The Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio has been the venue for the Valero Texas Open since 2010, and winners since then have been a mixed bunch. The classy Adam Scott won the inaugural event, whilst Jimmy Walker won last year’s. In between, the unlikely quartet of Brendan Steele, Ben Curtis, Steven Bowditch and Martin Laird took the honours – and this is simply one of those tournaments where anyone can win playing their own brand of golf whether their speciality is distance or accuracy.
For those of you who like to back certain players on certain types of putting surfaces, the greens at TPC San Antonio are Bermuda, though they are over-seeded with a mixture of Poa and Bentgrass.
The wind can often be a factor for those unfortunate to be in the wrong side of the draw, but early forecasts suggest it shouldn’t be particularly biased towards early or late starters on either of the first two days.
The market this week is headed by Jimmy Walker, who has the added pressure of defending, whilst it remains to be seen as to whether Brandon Grace has been partying-hard this week after recording his first PGA Tour victory at last week’ RBC Heritage. Matt Kuchar may go well but finds winning hard at the moment, whilst Zach Johnson’s success in this event came at the previous venue.
Therefore, I’m recommending backing 4 players who have shown previous course form.
Brandt Snedeker 1 point each-way @ 25/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
Snedeker makes a rare appearance in this event but, after finishing fourth the last time he was here in 2011, he probably thinks he can pick-up some valuable Ryder Cup points, and the hint should be taken.
Charley Hoffman 1 point each-way @ 28/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places
Hoffman doesn’t win as often as his talent suggests he should, but he must surely take advantage of one of his trademark fast starts soon. Prominent in the WGC at Doral, the Masters, and last week at Harbour Town, he’s shown he’s in decent nick coming into an event in which his form reads 13/2/13/3/11/11.
Chris Kirk 1 point each-way @ 55/1 (Coral) ¼ odds 5 places
Multiple PGA Tour winner Kirk has shown plenty of signs that he’s ready to notch another win soon and, though he’s another who used to give this events a miss, he finished eighth last year, and looks a big price on his recent form of 12/5/MC/23.
Daniel Summerhays 1 point each-way @ 66/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 6 places
Summerhays may be a golfer of limited abilities, but TPC San Antonio is one place he seems to get it all together having finished 7/2/4 in the last 3 years. He warmed-up by making the cut last week after a few weeks off, and this is an obvious target for him to aim at.
The weather is set to cause any assortment of problems in China this week on the European Tour, however I can’t resist a bet on the Chinese youngster Haotong Li. He was second last year, and has been placed in other events in China, and he’ll surely win one of his home events before too long – hopefully this week.
Haotong Li 1 point each-way @ 55/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places