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Staying in Texas this week, the players head to San Antonio to play this Greg Norman designed course and, rather fittingly for the designer, this massively favours the better ball strikers on tour.
None of the last three winners here have ranked in the top five for Strokes Gained: Putting, with two of the three even managing to finish outside the top 20 for that metric, highlighting the importance of excelling from tee-to-green here, as each of the last seven winners have ranked in the top 10 in Stroked Gained: Tee-to-Green, with six of those ranking fourth or higher, so that’s certainly the key area for us to look at when picking a winner this week.
Valero Texas Open Betting Tips
Corey Connors 20/1
It’s on that basis that we’ll opt for one that we’ve been hesitant about backing lately, as his putter has certainly been his downfall this season and that certainly wasn’t an exception last week at the Match Play.
However, this is exactly the kind of course that suits his game and Corey Conners (20/1) proved just that by winning this event back in 2019. He’s still technically the defending champion here with the 2020 edition being cancelled, and he’s certainly progressed since then.
The Canadian ranks 78th this season for Strokes Gained: Putting, but Tee-to-Green he’s one of the best on tour and ranks 12th in that regard, while in his win here two years ago, 87% of his 16.53 strokes gained came off the green.
He’s achieved top-10 finishes in his last two Stroke Play events too, and in what is a far weaker field than we’re used to seeing on the PGA Tour, he looks well priced to win this back-to-back.
Charley Hoffman 28/1
Our second pick of the week comes from toward the top of the betting, a man showing some signs of form and tends to go very well around here is Charley Hoffman (28/1).
He finished second to Connors here in 2019, though he’s also a former winner here having taken the title in the 2016 edition.
He hasn’t failed to make the cut in any of his previous 14 Texas Opens, achieving 11 top-15 finishes in that time, and finishing in the top three on four occasions.
Needless to say he has the course pedigree to succeed here, while his form is also seeing a slight revival with top 10 finishes at both Bay Hill and Pebble Beach in the last six weeks, while he contested before faltering in each of his last two events.
He’s only just outside the top-30 for Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this season, though on approach alone he’s ranked in the top-10 in each of his last three outings, which certainly will give him confidence heading to a course he knows he has the better of.
With the Masters coming just next week, there seemed to be some good value toward the top of the market here in a weaker field led by Dustin Johnson.
However, with the World Number One pulling out of what was a surprise inclusion anyway this week, prices have shortened with the likes of Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau looking agonisingly short of a price we’d be willing to get behind, though further adrift there are very few players that have shown the kind of form that could trouble some of the market leaders this week.
On that basis we’ll stick with the two strongest value bets for this week, and wait for Augusta when all the big guns return to face off in the most iconic golf event of the year.