Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Valero Texas Open
The PGA Tour has seen its share of "firsts" lately, with Sergio Garcia winning his first major at the Masters and now Wesley Bryan winning his first tour event last week at the RBC Heritage.
We may not see anything historical this weekend at the Valero Texas Open given the field strength, but it's shaping up to be a fun tournament to figure out for daily fantasy purposes with a lack of high-end names in the field.
What all do you need to know about it, starting with the course? Let's dig in and find out.
Course and Tournament Overview
TPC San Antonio opened in 2010 and is a par 72 spanning 7,435 yards.
Per ESPN's data, the course has played over par in each of those seven events.
|TPC San Antonio||To Par|
The field is larger than normal at 156 players, and the top 70 (plus ties) make the cut.
Just six of the world's top 40 golfers are in the field: Patrick Reed (15th), Matt Kuchar (17th), Branden Grace (21st), Brooks Koepka (24th), Jimmy Walker (25th), and Ryan Moore (28th). Of the players in the field, 89 rank outside the world's top 200 or are unranked.
Recent Tournament History
Charley Hoffman won last year at -12, besting Reed by a single stroke. Chad Collins (-10) was third, with a five-way tie at fourth. Ricky Barnes, Kevin Chappell, Billy Horschel, Ryan Palmer, and Martin Piller were all -9.
In 2015, Walker -- a San Antonio native -- won at -11. The noteworthy part of that is only Jordan Spieth (-7) finished better than Horschel at -4. In all, just 10 players finished under par in 2015.
The year prior, Steven Bowditch won at -8, with Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays one stroke behind.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee to green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at TPC San Antonio.
|Key Stats for the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach the Green|
This week, the key stats really are strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: off the tee, and strokes gained: approach the green. Those have correlated well with top-10 finishes here in the past, and strokes gained: around the green has been the most forgivable of the three.
Aside from strokes gained of all kinds, birdie or better rate is crucial to fantasy scoring. Bogey avoidance has also played a key role in this event.
With its narrow fairways, TPC San Antonio is better suited for accurate drivers than players who are long off the tee. You want to prioritize strokes gained: off the tee over either distance or accuracy, but you can default to accuracy to decide between the two. That's especially true when considering that two of the four par 5s are 600-plus yards.
Course History Studs
Well, here's the thing. Hoffman, Walker, Bowditch, Martin Laird, Ben Curtis, Brendan Steele, and Adam Scott won here since 2010.
Here's how they fared otherwise.
|Texas Open Finishes||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010|
So, that's not totally promising.
Hoffman and Steele do have good form here, but Walker, Curtis, and Bowditch have missed at least two cuts in the past five events.
Summerhays has strong form in San Antonio, too. After being cut in 2011, he has finished T29, T7, T2, T4, T13.
Ryan Palmer has had similar finishes. He was T9 in 2010 and missed the cut in 2011. Since then, he reeled off finishes of T32, T15, T56, T6, and T4.