Valero Texas Open Tips: Rickie Fowler poised to go well in San Antonio
The Valero Texas Open takes place in San Antonio and here at BettingOdds.com, we'd like to welcome on board our new Golf Tipster Jamie Broadhurst @Js_GolfingTips
This week Jamie has supplied us with a preview for the Valero Texas Open and four each-way selections that he likes the look of.
The Valero Texas Open is competed on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio in the town of San Antonio, Texas. An hours drive away from Austin Country Club for those that played at the WGC Match Play last week. A long two weeks for the guys who progressed out of the group stages, especially with the first and best golfing major of the year starting next week at Augusta National.
The Texas Open is always held the week prior to The Masters, meaning the field isn’t always the best. The odd few top players are looking for a bit of momentum, but the field is heavily concentrated on those players who rank just above 50th position in the OWGR who are trying to push their way into automatic qualification for The Masters with just a couple of invitations left. Let's have a look what they will face this week;
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
- Par 72 – 7438yds approx.
- 4 x Par 3s – ranging from 171-241 yards
- 10 x Par 4s – ranging from 347-481 yards
- 4 x Par 5s – ranging from 553-609 yards, 3 of which are over 590 yards
- Greg Norman design – assistance from Sergio Garcia
- Bermuda grass throughout the course with it being overseeded with Poa on the undulating greens
- Heavily tree lined with ‘Oak’ trees, hence the name of the course
- Short rough, but plenty of natural hazards greet the players off the fairways
- Oaks Course has hosted this tournament 12 times
The course is in the top 10 longest we see on the PGA Tour. Its tight fairways, natural horticultural hazards and undulating greens provide the players with a proper test. An even bigger one if we see the wind blow this week.
The various hole set ups get my attention this week, a tough set of holes on the eye for sure. The winner of this sure knows they’ve been in a golf tournament at the end of the week!
The Weather in San Antonio this week
Conditions over the first two days of the Valero Texas Open look to be blustery, with gusts up to 35 mph. As always this is subject to change come the start of play on Thursday. The wind however is always a defence to any golf course, especially here in Texas.
With conditions set to be dry and hot, the ball will not just travel further through the air but will react much differently on hard/dried up surfaces. So, look for a player whose Approach game is solid enough to navigate these conditions.
The challenge that looms for the players looks like that if they battle hard to get through the cut line into the weekend, they will be rewarded with a warm and calm moving day on Saturday so that they can make their move up the leaderboard.
Previous winners and their Performance Stats
2022 Winner – J.J Spaun -13 (average pre-tournament odds 200/1)
10th OTT 5th T2G 16th GIR 23rd APP 57th SCR 1st PA
2021 Winner – Jordan Speith -18 (average pre-tournament odds 18/1)
38th OTT 3rd T2G 57th GIR 4th APP 4th SCR 1st PA
2019 Winner – Corey Conners -20 (average pre-tournament odds 200/1)
4th OTT 2nd T2G 1st GIR 1st APP 70th SCR 1st PA
2018 Winner – Andrew Landry -17 (average pre-tournament odds 200/1)
9th OTT 1st T2G 1st GIR 1st APP 2nd SCR 4th PA
2017 Winner – Kevin Chappell -12 (average pre-tournament odds 33/1)
4th OTT 2nd T2G 3rd GIR 2nd APP 26th SCR 14th PA
2016 Winner – Charley Hoffman -12 (average pre-tournament odds 30/1)
8th OTT 10th T2G 17th GIR 16th APP 42nd SCR 2nd PA
Average stats for the past 6 winners – Average Score -16 (average odds of 114/1)
12th OTT 4th T2G 16th GIR 8th APP 34th SCR 4th PA
On a normal preview, I would usually not include anything to do with the pre-tournament odds, however as you can see above, the amount of outsiders that are rewarded by the Valero Texas Open is intriguing and maybe one to consider when building our lineup this week.
Stats to consider
- SG: OTT/hint of DA
- SG: Approach/great long iron player
- Putting average
- Scrambling/Bogey Avoidance
Barring Jordan Speith, 5 out of the 6 last winners of the Valero Texas Open all finished the week in the top 10 for Strokes Gained Off the Tee. Between daunting and long tee shots, over an array of hazards to dog-legged holes which will require an accurately placed tee shot to optimize scoring opportunities, this is a week to look for a guy who consistently is up there in this stat category through recent tournaments.
Three out of the four Par 3s this week are over 200 yards here at the Oaks Course and three out of the four Par 5s are over 600 yards and most of these greens are set up on a plateau with sharp run off areas surrounding them. Meaning the ‘second shot’ will be emphasized more than ever, players will time and time again face approaches of 175 yards and above this week, so we will make sure we side with a player who has superb numbers in their approach categories for this year.
