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Valero Texas Open Betting Tips: 6 selections at TPC San Antonio

Valero Texas Open tips: Adam Hadwin features.
Valero Texas Open tips: Adam Hadwin features.

What an incredible few weeks in the life of Scottie Scheffler. From PGA Tour maiden to three time winner and world #1 in just six weeks. A terrific, dominant performance at home in Texas in the WGC – Dell Technologies Matchplay the latest in a terrific recent run of form and a player who hit the tour with a tonne of potential a couple of years ago is starting to realise it. With plenty more still no doubt yet to come.

We follow that with our final stop before The Masters at Augusta National next week, as the players head to TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course for the Valero Texas Open. An incredibly historied event celebrating it’s 100th year, with TPC San Antonio being host since 2010.

Valero Texas Open Tips

THE COURSE

The Greg Norman designed Oaks Course is a 7438 yard par 72. Fairways are relatively flat, with a variety of more open, exposed holes and narrower tree-lined fairways. Whilst it’s not one of toughest driving courses on tour, it certainly asks plenty of questions and is by no means one of the easiest, with some large, strategically placed bunkers providing extra danger off-the-tee.

In contrast, the large poa greens are tricky to hit, ranking 8th in terms of difficulty on tour over the last six seasons for GIR, with plenty in elevated positions and at strategic angles. Severe slopes and run-off areas are a constant threat around them. With more of those large bunkers adding further defence to these putting surfaces.

This, along with wind, is where the defence of this course comes and makes it one of the tougher courses on tour. With a scoring average of -13 since it made it’s debut as host venue in 2010. Though there has been a noticeable difference in scoring over the three most recent renewals, as the winning scores of -17, -20 and -18 are the three lowest winning scores in the events staged here.

The finish here often gives us an exciting finish, with two risk/reward holes making up the final two holes on the course. The par 3 16th kicks off this finishing trio, a huge donut shaped green, with a bunker in the middle of the putting surface. Followed by the drivable par 4 17th and the par 5 18th, played to an angled green and a stream protecting the front. You can finish this course hot but equally fall foul to the penalties that come over these closing holes.

That difficulty in finding the greens here has put a premium on approach play and is the standout area of the winners over the last six renewals. None of those six winners have ranked worse than 16th for approach when picking up the title, with Andrew Landry in 2018 and Corey Conners in 2019 ranking 1st, Kevin Chappell in 2017 ranking 2nd and Jordan Spieth last year ranking 4th. 

In addition to this, three of those four winners have ranked first for GIR. Conners and Landry again, along with Jimmy Walker in 2015. Whilst Kevin Chappell ranked 3rd.

Though approach play may be the standout area, quality off-the-tee has also been a prerequisite to success. None of those six winners have ranked worse than 38th off-the-tee, that man being Jordan Spieth last year, who is, well, Jordan Spieth. Conners and Chappell both matched up quality driving with their excellent iron play, ranking 4th off-the-tee, while Charley Hoffman in 2016 ranked 8th and Andrew Landry 9th in 2018. 

That isn’t to say short-game isn’t important, most have needed to putt these slopy greens well and with the run-off areas, if your long game isn’t up to scratch you will need to be in good shape around-the-greens. It represents a good all-round test of golf.

CORRELATING COURSES

I have a few courses this week which could provide clues as to potential performers at TPC San Antonio. Starting with Bay Hill and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Another course which favours strong ball-strikers and has plenty of correlating form.

Martin Laird has won both events, whilst 2016 and 2017 Texas Open winners, Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell have both been runner-up at Bay Hill. 2019 Texas Open winner Corry Conners adding further to this, finishing 3rd at Bay Hill last year.

Two-time winner at Bay Hill, Matt Every, has a 2nd to his name at TPC San Antonio and Sean O’Hair has finished 2nd at both.

Chris Kirk has multiple top 10s at both events, whilst Andrew Putnam, Kevin Streelman and Gary Woodland all possess at least one top 10 at both events.

The Sony Open at Waialae Golf Club is an often wind-affected event, much like this week in Texas. Despite being significantly shorter and playing easier than TPC San Antonio, it is of a similar level of difficulty off-the-tee and around-the-greens, possessing plenty of correlating form with this week’s venue.

2015 Texas Open winner, Jimmy Walker is a two-time winner of the Sony Open, whilst 2010 and 2011 Texas Open winners, Adam Scott and Brendan Steele have both been 2nd at Waialae.

