Yahoo Contest Preview- Valero Texas Open

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 12, 2015 20:42

The PGA Tour leaves Florida this week and lands in San Antonio Texas and the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. The Oaks course is a par 72 and measures 7,435 yards, which is nearly the same length as Bay Hill was last week. It is also the same length as Augusta. It is important that we note that this course opened in 2010, so keep that in mind when analyzing tournament history. The Oaks features very narrow fairways and some very difficult hazards including thick brush, native vegetation, and deep bunkers. The course includes four par three holes and four par fives.

Last year at the Valero Texas Open underdog Steven Bowditch captured his first PGA Tour victory by outlasting Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays by a shot. Bowditch opened a three-shot lead heading into Sunday but blew his lead with a front nine of 3-over 39 but was able to survive for the win despite shooting a final round 76.

Every week we analyze several factors in order to determine who some of the best plays are for that given week. Some of those tools include tournament history, current form, sportsbook odds vs. daily pricing (for you DFS players), and statistics (both strokes gained and other course specific statistics relevant for the particular course being played that weekend). Outside of strokes gained this week the statistic that we have discovered to show a lot of success is par 4 scoring. Yes, we know this is an obvious statistic overall but we like the results we have seen in this tournament in this statistical category. Last year 8 of the top 9 players in par four scoring finished T6 or better. With the winner Steven Bowditch finishing second best in par four scoring at -4 and the leader in that statistic Will Mackenzie who finished runner up. In 2013 8 of the top 10 in par 4 scoring finished in the top 15, and in 2012 8 of the top 14 in par 4 scoring finished in the top 10. Several under the radar players have had great success in this tournament, including Charley Hoffman. You should check out who those guys are on our Tournament History Page.

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A-List:

 

Jim Furyk & Ryan Palmer– We like consistency, Jim Furyk is consistent, thus we like Jim Furyk. Furyk was very disappointing with a T40 at Valspar and hopefully that will dissuade others from choosing him. Before that, Furyk had a T12 at WGC Cadillac, T14 at Northern Trust, and T7 at Pebble Beach. He has shown a propensity to not be able to win tournaments, but if you give me a guy who will almost certainly take a Top 10 with a chance for better, we will take it. Furyk has had success here in the past two years with a 6th last year and a 3rd the year before. He ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, and 14th in Total Strokes Gained. Plain and simple, the guy can play and we look for a real nice bounce back in San Antonio. Ryan Palmer is a Texas guy who has been playing well most of this season. A T12 at WGC Cadillac, T25 at Honda, MC at Pebble, T2 at WM Phoenix, T10 at Humana, and T17 at Sony. He has had mixed results here in the past with a 56th last year, 15th in 2013, 32nd in 2012, MC in 2011, and 9th in 2010. Palmer ranks 9th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 10th in Total Strokes Gained. He is also 4th in Par 4 scoring this season on the PGA Tour. We expect Palmer to deliver for all formats this week.

 

A-List Others: Harris English and Marc Warren

 

B-List:

 

Jordan Spieth & Matt Kuchar– The Texas boy going back home, coming off of a tournament win. Seems like it makes sense to choose him. Well, we have been on Spieth all season and even featured him as one of our favorite players in our Crystal Ball for 2015 article before the season. Spieth has all the tools and showed he can deliver in the clutch by draining critical putts in his tournament win at Valspar. Before that he was also playing well with a T17 at WGC Cadillac, T4 at Northern Trust, and T7 at Pebble Beach. Spieth took 10th last year at Valero, missed the cut in 2013, and took 41st in 2012. He is a new player now though, so we weight current form over tournament history with him. Spieth ranks 11th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, the most valuable statistic and 3rd in Total Strokes Gained. Kuchar is another consistency guy like Furyk. He has had some real nice success in this tournament with a 4th last year, 22nd in 2013, and 13th in 2012. He has not played up to expectations yet this year. We expect a Top 10 maybe Top 5 this weekend.

 

B-List Others: Jimmy Walker, Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson, and Martin Kaymer

 

C-List:

 

Kevin Na & Martin Laird– Fantasy Golf Insider has been on Na for several weeks now, his results the last 3 weeks- T6 last week at Arnold Palmer, T10 at Valspar, and a T9 at the WGC Cadillac. Na ranks 67 in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 61st in Strokes Gained overall. Na is famous at the Valero for the 16 he had on the par four ninth hole in 2011, and if you have never seen it, I would recommend checking it out, it is quite hilarious https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1XLXlJ82bM Last year at this tournament Na took 11th. We are going to continue to roster Na on his influential run and would recommend you do as well. We recommended Martin Laird last week and although he wasn’t a complete bust, we were not completely satisfied either, so we are going back to the well this week for more. His past 5 performances have yielded a T43 at the Arnold Palmer last week, T33 at Valspar, a T7 at The Farmers, T5 at the WM Phoenix Open, and T15 at Humana. He ranks well in many statistical categories including 14th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 15th in Total Strokes Gained, 16th in Greens in Regulation, 32nd in Driving Distance, 6th in Par 4 scoring, and 5th in Par three birdie or better percentage. Laird missed the cut here last year but won it in 2013 and took 9th in 2011.

 

C-List Others: Brendon Todd and Brendon Steel

 

As always, best of luck you this week and let us know how you do.

All the best!

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 12, 2015 20:42

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