Putting Average for the last six winners has churned out an average of 4th position that specific week with the last three winners of the Valero Texas Open all finishing in 1st position for the stat. Parts of this week, players will be faced with tricky par putts and will have to make them if they want to contend come Sunday, not to mention obviously the importance of converting the hard to come by birdie opportunities this week.
The forecasted wind over the first two days will only emphasize the importance of putting well this week and indeed the need to scramble well from around these greens where lies will be tight and tricky to navigate.
The week before The Masters is never going to attract the best of fields, with just 14 guys who are currently invited next week to Augusta teeing it up here in San Antonio.
26 of the Official World Golf Rankings top 100 are here this week with World Number 17 Tyrrell Hatton and Number 21 Hideki Matsuyama being top dogs in Texas.
Tyrrell Hatton is the one however that leads as market favourite at best price of around 12/1 at the time of writing this piece. Tyrrell comes here with recent form figures of 59-2-4-40-6 in his last 5 events on Tour. He has not missed a cut yet in 2023 and across the two tours (DP and PGA) he has had 4 top 10s in 8 events. A model of consistency as ever for the Englishman. He has never competed at TPC Antonio however, so it will be interesting to see how he fairs. But with the skill assets he possesses, Off the Tee and Putting especially, there is no reason why he cannot get a promising week of practice in before he goes to The Masters next week. I have backed Hatton a lot in the past, especially on difficult courses, but at 12/1 I will be steering clear this week.
A group of five players then follow Tyrell in the market at numbers between 20 and 28/1. This group consists of the following; Corey Conners, Si Woo Kim, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Montgomery. Two from this group really catch my eye of potentials to go well this week. Rickie Fowler and Taylor Montgomery. They both have the best form out of that group of guys and really think their stellar Tee2Green games will put them in a great position come Sunday afternoon.
However, it’ll be from the 30/1 and above mark where I will focus my selections on this week, read more about them below!
Valero Texas Open Tips
My Valero Texas Open selections
Rickie Fowler 22/1 – 8 places
Course form – 17-17-MC
Recent form – 17-13-31-20-10
Rickie is looking better and better every time he tees it up lately and is starting to look like his pre-covid self where he finished runner up in every major in 2019. His asset of the flat stick that made him notoriously so consistent is starting to play ball again, so I really think it's time to jump on Fowler this week.
A decent record around here with two tied 17ths and a missed cut last year when he was attempting to find his feet so I am not too worried about that finish.
Rickie ranks 14th for Strokes Gained Total this year on Tour. 10th for Strokes Gained Approach and 15th for Putting Averages this year. All stats that will put him in great stead this week. 22/1 is quite slim on a guy that has not won in 4 years, however with the motivation of The Masters next week where a good week here would get him in, it all looks too good to be true.
Aaron Rai 45/1 – 8 places
Course form – 29th 2022
Recent form – 19-53-MC-29-42
A guy I am not necessarily backing due to stats or form, but a guy who has shown glimpses at tough courses this year on Tour and a player who has always been a consistent performer, especially on the DP World Tour. His best PGA Tour finish this year came at the Houston Open where he finished T7 and finished on a score of -7. Memorial Park where this was played at, is a long Parkland type golf course with a layout a lot like the Oaks Course this week. I have a really good feeling that Rai will go well this week. A 29th place finish here last year on course debut is nothing to be saddened by as it included some really good golf from him.
Ryan Fox 45/1 – 8 places
Course form – Debut
Recent form – 17-27-14-17-11
Ryan Fox has had an unbelievable two years on the DP World Tour, being victorious on numerous occasions, across all types of golf courses. He is now trying his hand on the PGA Tour. He has had three starts this year on the Tour, and he got through his tough group last week to reach the quarter finals, and before that he finished T14 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then was tied for 27th at The Players Championship. The last two events mentioned are played on golf courses that require an insane amount of ability to compete on and Ryan has plenty of that for sure. He has not played enough on Tour to gain any sort of position on the stat leaderboards, however his name has been consistently in the top 10 for most Strokes Gained categories on the DP World Tour the last two years.
Cam Davis 50/1 – 8 places
Course form – 69-MC
Recent form – T17-6-MC-MC-MC
Since Jordan Speith was the victor here in 2021, the designers added a ton of bunkers to the Oaks Course. Where a lot of sand comes into the equation, you need an Aussie golfer on your side. A golf course that is set up with tree lined fairways and is full of sand is identical to those that Cam Davis would have grown up competing on back home.
He ended the 2021/2022 season well by getting to the BMW Championships and his season was fluttered with Top 10 finishes. He seemed to lose his way a little bit at the start of this season with a mass of missed cuts. However, a tied 6th finish around TPC Sawgrass at The Players Championship is mightily impressive and shows he is on the comeback trail, bolstered even further by a group winning performance last week at the WGC Matchplay.
Known for his great ability with the driver and long approach irons, I am sure he will fare well this week around here.