Sean O’Hair has been runner-up in both events. With familiar names like Corey Conners, Chris Kirk, Andrew Putnam and Gary Woodland tying the form in again, along with other players like Matt Kuchar and Siwoo Kim. All possessing strong form at both courses.

Now we move on to the RBC Heritage and Harbour Town Links, another course often at the mercy of the weather and shares a similar level of difficulty in finding the putting surfaces. Whilst also ranking of equal, average difficulty in driving accuracy.

2016 Heritage winner, Branden Grace, has a strong record in Texas, twice finishing inside the top 10. Whilst 2017 Texas Open winner, Charley Hoffman has multiple top 10s at the RBC Heritage, with Corey Conners, finishing 4th at Harbour Town last year.

A raft of other players, including Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar, Siwoo Kim and Kevin Streelman, amongst many more, franking this form-tie further.

The courses that are a part of the TPC network often tie in with one another and though I think the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale could offer clues, it’s THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass that seems to work best here in Texas.

Adam Scott has won at Sawgrass. Whilst other past San Antonio winners, Martin Laird, Ben Curtis, Jimmy Walker and Kevin Chappell, have all finished 2nd in the prestigious PLAYERS Championship.

Impressive runner-up at Sawgrass a couple of weeks ago, Anirban Lahiri, has a top 5 in Texas, with players such as Danny Lee, Brendan Steele and Siwoo Kim all possessing excellent form at both courses.

THE WEATHER

We’re set for a warm and dry week in Texas. Where a constant, stiff breeze will provide difficulties throughout the week. Though as of now, appears to be at its strongest on the Friday of the event.

THE FIELD

Rory McIlroy is the standout in an interesting field, making just his second trip to Texas after finishing 2nd in 2013. Jordan Spieth returns to defend his title, whilst last year’s Masters winner, Hideki Matsuyama is in the field for the first time since the API, withdrawing from THE PLAYERS Championship because of an ongoing back injury. With Bryson DeChambeau continuing his own recovery after returning to action last week.

There’s also a start for Richard Bland, in on a Sponsor’s Exemption and after just falling short of hitting that top 50 in the world last week at the Matchplay, losing to Dustin Johnson in the last 16 and also his first ever Masters appearance in the process. He would surely produce one of the most incredible stories of the last couple of years were he to book that spot at Augusta by winning in Texas this week.

Valero Texas Open Odds (selected)

Rory McIlroy
WIN PROB: 11%
Jordan Spieth
WIN PROB: 6%
Hideki Matsuyama
WIN PROB: 5%
Corey Conners
WIN PROB: 5%
Bryson DeChambeau
WIN PROB: 4%
Chris Kirk
WIN PROB: 3%
Gary Woodland
WIN PROB: 3%
Maverick McNealy
WIN PROB: 3%
Adam Hadwin
WIN PROB: 2%
Jason Day
WIN PROB: 2%
Jhonattan Vegas
WIN PROB: 2%
Brendan Steele
WIN PROB: 2%
Doug Ghim
WIN PROB: 1%
Doc Redman
WIN PROB: 0%
Each Way Terms
Odds correct as of 2022-10-01 22:27 Odds subject to change.
Golf odds
Adam Hadwin each-way (8 places)
35/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:10 Odds subject to change.

Rory heads the market at 15/2 and despite a strong performance here on his one spin, I’m not interested in getting involved at such a price. The same can be said about the next couple in the market; last year’s champion Jordan Spieth looks a little out of sorts and Hideki Matsuyama has injury prolems. With Abraham Ancer and Bryson DeChambeau rounding off the players at sub 33/1. 

Though I look past all of these and kick off this week’s picks with Adam Hadwin. Who I’m hoping can finally capitalise on his strong start to the year this week and taste success in Texas.

We were on Adam Hadwin two starts ago in the Valspar Championship, where he contended all week. That eventually ended in disappointment after he rather frustratingly slipped to 7th by close of play on Sunday, just missing out on a place.

Though we have to look past that frustration and acknowledge this was the latest performance in an excellent start to the year for the Canadian. That 7th place finish was his best performance of 2022 and his 2nd top 10 on the bounce, having finished 9th at THE PLAYERS Championship a week earlier. He has five other starts in 2022, two missed cuts amongst them but has finished 26th or better on his other three starts.

