Valero Texas Open preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
The Texas Open heads to TPC San Antonio for the 8th renewal at the Greg Norman designed layout, with Sergio Garcia as a consultant, that takes no prisoners. Charley Hoffman won last year with some impressive stats that typify a winner. Longish and straight off the tee are crucial allowing the player to hit greens and then throw in a top putting performance – so pretty much a winners profile every week. In contrast to Harbour Island the TPC yields – for the most part – to a power player.
Winning scores are low double digits with a winning average of around 11 under on a bog standard par 72.
Jimmy Walker won in 2015 leading almost all categories and promptly missed the cut the following year, a fate that seems to afflict most winners bar Brendan Steele who followed his win with a 4th.
The field, like last week, is buttressed at the top of the market by the Kuch and while he rakes in the dough I just can’t have him.
Hoffman fell away at the Masters and then missed the cut at Harbour town so who knows what frame of mind he’s in. Billy Horschel has a really solid record around here but has struggled this season and despite some good recent efforts he looks too short at 33/1.
Brooks Kopeka 1pt e/w at $23 with
Ollie Schniederjans 1pt e/w at $41 with
Luke List 1pt e/w at $61 with
Brooks Kopeka is a favourite of ours and after some well documented issues centred around equipment changes / experimentation he came good at Augusta. Not that you would have seem him since a string of birdies on the back nine on Sunday didn’t warrant even a single look by the network. He was a much bigger price there of course and our reasoning was that he was simply too classy to be allowed to go off when normal service would have seem him competing at the top of the market. He’s 25/1 here and while he missed the cut last year it was close and he then became the top class player he is post that. An awesome talent with top class credentials.
Ollie Schniederjans is another stable pick who came home hard on the steel at the Heritage and looks one of a group of players who’ll win multiple times. Just 23 with four top tens this season including last week’s best ever Schniederjans’ profile is all up. He has a bag full of positive stats that don’t mark him as exceptional in any discipline but equally shows no major weaknesses. Possible breakthrough opportunity in a less than stellar field.
Luke List is much more seasoned than Schniederjans but coming into his own in 2017 with a career best 2nd at the Sanderson Farms and 2 other top tens – notable at the Shell Houston Open and the OHL Mayakoba another Norman design. List is long and hits plenty of greens and while he’s only teed it up here twice he’s made the cut both times and is now a much better player. Set up to do well in his career best season.