The Valero Texas Open | 26 March - 29 March | TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course
The Valero Texas Open tees off in sunny San Antonio this week and as usual this promises to be a hotly contested affair. As we’ve come to expect, a strong field has assembled to participate here and once again the golfing world’s focus will be on the PGA Tour. TPC San Antonio features two courses although only the more difficult Oaks Course will be played. Designed by Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia (who has been quiet of late) this is a rather tricky par 72 layout which features narrow fairways lined with devastatingly thick rough and enough trees to make sure that keeping the ball on the fairway and in play will be one of the keys to success this week. That’s just the first step though as deep bunkers wait to punish wayward approaches and with the wind expected to blow fairly strongly for much of the week, it might be difficult to avoid the sand at times.
Jordan Spieth 9/1
Dustin Johnson 10/1
Jim Furyk 20/1
Matt Kuchar 22/1
Jimmy Walker 22/1
Kevin Na (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
Kevin Na has had a surprisingly positive start to the season and with three Top 10s in his last five starts, it’s only a matter of time before he wins. All of those performances came against some tough competition and after seeing how Na played last week at Bay Hill, it’s tough to ignore him this time around. In the past he has fared well on the Oaks and if he plays the same way he’s been playing the last few months his game will suit this course to a tee. Each way here is the bet for me.
Charley Hoffman (45/1 a win, 99/10 a place)
In a field that is choked with brilliant golfers it’s always difficult to find a bigger price to back but every now and then a bet like this catches the eye and it seems worth taking the risk. A quick look at Hoffman’s recent form will put almost anyone off backing him but golf is a confidence game and given the way he’s played here in the past, Hoffman should be confident that he can at least make the cut and be around the top come Sunday. Seven Top 15 finishes in his last eight starts can’t be ignored so keep an eye on Hoffman.
Jim Furyk (20/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
Jim Furyk is one of the more consistent players on the Tour and over the past few weeks he has been challenging, although he hasn’t quite managed to find that extra gear and walk away with a victory. I have the feeling that all of that could change this week though as he arrives at a course that suits his game perfectly. He hits the ball straight and long and will be able to avoid that pesky rough and keep it on the fairway. If he putts well then he should have no problem keeping up with the field.
Zach Johnson (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
When the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio few players would have been more upset than Zach Johnson, who prior to that had managed back-to-back wins and who had made this tournament his own. He hasn’t quite managed to repeat that success in later installments but he has been competitive and I’m hoping he’s finally got to grips with the Oaks and can go low. If he hits the ball as well as he has been this season he’ll be able to avoid the trouble and make his share of birdies and with the form he’s in there’s little reason that won’t be the case. Each way is the bet for me.