Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Valero Texas Open
The past two weeks on the PGA Tour have given us some first-timers. After Patrick Reed's first major at Augusta, we saw Satoshi Kodaira net his first PGA Tour victory at the RBC Heritage.
This week, the PGA Tour heads to Texas (for the second time in four weeks) for the Valero Texas Open. Next week, there's a daily fantasy layoff with the Zurich Classic, a team-play event.
What can we hone in on this week for our DFS lineups?
Course and Tournament Info
TPC San Antonio is the course of interest this week. It's a 7,435-yard par 72 with Bermudagrass greens and a difficult test for PGA Tour golfers.
Over the past eight years, it's been one of the 17 toughest courses on tour relative to par each and every season and one of the 10 toughest in three of the past four years.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||10||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||72.853||0.853|
|2016||17||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||72.206||0.206|
|2015||2||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||74.521||2.521|
|2014||8||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||73.286||1.286|
|2013||15||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||72.740||0.740|
|2012||4||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||73.989||1.989|
|2011||7||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||73.665||1.665|
|2010||17||TPC San Antonio||72||7,435||72.353||0.353|
The 2015 iteration of this event saw quite a bit of variation in scoring due to wind. Just 10 golfers in total finished below par, and only two finished better than four under (Jimmy Walker won at -11, and Jordan Spieth was the runner-up at -7).
Still, we can't blame it all on the wind, as the course has been tough year over year, thanks to some narrow fairways and some of the most difficult greens to reach in regulation on the PGA Tour's schedule.
It's a difficult course, so having holes in your game isn't ideal at all, but these stats stand out as the most vital this week.
|Key Stats for the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Proximity (From 175-200 Yards)|
|Par 5 Scoring|
Strokes gained: off the tee, approach, and around the green all are pretty important, so we might as well just rely on strokes gained: tee to green this week and then hone in on more specific areas.
Scrambling has helped separate the top-25 from those missing the cut, via FantasyGolfMetrics. The scrambling average of the top 25 since 2010 has been 66%. For those missing the cut, it was 51%. Similarly, those marks in greens in regulation are 63% and 52%, making scrambling a key stat this week.
Scoring on the par 5s will likely yield the majority of the birdie chances on this difficult and long par 72, so taking advantage on those holes will go a long way towards getting near the top of the leaderboard. Similarly, just avoiding bogeys (the average cut line has been +2.4 strokes since 2010) will help golfers get through the cut.
Course History Studs
Charley Hoffman has the best claim to strong course form at TPC San Antonio. He's gained 2.16 adjusted strokes on average against the field here, via datagolf, in his 32 rounds. He finished 40th last year after a 2016 win and a T11 in 2015 and 2014. Prior to that? He was 3rd, 13th, 2nd, and 13th. So, yeah, Hoffman knows TPC San Antonio.
Pat Perez has finished top-25 in all four tries, though he did that in 2010 (22nd), 2011 (5th), 2014 (11th), and 2015 (20th). So he's been absent the past two years, but the form is there for Perez.
Martin Laird finished 18th a year ago after a 50th in 2015 and a missed cut in 2014. That doesn't seem so great, but he did win here in 2013 and finished T9 in 2011.
Matt Kuchar has cooled off the past two years -- 40th in 2017 and 42nd in 2016 -- but those came after a 15th in 2015, 4th in 2014, 22nd in 2013, and 13th in 2012.
Kevin Chappell's got strong finishes overall at TPC San Antonio, starting with a T2 in 2011. From 2013 through 2017, his results were 15th, cut, 66th, 4th, and 1st.
Aaron Baddeley isn't often on the DFS radar, but he could be a course form dart, thanks to two top 10s, four total top 25s, and six made cuts in six tries at TPC San Antonio for Baddeley.
Ryan Palmer has three straight top-six finishes and seven made cuts in eight starts at this course.
Jimmy Walker improved a T16 in 2014 with a win in 2015. He missed the cut the following year but returned for a T13 a year ago.
Daniel Summerhays has three top 10s plus another top 25 in seven tries at TPC San Antonio.