He did everything well at the Valspar and this has very much been the story of Hadwin’s season. Though it’s in approach where he’s excelling most, ranking 26th for the season in SG: approach and 16th for GIR. He backs this up with excellent scrambling, ranking 16th, valuable around here and he’s been good on the greens, ranking 38th. Though the stats will tell you he ranks outside the top 100 in SG: off-the-tee, accuracy is very much his bag in this regard and he ranks 24th there. Simply put, his game is looking in great shape across the board.

He’s played here three times, improving on each visit. He started with a missed cut in 2015, returning two years later to finish 72nd and achieved his best finish to date at TPC San Antonio last year, finishing 23rd.

Hadwin also has some solid form at the correlating courses. That 9th in THE PLAYERS this year was the latest of a solid record at the event in general, whilst he’s always finished top 6 at Bay Hill. Also possessing a generally strong record at the Phoenix Open.

It would’ve been easy to ignore Hadwin this week after disappointment at Innisbrook but he’s just playing too well. After a week off to refresh from a hectic ten days or so from the start of THE PLAYERS to Sunday at the Valspar, he can continue his ideally trending form in this event this week.

Chris Kirk each-way (8 places)
50/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:15 Odds subject to change.

Chris Kirk has been in excellent form on the tour this season tee-to-green. Also possessing a strong record at this course, I expect him to continue his record this week and looks to have a great chance in picking up his first win since 2015.

After a disappointing start to the year, Kirk really found form over the last month. Following two missed cuts at the American Express and Pebble Beach, he finished 14th in the Phoenix Open, 7th at the Honda Classic and 5th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in consecutive starts. Before a missed cut at chaotic PLAYERS Championship last time out.

His game is looking in excellent shape all-round and he ranks 10th tee-to-green at this current point of the season. 84th in putting is rock solid when you consider the shape the rest of his game is in and as a bit of a streaky putter, he is capable of excellent periods on the greens. Much like he showed in that 14-7-5 run.

Kirk has teed it up at TPC San Antonio seven times and has an excellent record, possessing finishes of 6th, 8th, 8th, 13th and 48th to go with two missed cuts. He always drives the course well, even when he’s missed cuts here.

In addition, he has an incredibly attractive book of correlating form. Kirk has twice finished runner-up at the Sony Open. Also possessing multiple top 10s at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and at the RBC Heritage. In addition, he’s a past winner in Texas, winning the Charles Schwab Challenge in 2015, his last PGA Tour victory. 

There’s little not to like about Kirk here. He’s a four-time tour winner in excellent form, playing at a venue in which he has an excellent record. If able to reproduce the tee-to-green performances he’s put up in recent starts I expect him to be at the business end of the leaderboard come Sunday evening.

Jhonattan Vegas each-way (8 places)
50/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:15 Odds subject to change.

Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas is one of the best ball-strikers in this field and can follow on from a best finish of the year, when 4th at the Corales Puntacana last week, to improve on a modest record in Texas this week.

That 4th place finish from Vegas was the latest result in a solid start to 2022. Where he’d missed just two cuts in seven prior to his trip to the Dominican, picking up another top 10 a few weeks ago in the Saudi International.

Vegas ranks 27th on tour this season in ball-striking and this is very much the strength of his game. He excels off-the-tee, ranking 12th this season, with 40th in greens-in regulation and 50th in approach complimenting well that quality off-the-tee. 

It’s a surprise that Vegas’ record here isn’t better, where strong ball-strikers often thrive. He’s missed the cut in half of his eight visits, with an effort of 30th in 2019 his standout performance. That week he actually fired two rounds of 67, one meaning he sat 2nd at the end of the first round. Showing he does have the game to shoot a good score around this course.

Vegas’ strong record at THE PLAYERS Championship, where he’s finished 3rd and 7th in the past strengthens his claims around here. As does a top 10 in the Phoenix Open and a 17th place finish in the RBC Heritage in 2017, on just his second start at the venue.

He is striking the ball excellently right now and is hopefully arriving here full of confidence after that 4th place finish last week. If able to build on that he can no doubt improve dramatically on his average record in this event to date.

US Masters Odds
Doug Ghim each-way (8 places)
80/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:20 Odds subject to change.

Coming here off the back of an excellent 6th place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship two-weeks ago, where he looked back to his ball-striking best, Doug Ghim can continue in the same vain this week in Texas.

