The Masters is next week so many of the big names on the PGA Tour are taking the week off. That leaves the door wide open for a dark horse play to jump up and grab a win this week at the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio. And, it looks like oddsmakers feel that Rickie Fowler will be the player to beat. Fowler enters the Valero Texas Open as the only player sporting a +1000 as everyone else behind him is +1600 or more!

Fowler, Tony Finau, Matt Kuchar, and Jordan Spieth top the list of favorites which is end-capped by Jim Furyk. As for taking the week off, Fowler says he’s fine with bucking the norm when it comes to playing before the Masters Tournament.


Column: Masters perfect week to forget golf squabbles


“I like playing competitively if I can leading up to majors or some big weeks,” Fowler said Tuesday during a press conference. “So for me, like I said, I played Houston in the past leading up to Augusta. I typically play the Scottish Open into the British (Open). Sometimes into the U.S. Open or the PGA (Championship)… I have definitely seen it be beneficial to play the week before. You know, you’re not far coming off competition when you tee it up Thursday morning in a major. It just makes me feel more comfortable, more confident.”

With Fowler riding the top spot the players behind him are all forces to be reckoned with especially Finau and Kuchar who are both at +1600. Here are the favored players through +2500 according to oddsmakers at Intertops.

 

Rickie Fowler+1000
Tony Finau+1600
Matt Kuchar+1600
Jordan Spieth+2000
Jason Kokrak+2500
Sung-Jae Im+2500
Billy Horschel+2500
Jim Furyk+2500

 

Why Fowler?

Heading into the Valero Texas Open Fowler has one win in 2019 and three top-ten finishes. And he has not missed a cut this season. The 30-year-old Californian, and Oklahoma State player, has also moved to the tenth spot in FedEx points and enters the Valero currently ranked No. 8 on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).

His downside, at least as a fantasy or betting pick is that he’s coming off a rough spot of sorts. Since his win at Phoenix, he’s posted only one top-25 finish and that was the Honda Classic where he came in T2. But the other three events Fowler has played in were not examples of his best play. He finished T36 at the WGC Mexico, he carded a T40 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a T47 at THE PLAYERS Championship in mid-March. Fowler skipped last weeks WGC – Match Play event.

Past Winners

Andrew Landry pulled out the win last year at the Valero joining a list of famous golfers who have won the event which started in 1922. It’s one of the oldest tournaments worldwide, sixth as a matter of fact, and the longest running event at the same host city on the PGA schedule. Only a move from a Fall slot to an early Spring slot has changed.



One thing that has not changed is that the Valero Texas Open has always seemed to fall in the shadow of larger events. The tournament served as an alternative to the President’s Cup and Ryder Cup for years and now fall before the first Major of the season which is the Masters.

The good news is that now a HUGE emphasis is placed on players in the field without a win to go for the gusto. Last chance to earn a place at Augusta National! Only five past winners over the last eleven tournaments are in the field. Why eleven and not ten? Because I listed Zach Johnson twice due to the fact that he had back-to-back wins Valero Texas Open wins in 2008 and 2009.

 

2018: Andrew Landry+10000
2017: Kevin ChappellNot entered
2016: Charley Hoffman+4000
2015: Jimmy Walker+5000
2014: Steven BowditchNot Entered
2013: Martin Laird+10000
2012: Ben CurtisNot Entered
2011: Brendan Steele+12500
2010: Adam ScottNot Entered
2009: Zach JohnsonNot Entered
2008: Zach JohnsonNot Entered

 

TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks Course

TPC San Antonio and the AT&T Oaks Course is not a player favorite. Actually, it’s the greens that seem to get under the nerves of many players. One features a bunker in the center of the putting surface. And that hole, the No. 16 Par 3, is considered the signature hole on the course.

Other than that The Oaks Course looks very playable with manicured Bermuda, a decent share of right and left doglegs with forgiving landing areas off the tee. But, many fairways are narrow and tree lined while the others seem wide open but guarded by massive bunkers. Almost all of the holes have tricky approach shots making it a “target golf” situation, if you’re off a bit then there’s a good chance you’ll find some sand.

The good news is that the AT&T Oaks is level compared to some courses on the schedule. There is only a 100-foot difference in height from the tallest point on the course to the lowest.

Founded: 2010
Designer: Greg Norman and Sergio García
Yardage: 7,435
Par: 72
Rating: 76.6
Slope: 145
Greens: Bermuda
Fairways: Bent Grass, Bermuda

TV Coverage for 2019 Valero Texas Open

•    Thursday: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, the Golf Channel
•    Friday: 4:00 pm – 7:00pm, the Golf Channel
•    Saturday: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, the Golf Channel
•    Saturday: 2:30pm – 7:pm, NBC
•    Sunday: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, the Golf Channel
•    Sunday: 2:30 pm – 7:00 pm, NBC

Remaining odds for 2019 WGC Dell Match Play

Odds for the remaining players to win the Valero Texas Open outright.

 

Lucas Glover+3300
Byeong-Hun An+3300
Abraham Ancer+4000
Ryan Moore+4000
HaoTong Li+4000
Graeme McDowell+4000
Lucas Bjerregaard+4000
Jhonattan Vegas+4000
Charley Hoffman+4000
Luke List+5000
J.B. Holmes+5000
Daniel Berger+5000
Ryan Palmer+5000
Jimmy Walker+5000
Si-Woo Kim+5000
Denny McCarthy+5000
Andrew Putnam+6600
Sung Kang+6600
Russell Henley+6600
Joaquin Niemann+6600
Joel Dahmen+6600
Dylan Frittelli+6600
Justin Harding+6600
Ollie Schniederjans+6600
Bud Cauley+6600
Martin Kaymer+6600
Nick Taylor+6600
Chris Kirk+6600
Austin Cook+8000
Trey Mullinax+8000
Chesson Hadley+8000
Luke Donald+8000
JT Poston+8000
Brian Harman+8000
Matt Jones+8000
Wyndham Clark+8000
Sam Burns+8000
Scott Stallings+10000
Andrew Landry+10000
Mackenzie Hughes+10000
Peter Uihlein+10000
Chris Stroud+10000
Kramer Hickok+10000
Martin Laird+10000
Kelly Kraft+10000
Kyle Stanley+10000
Kevin Streelman+10000
C T Pan+10000
Beau Hossler+10000
Grayson Murray+10000
Nick Watney+12500
Kyoung-Hoon Lee+12500
Ernie Els+12500
Padraig Harrington+12500
Rory Sabbatini+12500
Brendan Steele+12500
Ryan Armour+12500
Brian Gay+12500
Harris English+12500
Harold Varner+12500
Kevin Tway+12500
Sepp Straka+12500
Vaughn Taylor+12500
Danny Lee+12500
JJ Spaun+12500
Julian Etulain+15000
Roger Sloan+15000
Jonas Blixt+15000
Scottie Scheffler+15000
Adam Schenk+15000
Ben Silverman+15000
Adam Long+15000
Brian Stuard+15000
Carlos Ortiz+15000
Roberto Castro+15000
Peter Malnati+15000
Ryan Blaum+15000
Shawn Stefani+15000
Scott Langley+20000
Hudson Swafford+20000
Scott Brown+20000
Sam Saunders+20000
Martin Trainer+20000
Chip McDaniel+25000

 

 

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