The PGA Tour makes its way to Texas for the Valero Texas Open, which is played on the demanding 7,435 yard Greg Norman designed TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course, which had some input from Sergio Garcia.
It’s a tough track and any player who suffers from claustrophobia will not enjoy the tight narrow tree lined fairways here. If you miss the first and second cuts of rough you are in deep trouble, with thick knee-high native grass just off the second cut of the fairway.
Once a player has negotiated the tee shot then they have to aim at greens that are guarded by 12-foot deep bunkers. The greens are in near perfect condition and ample in size but they have plenty of movement in them, with lots of slopes, undulations, spines and ridges.
My tips to win:
Dustin Johnson 9/1 with StanJames has played five events this year, winning one, missing the cut in two and making the Top 5 in the other two, so as you can imagine I am hoping we get the Dustin Johnson who turns up and challenges this week and not the fella who misses the cuts.
Sometimes you wonder if its the course or the environment that inspires a player Zach Johnson 30/1 with SportingBet always seems to be in the thick of it at the Texas Open. Zach has won this event twice but is still searching for his third win in this event and should be teeing up in confident mood after his 66 finish saw him move into the Top 10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend.
Jim Furyk 25/1 with SkyBet seems to have enjoyed this event over the last two years with two Top 10 finishes, and if not for that wobble in his second round he would have been right in the thick of it last year. Jim has had four starts this season so far and has been outside the Top 15 once at the Valspar Open two weeks ago. With two weeks to go before the Masters Jim will be looking to be in the thick of it come Sunday this week.
My each-way tips
I am sticking with Kevin Na 33/1 with BetVictor this week the South Korean is on a great run of form finishing in the Top 10 in his last three events and last weeks sixth place finish at the Arnold Palmer shows great consistency with three rounds in the 60s. Kevin should be arriving in confident mood this week and make amends for a final round 76 last year that saw him slip out of the Top 5.
Daniel Summerhays 70/1 with Bet365 is another player that has enjoyed the Texas Open finishing in the Top 10 over the last two years, and was runners-up finish here last year. Daniel has been in good form of late with two Top 20s before finishing just outside the Top 50 at last weeks Arnold Palmer Invitational but I think Utahn will be looking forward to teeing it up this week.
You will see a theme developing here as Charley Hoffman 66/1 with StanJames is also another player that has done well in this event, so maybe all my picks love the course or that Texan hospitality and it just brings the best out in their respective golf games. Charley finished just outside the Top 10 here last year his final round 70 saw him move up the leaderboard thirteen places and the year before he had a Top 5 finish. Hoffman started this year in good form after winning in Mayakoba at the back-end of last year, his Top 15 was followed up with a runners-up at the Humana Challenge but a couple of missed cuts must have seen his confidence take a nose dive so hopefully he will get some positive energy being back here this week.
As always good luck