Hi again everybody! Welcome back to your regularly scheduled golf column. This week, the PGA Tour heads over to the San Antonio Texas area for the Valero Texas Open. This event is typically one that many of the PGA Tour elites skip, but that just means that those of us digging deep into the numbers may gain even more of an edge. The boys are playing a 7,435 yard par 72 track with 4 par 5s, but only one of them is really reachable in two. It sometimes gets windy at this tournament, so I would suggest checking the weather before lineup lock. My key stats this week are: Strokes Gained Off the Tee, Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Scoring Average and Strokes Gained Total (as always). I also factored in course history and recent form as I always do.
Alright, let’s do this!
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Charley Hoffman ($10,900 DraftKings/$11,200 FanDuel) – I sometimes refer to this event as the Charley Hoffman Invitational, as big Charley has had quite a bit of success at this track. Since the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010, Hoffman has finished outside the top 13 of this tournament only once, and also has 4 top 6 finishes, including winning this event in 2016. Hoffman’s stats line up just fine, but this is a course history play. Let’s see if Charley can continue his good run in Texas again this week.
Luke List ($10,000 DraftKings/$10,900 FanDuel) – Luke List is far and away the best player in the field when looking at my stats of the week. He ranks in the top 16 on Tour in all four categories and in the field this week he is 3rd in Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, tied for 1st in Strokes Gained Total and 1st in Scoring Average. List does not have much course history to speak about, but he has been one of the hottest players on Tour recently, with top 10 finishes in 3 of his last 6 starts and top 25 finishes in 5 of his last 6. I think List has a great shot to pick up a victory this week.
Upper Middle Class
Adam Scott ($9,600 DraftKings/$11,700 FanDuel) – Any time I use Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Adam Scott is typically at the top of the charts as he ranks 5th on Tour and 1st in the field in that category. Scott also is among the best in the field in Strokes Gained Off the Tee, ranking 26th on Tour and Strokes Gained Total, ranking 34th. The Aussie has not played this tournament since 2011, but in his two appearances here he has a win (in 2010) and a 23rd place finish. In a field lacking a bit in class, I think Scott stands out as a very fine play.
Brendan Steele ($8,900 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – One of the keys to being a successful DFS player is to have a short memory. Two weeks ago, I had some fantastic lineups that went up in flames thanks to Steele missing the cut. But I am going back to the well this week. Steele lines up well for this course as he is one of only three players ranked in the top 50 on Tour in all 4 of my stat categories this week, including leading this field in Strokes Gained Off the Tee. Steele also benefits from some nice course history as he has a win and two other top 10 finishes under his belt at TPC San Antonio. I am all about the Man of Steele this week.
Ryan Palmer ($8,300 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) – If we don’t call this tournament this Charley Hoffman Invitational, we could call it the Ryan Palmer Invitational. The big Texan owns 3 consecutive top 6 finishes at TPC San Antonio, and has not missed the cut here since 2011. Palmer is 7th in the field in Strokes Gained Off the Tee, which was the stat which I looked at most closely this week. I think another fine finish is in order for Palmer.
Kevin Streelman ($7,700 DraftKings/$9,100 FanDuel) – Streelman is not typically a guy I use in DFS very often, but I recommended him in this space last week and that paid off with an excellent 7th place finish. But as I said above, you need to have a short memory in DFS, and I am not playing Streelman because he helped me out last week. Rather, Streelman joins Brendan Steele and Luke List as the only players who are in the Top 50 on Tour in my 4 stat categories of the week. Streelman actually ranks 8th in the field in Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 7th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, 11th in Strokes Gained Total and 8th in Scoring Average. Streelman’s course history is pretty good at this event, as he has not missed the cut in 4 attempts and also has two top 15 finishes on his TPC San Antonio resume. I like the Illini for a second consecutive solid week.
Bang for your Buck
Scott Piercy ($7,400 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel) – Piercy is a little too cheap this week on DraftKings, as he has flashed some pretty decent form on Tour this year and is probably one of the classier players in the field. Moreover, Piercy ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. While Piercy’s course history at the TPC San Antonio is merely OK, I do like that he has 3 top 25 finishes among his last 5 starts on Tour. This price is too good to pass up on DraftKings and I will own a lot of Piercy.
Jason Kokrak ($7,400 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel) – After having a sub-par 2017 season, Kokrak has looked pretty good again in 2018. He also lines up well for this course ranking 39th on Tour in Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 37th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 30th in Scoring Average. Kokrak has some decent course history here with two top 25 finishes among his last 5 appearances. And while he has missed his last 3 cuts on Tour, he was in fine form before that. I think Kokrak will be fairly low owned, but I like him in GPPs this week.
Daniel Summerhays ($7,000 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) – If this tournament is not the Charley Hoffman Invitational, or the Ryan Palmer Invitational, you can certainly call it the Daniel Summerhays Invitational (how is that for running a not really funny joke into the ground?). Summerhays, who has played rather poorly this year, has 4 top 15 finishes in his last 5 appearances at the TPC San Antonio, including 3 top 10s. Given his recent struggles, I would not use this play in cash, but I will definitely have over 20% exposure to Summerhays in GPPs.
Joaquin Niemann ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) – I can’t give you any stats or course history to speak about when writing about Niemann. But this 19 year old has been the #1 ranked amateur golfer in the world for more than a year and this is his first event since turning pro. Niemann is likely a top 50 player on Tour in not very long, and this tournament does not have the presence of too many top players. I think talent wins out a bit here and Niemann is my favorite cheap option of the week.
Good luck to all of you this week!
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