting the Poa greens on approach.
Relevant Betting Stats
- SG: Driving Distance
- SG: Off-The-Tee
- SG: High Wind
Outright Betting Picks
Hideki Matsuyama (+1400 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
This might not be the longest shot I’ve called for in recent weeks, but all signs are pointing toward Hideki being dialed in as he uses this week as his Masters-defense prep. Coming into the week, Hideki ranks #1 in the field in Par-5 scoring and SG: Approach the Green, as well as #5 in Putting: Birdie or Better Percentage.
Over the last 24 rounds played, Hideki ranks #1 in the field with strokes gained at 1.58 per round, gaining strokes in all four major categories the PGA looks at. Already with two outright wins this season, Hideki has made the cut in all 10 events (less a withdrawal at THE PLAYERS) and has six top 10s in total.
Now seemingly healthy and ready to compete, I like for Hideki Matsuyama to do just that and be at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday in San Antonio.
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