Fore Please! – Valero Texas Open

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Apr 22, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; Andrew Landry celebrates with the trophy after the final round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament at TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks Course. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

One of the oldest events on the PGA Tour takes its new position in the 2018-19 schedule as the penultimate event leading up to The Masters as the Tour makes its traditional stop in San Antonio for this week’s Valero Texas Open. TPC San Antonio is the host for the 10th consecutive year, continuing a tradition that has made this event a yearly stop since 1922. The third-oldest continuous event on Tour now takes its place as the final preparatory stop leading up to first major of the season next week after holding a spot on the schedule between the Masters and Players Championship in years past. $7.5 million is up for grabs this week with the winner’s share being a smooth $1.35 million. Andrew Landry attempts to repeat as champion after his 2018 triumph here, besting last year’s field with a winning score of (-17). The field isn’t great this week with only 4 real big names teeing it up, but 16 players here will be in action next week at the Masters as well so this could serve as a good opportunity to check on the current form of a few players heading into Augusta. Here are the things you need to know before building any lineups for this week’s Valero Texas Open.

Course Notes

TPC San Antonio is a 7,435 yard par 72 track that was originally a Pete Dye design, later altered by Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia. This event was a difficult one for players last year, ranking as the 12th most difficult on Tour last season. The 1st and 9th holes are the most daunting on the course, both ranking inside the Top 50 toughest holes played by the pros last season (#1 was the 30th toughest, #9 the 33rd toughest), so don’t be surprised if the players you roster start with an early bogey when starting on the front nine. Amazingly, only five holes here played under par last year at the VTO, three of them being par 5s.

While this course has been difficult there are definite birdie chances available at three gettable par 5s and two short par 4s, each of which had a birdie rate in excess of 22% last year at this event. Bermuda overseeded greens have traditionally not been the fastest, but I would anticipate a slight uptick in the pace of the greens this week with its new position before the Masters. The greens here are average size (6,400 square feet on average) and are protected by 64 bunkers and 3 water hazards sprinkled around the course. The moral of the story here appears to be making your birdies on the par 5s and two short par 4s, and then hanging on for dear life the rest of the way around TPC San Antonio.  

Last Year’s Results

This event has been notorious for having a high cut line, boasting an over-par cut line number each of the last seven years, including a cut line number of (+7) on 2015. So don’t get too discouraged when your players start out a little rocky this week – it would appear that most players will do exactly that! Here is a look at the leaderboard from last year’s event:

Stat of the Week

From Geoff Ulrich (@thefantasygrind on Twitter) we find that it is not ultra important that you have been a previous Tour winner, but probably a good idea to choose players that have had a solid finish at this event their last time out.

  • The last 5 winners of the Valero Texas Open made the cut at this event the previous time they played.
  • 4 of the last 8 winners of the Valero Texas Open were first time winners on the PGA Tour.

Weather Forecast

The 40 degree weather that we saw Sunday during the semifinal and final matches at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play appear to be a thing of the past as we see temperatures rising into the 80s this week. The wind has wreaked havoc on this event a few times in the past, so checking a little closer to Thursday’s lineup lock for an update on wind conditions may be important in trying to find an edge this week. Otherwise only a slight chance of some rain on Thursday and Saturday but Sunday looks to be a perfect day to make a run at the title here in San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open Video of the Week

Many people have seen this video before no doubt, but the VTO was the site of Kevin Na’s now infamous 16 in 2011. It’s both painful and hilarious at the same time to see how it all transpired. And for us amatuer golfers this is a constant reminder that things like this happen to the guys with their names on their bags too!!

Kevin Na at the Valero Texas Open

And just to get the juices flowing again for this week’s Valero Texas Open, here is the highlight package from last year’s final round as shared by the PGA Tour.

As always, thank you very much for giving my article a glance this week as you prepare for the Valero Texas Open. If you have any questions you would like to ask me about your lineup or about my article in general, join us on DPA Premium where you can get exclusive access to myself as well as the rest of our other experts for NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL. I’ll be available to answer questions about your lineups this week from 9PM to 10PM on Tuesday, March 26th!

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Hopefully we will see you back here tomorrow for my DFS breakdown of the Valero Texas Open field on DraftKings and FanDuel. This premium content will help you build your lineups for success in both cash games and GPPs heading into next week’s Masters. Until then, be sure to send in your boot size – because we know those boots given to the winner pictured above just look silly if they don’t fit right!