The Valero Texas Open 2023
One more week until the Masters 2023 is here! Until then, we have another Texas-based event and that’s the Valero Texas Open – a tournament that has been around since 1922. We will see 144 players competing this week, and the top 65 plus ties after round 2 will get to play round 3 on Saturday and round 4 on Sunday.
There’s $8.9M to be won this week, the winner takes home $1.602M and also collects 500 FedEx Cup points. TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course) is 74,28 yards in length, is a par 72, and the greens are overseeded with poa. The average winning score at this tournament over the last ten years is -13.9, so this course can challenge the players depending on the weather conditions. The record at this event and on this track is held by Corey Conners who in 2019 shot a -20 to win by a couple of strokes. Some core key stats to hone in on this week for your bets include strokes gained: around the green, strokes gained: putting, strokes gained: tee to green, driving distance, and strokes gained: off the tee.
Three questions that are relevant to the Valero Texas Open this week:
- Strokes gained: around the green has proved to be the most important stat here, so which 10 players have been the best in this stat category over their last 24 rounds? Nick Taylor, Ben Griffin, Hideki Matsuyama, Brendon Todd, Zac Blair, Matt Wallace, Patrick Rodgers, Lucas Glover, Matt Kuchar, and Matthias Schwab.
- Which 10 players gained the most strokes total (minimum 8 rounds) at this event since 2018? Kevin Streelman (12 rounds), Lucas Glover (12 rounds), Charley Hoffman (14 rounds), Corey Conners (16 rounds), Andrew Landry (8 rounds), Matt Kuchar (16 rounds), Ryan Moore (12 rounds), Chris Kirk (14 rounds), Si Woo Kim (16 rounds), and Trey Mullinax (9 rounds).
- What’s my top calculated bet for the week (the goal here is to at least double the wager)? I’m big on Nicolai Hojgaard right now, so I like his +240 number to finish top 20.
Below you will find players that I will bet, might bet, and five random bets that interest me. The odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are outright numbers. My betting strategy is to hedge quite a bit so my upside isn’t huge but neither is my downside, and I’m profitable or break even in roughly 70% of the weeks I’m active.
5 Players That I’m Absolutely Betting
Rickie Fowler (+1800) – We have certainly seen a resurgence in Fowler’s play since last Fall with three top 10’s and four additional top 20’s. He hasn’t been spectacular here but does have two T17’s since 2019, and has been putting and hitting solid long iron shots since earlier this year. I can certainly get behind betting Rickie to win, finish top 10, and the hedge with a top 20 finish also.
Nicolai Hojgaard (+5000) – Take notice of this European talent as he doesn’t play too often on this side of the pond but did have a runner-up finish last week in the Dominican Republic, he won in mid-January, has five top 10’s in his last eight starts between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour and his worst finish during this stretch is a T38. He’s a rookie here this week, but I’m likely game to bet him to finish top 10, top 20, and even top 40 given his odds are -110.
Matt Kuchar (+3000) – Kuchar is a great short-game golfer and that has led him to lots of success at this tournament with three straight top 12’s here including a T2 last year. He also has two top 9’s over his last four starts gaining almost 7.5 strokes around the green in those tournaments. I’m not sure that we will see Kuch win on the PGA Tour again so I likely won’t take an outright on him anymore, but do like him as a top 10 and top 20 bet this week.
Corey Conners (+2200) – His solo win came on this course in 2019 when he gained 15.88 strokes ball-striking, he has three top 26’s here since 2018 and last year finished T35 despite losing 2.57 strokes with his short game. I think the potential is there for him to become a two-time champ at this event so I might bet him outright this week, and will almost certainly bet him to finish top 10 and top 20 – harder on the latter.
Si Woo Kim (+2200) – Kim has performed well at this venue since 2017 with four top 23’s in five starts including a T4 in 2019. He has actually gained strokes across the board here over his last three appearances, and it has been pretty much over his last five appearances except for a loss on approach in 2018 and a tiny loss around the green in 2017. He’s a winner so I’m confident in betting him to win this week, and will also be betting him to finish top 10 and top 20.
5 Players That I Might Bet
Nick Taylor (+5000) – Short game play is vital here and Taylor leads the pack over the past few months. Taylor has been solid as of late with a T10 two starts ago, and he has three top 10’s over his last nine starts. He hasn’t performed overly well here in recent years, but did have two top 25’s in 2016 and 2017 on the back of sound ball-striking. I likely won’t bet Nick to win this week but I’m interested in a top 10 and top 20 bet.
Ryan Fox (+4000) – Fox has gained at least 1.85 strokes ball-striking over his last six starts worldwide, and has six straight top 27’s including a T14 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month. I’m taking a close look at betting him to finish top 20 and top 40, but I can’t commit to those bets just yet. The top 40 one though certainly has my attention since the number is -125.
Tyrrell Hatton (+1200) – Is he hurt or healthy? If he’s healthy then I’ll likely get behind a bet or two on Hatton this week since he has four top 6’s over his last four stroke play events played, and he went 2nd, 2nd, T7 between late last year and early this year. His ball-striking has been outstanding since last September and he consistently gains with his short game. I’ll likely bet him to finish top 10 and top 20 this week, but want to do more research into his health before making any investments into Tyrrell.
Kevin Streelman (+9000) – He has been a force at this tournament over the years with two top 8’s since 2018 in three starts, four teen finishes since 2008, and he has seven top 37’s in his last eight looks here. I’ll likely get in a top 40 bet on him and a top 20, but I’m not sure I can do much more than that given his recent form isn’t super strong. He is coming off a T27 at the Valspar Championship though where he gained 4.70 strokes ball-striking, so that’s a positive.
Matt Wallace (+4000) – Wallace has been spot on over his last two starts with a win last week at the Corales Puntacana Championship and a T7 at the Valspar in the start prior. He manufactured a 3rd here two years ago, and if his solid play continues, could replicate that this week. He actually gained 12.09 strokes ball-striking in 2021 and gained another 3.23 strokes around the green, so he has proven that he can dominate this course.
5 Other Interesting Bets
Winning Margin – 2 Strokes Exactly (+350) and 1 Stroke Exactly (+225) – Over the past four editions of this event – the winner has enjoyed a two-stroke victory and in the two years prior to that, the winner took it by a single stroke. I believe I’ll be betting 2 strokes exactly and hedging with 1 stroke exactly.
Tournament Matchup – Nicolai Hojgaard over Alex Smalley (-120) – Smalley’s best start over his last six starts is a T27 and he missed the cut here last year no thanks to dreadful putting and around the green play which are both keys to success on this track. Hojgaard, on the other hand, is coming off a 2nd at the Corales Puntacana Championship, he won earlier this year on the DP World Tour, has five top 10’s over his last eight starts worldwide, and is a ball-striking machine. This matchup is a no-brainer to me.
Top 40 Finish – David Lingmerth (+150) – Really liking Lingmerth’s ball-striking stats over his last five starts and he can pop with his short game also. He has three top 40’s over his last four starts including a solid T6 at THE PLAYERS Championship and a T10 at The Honda Classic.
Top 40 Finish – MJ Daffue (+175) – Here’s another decent top 40 bet for you in Daffue as he has also finished inside the top 40 three times over his last four events played and is solid off the tee and around the green.
Triple Chance – Hatton, Fowler, Conners (+425) – I certainly like the odds of one of these players winning here this week given Hatton and Fowler’s hot play recently and Conners has won here before. If you’re hesitant to do solo outright wagers this week, then maybe look at a double or triple chance as an alternative option.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience – including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings – specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.