The PGA Tour heads to the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course this week for the Valero Texas Open. The Par-72 course plays firm, fast and long at 7,435 yards, and the layout challenges every aspect of your game.
It will be very important to check the weather on Wednesday night ahead of this tournament. Pop up winds happen all the time in South Texas and they could have a big effect on the AM/PM waves on Thursday and Friday. As of now Wednesday morning it looks to be pretty steady with no wave having an advantage.
While most of the previous winners at TPC San Antonio bombed it off the tee, a solid short game is also vital as the grainy bermuda collars seem to give below-average scramblers fits. This makes Driving Distance and Scrambling two of our key stats this week when considering who to pick for your DraftKings lineups.
Key Stats: Driving Distance, Scrambling, GIR, Putting inside 10', 175-200 yard approaches, Par 5 Scoring
Top Tier Plays
Brendan Steele ($9,900)
Steele is the horse for the course this week. In his last six starts at the Valero he has reeled off the following finishes: 1st, 4th, 8th, and 13th. He also comes into the event in good form, placing 14th and 27th in two of his last three starts. Steele excels in almost all of our key stats this week, ranked 30th in Driving Distance, 6th in approaches 175-200 yards, 12th in Par 5 Scoring and 1st in Scrambling. Steele should be your top play this despite his projected high ownership. He is at a great price and allows you to fit more stars into your lineups.
Ryan Moore ($10,200)
Ryan Moore enters the Valero fresh off a ninth-place finish at The Masters. Although he's only played the Valero once (2012), he did place eighth. At his price and his lack of course history, he should be one of the lowest-owned top salary guys on DraftKings, which makes him a great GPP play. Moore is not a long hitter at all but he makes up for it with great iron play (17th in approaches 175-200 yards). He can also score on Par 5s. Moore is in a great spot to pick up his second straight top 10 and can easily contend in this weaker-field event.
Value Picks and Sleepers
Ryan Palmer ($8,600)
Palmer is another player who may be highly owned this week based solely on course history. He placed fourth at the Valero last year and sixth the year before. He has been quoted saying this is his favorite tournament of the year. Although he missed the cut three weeks ago, he followed it up with an 11th-place finish last week at the RBC Heritage. Palmer can bomb the ball, he hits it close on approaches 175-200 yards and he has a great ball flight to play TPC San Antonio. Look for him to be in contention this weekend.
Tony Finau ($8,400)
Finau is in a great spot this week. His salary is about where it should be and he has tremendous upside. He enters the Valero coming off results of 34th, 28th and 5th in his last three events and his ownership should stay fairly low considering he has played the Valero only once and finished 68th back in 2015. Finau is a much better player now than what he was two years ago and he is showing that with his ball striking from 175-200 yards where he ranks second in approaches. He is one of the longest hitters on tour and uses his distance to score well on the Par 5s. Finau is one of the top value plays of the week.
Bounce Back Player
Luke List ($7,600)
Oh boy. Where we do we start with List? He is a true hit or miss candidate. He can place inside the top 5 or implode and miss the cut. It's anyone's guess. Taking into consideration his history at TPC San Antonio, where he placed 29th and 46th in two appearances, ot's probably that he'll make the cut this week. His stats also line up well for this course; List ranks third in Driving Distance and third in Par 5 Scoring. He hits a lot of greens (36th) and when he misses he has shown he can get it up and down (46th in Scrambling). His ball flight is perfect for these firm fast greens and we think he is an excellent play at his price this week.
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