Get ready to strike it big in Texas.
If last week’s RBC Heritage was for the short-knockers of the PGA Tour then the Valero Texas Open will suit those who can open their shoulders with the driver.
The event takes place at the Greg Norman-designed TPC San Antonio; Sergio Garcia ($9,600) helped with the design as a player consultant.
The tournament moved to this course in 2010 so disregard any prior course history.
The track is a lengthy 7,435 yards. It is a par 72 with four par fives but very few golfers will be able to reach them in two.
This event traditionally has a low rate of eagles on the par fives and par four scoring could be more valuable this week.
Kevin Chappell ($7,400) is the defending champion.
The weather can be particularly volatile in Texas during the spring so keep an eye on that as the tournament edges closer.
Last week: Eight of the nine players I touched on made the cut. Four finished inside the top 23, representing a solid week for the column.
Sadly, I didn’t roster all of my own selections within the same lineup and it made for a poor showing for my Moneyball account.
The method is solid; now it’s time for a big PGA DFS score.
TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks) is a challenging course.
Aside from the aforementioned length, the fairways are narrow in spots and the native areas are brutal.
This course was the site of Kevin Na’s infamous 16 on the par-four ninth hole in 2011.
I will look at players who drive the ball well as length off the tee will be valuable.
Hitting long irons will also be useful. The winning score usually hovers around -11 or -12.
The weaker field means you may want to look towards balanced lineups. Only five of the top 30 players in the world are in attendance.
$8K and $9K Range
Charley Hoffman ($8,700) – It seems wrong to pay this much for Hoffman. But you cannot deny the track record here.
The Las Vegas native thrives in Texas and has elite course history, including a victory in 2016.
Hoffman has made four straight cuts and hits the ball far enough. He has gained the most strokes on the field of anyone who has played this event during the past five years.
Luke List ($8,000) – List will be chalky, let’s get that out of the way early.
The big hitter is incredibly close to breaking through for a maiden victory on the PGA Tour and this course suits.
In the past 50 rounds, List leads this field in strokes gained: tee to green and ball-striking.
He is also inside the top four for strokes gained: approach and, off the tee.
Ownership isn’t often too much of an issue in Moneyball PGA DFS given the nine-man rosters; you just need to differentiate yourself elsewhere.
Billy Horschel ($7,300) – Billy Ho was only 0.9% owned in the $20 GPP last week as he locked up a top-five finish.
The 2014 FedEx Cup champion is about as streaky as they come. In the past five years at this event he has three top-four finishes and two missed cuts.
He changed his putter last week and it clearly worked. Horschel is 44th in strokes gained: off the tee on Tour this season. He’s 42nd in driving accuracy.
Brendan Steele ($7,100) – Steele’s prowess with the driver makes him an attractive play.
He’s fifth on Tour for strokes gained: off the tee. The 35-year-old is also a reliable cut-maker, having played the weekend in every tournament this season, except for The Masters.
Steele has made six of seven cuts at this event, including a victory in 2011.
Jamie Lovemark ($6,200) – Lovemark has made six straight cuts and is a consistent type.
He’s long enough off the tee, sitting inside the top 40 in driving distance on Tour this season.
His approach game, particularly with longer irons, is what makes me like him. He also tends to play well at tougher courses.
Julian Suri ($6,100) – Suri has been mentioned in a similar vein to fellow American Brooks Koepka who also made a name for himself on the European Tour before playing regularly in the US.
Suri is 50th in this field for strokes gained: off the tee across the past 24 rounds.
He registered a top-10 finish at the recent Houston Open, so the form is there.
Kevin Tway ($5,600) – Tway threatened to breakout last season and clocked in for a T3 at this event.
The maiden win is yet to arrive but his length – ninth on Tour for driving distance – could put him in the mix.
This is a dirt cheap price for a player who has strong ties to the area so may remain comfortable if the conditions become challenging.
Abraham Ancer ($5,500) – For a player in this type of form, this price is too cheap.
The Web Tour graduate has finished inside the top 16 in three events on the bounce.
His numbers won’t jump off the page but his approach game is solid. A top-30 finish from someone at this price would ensure he returns his value.
Cameron Champ ($5,300) – We are in flyer territory now.
If you want someone who can drive the ball a mile then Champ is your man.
He played in the US Open last year where he finished in a share of 32nd but it was his driving ability that turned heads. He led the field in driving after two days.
Champ recently played a Web.com Tour event and finished T11.
Piece of Chalk: It is Luke List ($8,000) week. Book it.
Scrub-A-Dub: At only $5,600, I like Kevin Tway to make an impact here.