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Valero Texas Open: Expert Picks

Martin Laird has the accurate game to succeed at TPC San Antonio

Valero Texas Open - Final Round Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Tournament Information

Valero Texas Open
Date: April 1st – 4th
Course: TPC San Antonio
Purse: $7.7MM ($1.4MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Corey Conners (-20)

Course

TPC San Antonio Oaks Course — Built in 2010 by Pete Dye and designed by Greg Norman, the Oaks courses (where the Valero is played) is a par 72 running 7,435 yards with a rating of 76.6 and a slope rating of 145. Fairways will run a bit tighter than the golfers are used to from other events. Trees line the holes providing a tunnel to guide through each hole. The course is designed to challenge but complement situations. Players going downhill with find the wind coming at them and on the flip side wind will aid their treks uphill. Given these amenities, it is a bit of a wildcard in terms of success.

Valero Texas Open - Round Three Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images

My Starting 4

Ryan Moore (first selection this year) — Moore has been a top 20 finisher the last three tournaments at TPC San Antonio. While he started out poorly (three consecutive cuts), he seems to have corrected his course with two top 35 finishes across his last three tournaments.

Si Woo Kim (first selection this year) — Si Woo Kim finished 22nd here in 2017 and 4th here in 2019. Currently 23rd in FedEx Ranking, he finished 9th in the Players Championship just two weeks ago. He’s had a few missed cuts which culminated in a withdrawal at the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to a back injury (which seems to be fine over the last two tournaments).

Martin Laird (second selection this year) — Laird is one of a handful of players who have top 40 finishes the last few years at Valero Texas Open. Currently 36th in FedEx points, Martin has been very accurate this season, something that is rather important here.

Jim Furyk (first selection this year) — Furyk was a top 30 golfer the last two years he played the Valero Texas Open! Across five tournaments in which he’s played this season, he has four top 50 finishes! Even more impressive, during these wins, he really comes in strong on Sundays. If he makes the cut, he should be strong through the weekend.

My Bench 2

Graeme McDowell (first selection this year) — For years, McDowell was one of my favorite golfers. He had a positive attitude and a real charisma to his game. Two of the last three years at Texas he was a top 30 finisher. I was surprised to see McDowell has played in 10 tournaments this year, his peak was last week with a 4th place finish at Corales Puntacana.

Jimmy Walker (first selection this year) — Walker finished 13th here three years ago following it up with a 4th place finish in 2018 and 30th last time here in 2019. He missed five consecutive cuts before a 58th place at the Honda Classic. While his putting is spot on, there are a lot of holes in his game as of late.

Fun Fact: Since sponsoring this event in 2002, Valero has raised over $138MM for charities


2020-2021 Stats (1st percent would be the top golfer picked every week)
Starting 4: AVG finish 38th (29th percent)
Bench 2: AVG finish 47th (37th percent)