It’s easy to think that 6th place finish for Ghim on his last start came out of the blue, following on from three missed cuts on the bounce and a generally poor start to the year. However, there were signs in his missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational that he’d found something, particularly with the driver, where he put up his best numbers of the year so far. 

He ran with that on his next start at Sawgrass, playing well in every area but particularly excelling off-the-tee and in approach, ranking 12th and 19th respectively for the week. This much more like it for a player who last year was one of the best players on tour tee-to-green, ranking 21st. Thanks primarily to quality iron play, where he also ranked 21st, with 45th off-the-tee also good and 68th around-the-greens above average..

Ghim has played here once before, finishing 44th on debut last year but that doesn’t quite tell the whole story, as he was in excellent form tee-to-green, ranking 7th in the field. An extremely poor week on the greens, that saw him rank 77th of 78 players very much causing his downfall. 

His correlating form offers further hopes. That 6th at THE PLAYERS is the best of them but he also played well there last year, finishing 29th though was actually in contention going into the final round, where a round of 78 put paid to his chances.

Ghim went to college in this part of the country at the University of Texas and was actually a teammate of Scottie Scheffler, with them ranking as the 1st and 2nd best amateur players on the planet at one point, though it was actually Ghim who reached #1, showing the kind of ability he has. He should be seriously motivated by what his former teammate is now achieving in the pro-ranks and the week after Scheffler ascended to the #1 position in world golf, I fancy Ghim to remind everybody once again of his own potential in the game.

Brendan Steele each-way (8 places)
80/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:20 Odds subject to change.

Brendan Steele is a past champion here, having picked up the title in 2011. With his approach play now starting to match the quality he’s shown off-the-tee for most of the season, he looks primed to continue his excellent record in Texas this week.

Steele started the year reeling off five MCs in a row but has driven it well all season and currently ranks as the 5th best player off-the-tee for 2022. It’s no coincidence that in his latest two starts, where he’s recorded finishes of 26th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 13th in THE PLAYERS Championship, that these first two made cuts of the season have coincided with him finding form in approach. As he ranked 21st at the API and 11th at THE PLAYERS.

Steele’s victory here wasn’t a one off, as he’s continued to go well at this venue on multiple occasions since. He’s only missed one cut at TPC San Antonio and also recorded finishes of 4th, 8th and 13th to go with that victory.

Further to this is some really encouraging correlating form for Steele. Where he’s finished 2nd and 4th at the Sony Open, 6th at THE PLAYERS and also possesses an excellent record at the Phoenix Open, where he’s finished 3rd, 5th and twice finished 6th.

The short-game has been a struggle in recent weeks but such has been the strength of his long game that he’s been able to put up these strong, encouraging results. I’m hoping this place, which provided Steele with his first PGA Tour victory, can spark that short-game into action this week.

Doc Redman each-way (8 places)
150/1
Odds correct as of 2022-03-28 16:20 Odds subject to change.

Finally I’m going to finish with Doc Redman. He’s a player who was renowned for the quality of his ball-striking when bursting onto the scene in 2020. With some consistent golf this year, where that quality ball-striking is looking like making a comeback, this gives him a great chance to put up his best finish of the year so far.

After an excellent first full year on tour in 2020, where Redman put up three top 5 finishes and missed just 7 cuts in 22 starts, he had a bit of a struggle in 2021. As he missed 14 cuts in 27, though did put up a runner-up finish at the Palmetto Championship.

In contrast, Redman has enjoyed a consistent and solid start to 2022, with just 2 missed cuts in 7 starts, finishing inside the top 40 in 4 of those events, with a best of 25th in the Farmers Insurance Open. Though did miss the cut last week in the Dominican.

As said, he’s hitting the ball much better this year, with the missed cut in the Honda Classic the only week where his ball-striking failed to fire at all. This sees Redman rank 64th in approach and 89th off-the-tee this season, which is improved, particularly the driving, to last season. 

He played here last year, finishing 44th and it was encouraging to see him putt the greens well, his driving the only thing stopping him finishing higher. Further to this he’s finished top 25 in the RBC Heritage, never missed a cut in three starts at the API and a 26th place finish three starts ago in the THE PLAYERS offers further promise.

Redman has knocked on the door repeatedly since turning pro, twice finishing 2nd and three other top 5s to boot. With his ball-striking looking in good shape and off the back of a promising effort on debut here last year, he can contend this week at a course which should suit his game.

Golf betting tips
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