It’s back to Texas for the third time in five weeks as San Antonio joins Austin and Houston as host cities.
This will be the 87th Valero Texas Open but only the eighth hosted at the AT&T Oaks Course at the JW Marriott.
Charley Hoffman is the landlord around these ’em here parts and has a pair of these to show from last year.
Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely, so I’m satisfied with having a chance to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game, but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf. Remember, fade or follow, it’s up to you.
Gamers who are new to OAD must remember that the most lucrative purses, the majors, WGC events, THE PLAYERS and FedExCup Playoffs, are down the road and you’ll need to save some big boys for these events, all 12 of them.
Last Season: Il Disastro
Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events
- Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
- Seconds: 0
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 9
- Top 25s: 18
- MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)
2016-17 season: Brand New Day
Season total: $2,256,858; 23 events
- Seconds: 1
- Top 10s: 5
- Top 25s: 7
- MCs (4): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API).
|Safeway Open||Grayson Murray||MC||$0|
|CIMB Classic||Hideki Matsuyama||T-2||$756,000|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Martin Kaymer||T-40||$62,000|
|Sanderson Farms||Patton Kizzire||MC||$0|
|OHL Mayakoba||Emiliano Grillo||T-10||$175,000|
|RSM Classic||Russell Henley||T-10||$150,000|
|SBS TOC||Brandt Snedeker||T-14||$122,000|
|Sony Open||Charles Howell, III||T-8||$180,000|
|CB Challenge||Jamie Lovemark||MC||$0|
|Farmers Insurance||Jimmy Walker||MC||$0|
|AT&T Pebble Beach||Phil Mickelson||65th||$15,120|
|Genesis Open||Charl Schwartzel||MC||$0|
|Honda Classic||Russell Knox||MC||$0|
|Arnold Palmer||Henrik Stenson||MC||$0|
|Puerto Rico Open||Luke List||T-37||$12,900|
|WGC-Match Play||Rory McIlroy||T-30||$74,000|
|Shell Houston Open||Jon Rahm||T-10||$182,000|
|RBC Heritage||Matt Kuchar||T-11||$114,045|
Thermometer: Maybe I should add a “T-11” to my score keeping above…
My Choice: Matt Kuchar (T-11)
Close Second: Charley Hoffman (MC)
Outlier: Luke Donald (2nd)
Gut Shot: Russell Knox (T-11)
Rank Outsiders: Scott Brown (MC), Webb Simpson (T-11)
I get it.
Luke Donald is a no-brainer HERE.
Overall a solid week with four of six selections in the top 11. With three rookies/youngsters in the top five, including the winner, I’ll gladly take my 100k-plus and move on.
Keys this Week:
I’m leaning on experience as the wind is going to be shifty for the four rounds and guys who have done well in Texas before should be comfortable.
The track has plenty of teeth, especially into the wind, so players who can shorten the par fives and par fours should stand out as well.
Only Ben Curtis of the previous winners can be categorized as not a power player.
My Weekly Finalists:
I explain in more details in my preview what I’m looking for on the course.
Charley Hoffman: As much of a no-brainer as Kuchar was last week, Hoffman takes his spot this week due to his history on this track. It’s nothing short of incredible.
Brendan Steele: He makes it an easy second choice. His season has included his first win since breaking his maiden here in 2011 and the consistent form that finds him seemingly in the top 30 weekly. He’s bagged a couple of top 10’s and a T-13 since his victory and had the low round of the event last year with 64, one off the course record.
Jimmy Walker: For those of you who had the discipline to leave him alone on the West Coast, bravo. His recent revelation of having mono for most of the year makes sense as to why his performances were below standard. Home game and his own bed this week for the 2015 champ.
Branden Grace: He’s improved each year he’s teed it up at TPC San Antonio and this will be his fourth consecutive year at the event. His power game is built for the wind and the results here have followed. He’s also trending up after a very solid Masters and title defense last week at Harbour Town (T-11).
Billy Horschel: Now with baby No. 2 on the planet, it’s back to full-time golf. This is a PERFECT track to get his spring flying as he’s missed the top four only once in the last four years.
My Choice: Charley Hoffman
Close Second: Billy Horschel
Outlier: Luke Donald
Gut Shot: Brooks Koepka
Rank Outsiders: J.J. Spaun, Daniel Summerhays, Kevin Chappell
QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK:
Where’s Reed? He finished second last year!?!?
Each week somebody has to be left off, sadly.
I hope, for the sake of season-long investors, that Reed turns it around this week. As you know from reading my stuff, I’m not the guy who breaks guys out of slumps and Reed is in a slump. Last year the San Antonio native was white hot entering the week and that’s simply not the case this season.
Should I burn…
Throw a dart.
Drop a pen.
Have your dog pick.
48 weeks. 48 guys. Plenty to choose from!
If you’re looking outside the box this week, I’m leaning on long and strong over dink and dunk. Ryan Palmer and Ollie Schniederjans could fit this category.