DFS Golf: Valero Texas Open Advance
Your First DFS Look at the Valero Texas Open for this week
Yardage: 7,435 - Par 72
Purse : $6.2 M
Field: 152 players
*Past Valero Texas Open Champions
A battle between Korea’s top-ranked player and Japan’s second-ranked player took place in the form of a three-hole playoff at Harbourtown Sunday. Satoshi Kodaira prevailed for Japan, winning his first ever PGA Tour event by rolling in a 25-foot birdie putt as Si Woo Kim watched from the other side of the green. Kodaira has shot up the golf rankings this year, earning his first ever trip to the Masters this week. He now has an invitation to join the world’s most exclusive golf tour, as well as an invite to the 2019 Masters.
The PGA Tour heads back to Texas for the Valero Texas Open this week. The word is that this tournament will be moved into the Houston Open spot next year as the pre-Masters event. That should certainly beef up the field compared to recent years, including this one. This is one of the weakest fields we’ve seen since the 2017 side of the 2017-18 golf season. Lots of unfamiliar names will be scattered across the leaderboard this week.
Koepka, Chappell, Finau and Grace lead the 2017 #ValeroTexasOpen in strokes gained tee-to-green driven by Off the Tee play
— DailyRoto (@DailyRoto) April 16, 2018
Sergio Garcia, Pat Perez, and Matt Kuchar are the only players repping the Top 25 in the world golf rankings. Only five more from within the Top 50 will join with Kim, Xander Schauffele, Charley Hoffman, Kevin Chappell and Brendan Steele rounding out the Top 50 squad. There’s only a few more familiar names before we start getting into the “trying to retain their Tour card” group. Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Luke List, Bill Haas, J.B Holmes, Chesson Hadley, Martin Kaymer, Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker will also be teeing it up this week. After that, you’ll be looking at players like Jamie Lovemark, Ryan Moore, Austin Cook, Talor Gooch, Beau Hossler, Russelll Knox or Johnny Vegas to fill out your roster.
A total of 152 professional golfers will be playing at TPC San Antonio this week. The tournament course of San Antonio is a classic Par 72 that measures out to 7,435 yards, coincidentally the exact same yardage as Augusta National. However, this is far from Augusta in terms of layout.
Unlike Augusta, the fairways are narrow, and the bunkers are very deep, with some bunkers going up to (or down to) 12 feet deep. Instead of the pinestraw we’ve seen players hit off of for two weeks in a row, going too far off the fairway means finding the native vegetation where anything can happen. If you watch the coverage this week, it’s become an annual tradition to show Na making a 16 on a hole in this event five years ago, after he hit his ball into the woods and decided to continuously try chopping it out. Find golfers who are strong in strokes gained: off-the-tee to avoid happenings like that one. Also, unlike Augusta, the course has hardly any elevation change with the highest point of the course being 100 feet above the lowest point. There are only two par 4s measuring under 400 yards this week, and all of the Par 3s measure at least 180 yards. That sets up for a handful of shots coming in from 175-200 yards. Roster players who can strike it well from that distance with a high ranking in birdie or better percentage 175-200 yards.
TPC San Antonio isn’t going to just lay down and give up 20-under scores. The winning score is usually in the high single digits or low double digits under par. Players who don’t make many bogeys (Bogey avoidance stat) will have an easier time here. Making 10 birdies in a round probably isn’t in the cards, so bogey avoidance is how golfers will be able to shoot their round of 66 or 67. Players who are both good bunker players and good scramblers do well at this course. TPC San Antonio throws bunkers all around the course for players to avoid. Solid bunker players will save a couple shots on the field at the TPC, as going into some of the traps is inevitable. You’ll certainly see a few golfers wind up off the fairway and into the native Texas land. Anything from punch-outs to unplayable lies are possible in the Texas wilderness. Good scramblers who don’t necessarily need to rely on that skill every hole is what we’re looking for. Unless you’re Na; he’ll just bring his trusty chainsaw with him.
Strokes gained: off-the-tee
Birdie or better 175-200 yards
Kevin Na Featured Image: (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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