I hope everyone enjoyed one of the most thrilling Masters ever. I had friends who aren’t even golf fans texting me to say how much they were enjoying the golf. With 4 birdies to end his round, Charl Schwartzel took home the green jacket. We had him one week too early it appears. Now we move to the Valero Texas Open played at beautiful TPC San Antonio.
Located in San Antonio, Texas, this course has only been the home of the Valero Texas Open for 1 year. TPC San Antonio is a 7522 yard Par 72 course that demands a player’s full attention and creativity. With a plethora of different holes and ways to play the golf course, fans should be treated to another very exciting week.
The course only features 3 water hazards and 58 bunkers (though they are placed very well), but instead utilizes player’s difficulty to hit fairways and greens. Course designer Greg Norman did an excellent job making the course a test for the Tour professionals. With windy conditions expected this week, put a premium on Driving Accuracy and ability to hit Greens In Regulation.
The most difficult hole on the course is the 454-yard 1st hole. A Par 4 to begin the players round that will test them right out of the gate. The average score here last year was a 4.376, meaning most players will be thrilled to walk away with a par.
The easiest hole on the course last year was the Par 5 14th. This hole played to a stroke average of 4.661 and is a must birdie on this course. At 567 yards it is the shortest of the Par 5’s, and with an accurate drive most players will go for it in 2.
Last years champion Adam Scott will be returning to defend his championship along with a slew of players who played very well last week at The Masters. Adam won by 1 shot over Fredrik Jacobson last year and will look to repeat.
There are only 3 players within the Top 30 of the World Golf Rankings competing this week (Adam Scott 17th, Martin Laird 23rd and Geoff Ogilvy 29th). With little top end talent, the field is a little more wide open than most weeks. This means we can find some value with players who have played well this year but have not won.
With 46 players who are under the age of 30 competing this week I am sure there will be a few players most people will not recognize. Look for mistakes to happen as some players have not played TPC San Antonio before (only been on the PGA Tour 1 year). Also players from the Texas area tend to thrive when playing in their home state.
Steve’s Six Pack Picks
J.B. Holmes 30/1 – Absolutely perfectly suited for this course. He is long, accurate, and hits plenty of greens in regulation. The only question mark is whether he can mentally stay with it for 4 rounds. I think he can.
Ryan Palmer 30/1– A Lot of people like Palmer this week and for good reason. He posted a Top 10 at the Masters, was T9 here last year, and is from Texas. Combine these factors with a solid all around game, and it looks like it could be Ryan’s week.
Jimmy Walker 35/1 – Jimmy finished T3 here last year. He does not get it done with Driving accuracy and GIR but instead utilizes an excellent putting stroke. Currently 5th on Tour in Putts Per Round and 6th on Tour in Scoring Average, this hometown guy will be on the leader board again this year.
John Senden 45/1 – Is extremely accurate from tee to green. He has finished in the Top 25 in 4 of his last 5 events and sits 15th on Tour for Greens In Regulation. He also sits 19th in Total Driving which will help in Texas this week.
JJ Henry 45/1 – JJ has been on a roll much like John Senden (kind of plays like him too). He has posted 3 straight Top 20’s and is 13th on Tour in Greens in Regulation. JJ is 21st in Total Driving on Tour and is a very good wind player. Look for him to continue his recent success this week.
Matt Jones 125/1 – Just a flyer of a pick. Sometimes you just get a feeling about a player and that’s what it is with Matt Jones this week. Has not played very well this year with just 1 Top 25 in 8 starts but did shoot a 66 in his opening round here last year. (Also has the Australian factor going)
Good luck to everyone in our six-pack. I am focused on getting us another outright winner.