The Valero Texas Open is the last regular tournament action before we return next week to Augusta for the 2021 US Masters. This is a final chance for some players to find their form, others to maintain it…
Valero Texas Open: The Tournament
One of the older events on the schedule, the Texas Valero Open has been played for the best part of a century, dating back to 1922. It has moved a bit on the rotation, but now finds itself staged around April or May each year. Falling around the time of the US Masters means that it tends to struggle to attract the really big names, who are either preparing for Augusta, or putting their feet-up after it (this year it’s the former).
Valero Texas Open: The Course
Since 2010 the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio has been the host venue. The layout is a Greg Norman design stretching 7,433 yards, played as a par 72. The set-up is tough, but not too tough, with local windy conditions being one of the course’s main defences. As recent scoring would suggest, this won’t be a breeze for the pros. Several winning scores in recent years have been just 8 or 9-under-par.
254: Tommy Armour (2003).
63: Matt Every (2010)
Valero Texas Open: Past Winners
2019: Corey Conners
2018: Andrew Landry
2017: Kevin Chappell
2016: Charley Hoffman
Valero Texas Open: The Field
A full field for this PGA Tour event with 150+ starters. Jordan Spieth is the $12 favourite with TopSport.
Valero Texas Open: The Weather
Temperatures will stall around the low 70s this week, but looking at the forecast the chance of rain on any of the four days is minimal. Wind speeds though will be light, barely registering over 10mph. So good playing conditions, by-and-large.
Valero Texas Open: Outright Value Bets
These are two value bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.
Chris Kirk – each-way (currently $34 with Betfair)
We’ve looked at Kirk a couple of times recently. have no doubts that the man from Atlanta will be looking for a big week ahead of next week’s Major in his home state. For sure, Kirk has had his issues off the course, but he’s very much on the comeback trail. He’s started 2021 with a second place at the Sony Open, and missed just one cut in registering a run of 16-MC-16-8-48-25. That lowest finish came in the Players Championship, and the calibre of opposition this week is no match for Sawgrass. Kirk is driving the ball well, crucial here in San Antonio, and his putting has been solid, if unspectacular.
Previous visits to this tournament have seen him post three Top 20 finishes in six starts – two of those inside the Top 10. Sitting out last week might well be a blessing in disguise, and his previous start at the Honda, where he finished 25th, was marred by a late falter when another Top 10 was in his sights. Playing well, with course form to his name and a definite winning mentality, make Kirk a bet well worth having this week. A solid play in my opinion.
Sepp Straka – Top 20 (currently $4 with TopSport)
Straka finished ninth last week at the Corales Puntacana to end an 11-week stretch without a Top 10. There’s every chance the big Austrian can carry on where he left off last week. The week before Straka finished 33rd at the Honda Classic, ranking 15th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. That shows me that his game is trending nicely in the right direction again after a lean start to the 2020/21 season. Prior to last week, Straka’s best result in the last twelve months was a fifth placed finish at the Houston Open. He also finished fourth at the same event the year before, indicating a strong liking for Texas conditions. Straka’s best results in 2020 and 2021 have both been in Texas. Although they weren’t at this week’s venue, he’s shown a clear liking for playing in the state. His form is trending nicely and will see this as a great opportunity to play well and get an invite into the Masters next week.
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