Valero Texas Open - Power Rankings
Photo Credit: BrandenGraceGolf.com
The Tour is currently in a stretch of difficult golf courses. Last week, players battled Harbour Town Golf Links - a track that can certainly bite, and do so quickly. Come Thursday, they will have to battle another true test of ball-striking, with TPC San Antonio, as the Tour makes its way back to Texas for the Valero Texas Open. Known for deep bunkers, and tight fairways, here is how TPC San Antonio describes its Oaks tournament course:
The AT&T Oaks Course, designed by PGA TOUR legend Greg Norman with player consultant Sergio Garcia, reflects the TOUR's departure from the modern tournament style course (expansive grass areas and spectator mounding) to a more natural look and feel, without sacrificing the fan experience making it very tournament friendly.
Key course features:
Traditional design that balances narrower tree-lined fairways with wider fairways offering multiple routes (i.e., strategic options) to the green Intimate design with narrow corridors carved through oak trees Only 100 feet of fall from the high point of the course to the lowest Bunkering will reflect a natural, rugged "minimalist" with edges emulating the canopy of the native oak trees. Downhill holes play into the prevailing wind, uphill holes play downwind Bermuda grasses were specially selected for this course to provide optimum playing conditions, diversity in color and texture and environmental sensitivity. Putting Greens are Champions Bermuda. Fairways are Tifsport Bermuda. Roughs are Bandera Bermuda. Collars, Approaches and Tee Tops are Emerald Bermuda. Outer Corridors are Native Texas grasses.
Let’s take a look at some of the players in the field this week.
Branden Grace - It was only a matter of time before Grace earned his first win on U.S. soil. Having removed this weight from his shoulders last week at Harbour Town, I expect to see many more high finishes from the emerging star - and I expect to see them in the near future.
Bryson DeChambeau - T4 in his pro-debut last week at Harbour Town, which followed a T-21 finish at Augusta. Turning heads with his unique style of play, and clearly a fresh threat out on Tour.
Phil Mickelson - Having a terrific season in 2016, do not be at all surprised to see Phil’s name at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the week. Playing like the hall-of-famer that he is.
Matt Kuchar - T15 (2015), T4 (2014) & T22 (2013) finishes at the Valero. A world-class golfer, this course clearly sets up well for his game.
Zach Johnson - Finished T20 last year, and T6 in 2014. Has missed three cuts this season, but making a habit of posting top-20 finishes.
Jimmy Walker - Last year’s defending champion, walked away with a convincing four shot victory.
Jerry Kelly - Finished T6 at this event in 2014, and coming off a week where he got around a difficult Harbour Town course with some very solid play. A third round 77 took him out of contention, but I think he is primed for a good week.
Jason Kokrak - T11 (2015) & T15 (2013) finishes at this event. Having a fairly good year, finding his way onto leaderboards more frequently than in the past. Finished T6 last week at Harbour Town.
Charley Hoffman - Fantastic ball-striker who has been playing well and looks primed for a very big week in the near future. Has finished in top-15 in 9 of 10 visits to this event.
Brandt Snedeker - Coming off a missed cut last week, but has always been a player that can bounce back quickly from a poor performance.
Daniel Summerhays - Tremendous track record at this event over the last three years, having posted T4 (2015), T2 (2014), T7 (2013). Coming off solid play last week at Harbour Town with two sub-70 rounds.
Ryan Palmer - T6 finish last year. A player who consistently performs well on particular courses.
And now for my DraftKings lineups for this week.
Highlighting my lineups this week are Mickelson, Grace & DeChambeau. Grace is coming off a win that seemed to be in the works for the last month, Mickelson is playing like his vintage self, and DeChambeau has established himself as an immediate presence. I also want to highlight Baddeley and Taylor. Both have been playing solid golf, come with low price tags, and are worth serious consideration this week.
Phil Mickelson - $9,900
Charley Hoffman - $9,600
Daniel Summerhays - $8,300
Freddie Jacobson - $8,100
Aaron Baddeley - $7,400
George McNeill - $6,700
Branden Grace - $10,900
Bryson DeChambeau - $9,800
Ryan Palmer - $8,500
K.J. Choi - $7,800
Jerry Kelly - $7,000
Nick Taylor - $5,900
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family.
Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.