Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Valero Texas Open
After a week off from stroke play, the PGA Tour heads to the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, Texas for a final tuneup before the first major of the year. Formerly, this slot in the calendar was held by the now defunct Houston (Shell) Open at the Golf Club of Houston, and like its forebear, this week's field leaves something to be desired as most of the top pros take this week to rest up for the Masters.
The AT&T Oaks course at TPC San Antonio measures 7,435 yards and plays at a par 72. It is a challenge for even the world's best and has played as one of the top 10 most difficult courses to reach the green in regulation four times in the past five years. Managing the course and navigating through mistakes will be key for success this week. There is no bomb and gauge at TPC San Antonio, and many of the Tour's blunt force purveyors have smartly opted to sit this one out.
Wind is always a factor in Texas, and sliding this event up earlier in the schedule means that gusty conditions could be even more prevalent that in years past. However, the native areas and rough will not have had an opportunity to grow out as much as they have in prior years, so it's possible that errors off the tee will be a bit more manageable. Call it a break even between the wind and the rough.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks
Distance: 7,435 yards
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Bermuda overseeded with ryegrass, native grasses throughout
Greens: Champions Bermuda overseeded with velvet bentgrass and poa trivialis
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
TPC San Antonio has been one of the more difficult tracks on Tour over the past few years, though as noted above, the move up in the schedule could have a major impact in how the course plays. It still features tiny greens that make par a good score on almost every hole. Proximity stats will be key for whatever range the golfers you select most often find themselves facing.
Part of the reason this course plays so tough is the par 5s. Relative to par, the par 5s at TPC San Antonio played as the fourth hardest on Tour during the 2018 season. Typically, those are the holes the scorers can take aim at, but at this event they are among the most challenging golfers will face all season.
These stats have proven vital to success in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks.
|Key Stats for the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Proximity Gained 175+|
Strokes gained: approach is the base key stat once again this week, with both opportunities gained and proximity gained from 175 yards or further also coming from strong iron play. Cut makers at this event gained more strokes on average with their approach (0.62) than they did off the tee or around the green combined (0.26 and 0.31, respectively). Opportunities gained and proximity will point toward golfers who are not just performing above average expectation on approach, but who are excelling at knocking at close.
As covered above, the par 5s at TPC San Antonio are no pushover. Gaining strokes on the field on par 5s usually means birdies and eagles. This week, that looks more like birdies and pars. Which leads to scrambling gained. Just 61.1% of approaches reached the greens in regulation last year, and it was just the second time in five years that the rate was above 58%, well below Tour average. If golfers miss, birdie basically goes out the window and the fight for par is on. Find golfers who avoid the big numbers and get up and down without too much stress.
Course History Studs
Jimmy Walker won the event in 2015 and has three other finishes of T16 or better, though he did miss the cut in 2016.
Charley Hoffman won in 2016 and finished T11 in each of the two prior years. He had underwhelming finishes in 2017 and 2018 but at least made the cut both times.
Ryan Palmer always brings it in his home state of Texas, and before missing the cut last year, he had strung together finishes of T6, T4, and T6 at this event.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.