Valero Texas Open Recap
Corey Conners won the Valero Texas Open for his first PGA Tour win this past week. After taking a 4 shot lead on the front nine Sunday, Conners found himself tied for the lead early on in the back nine. However, 6 birdies over the final nine enabled him to win the tournament by 2 strokes over Charley Hoffman. Conners’ score of 20 under was the best final score ever recorded since the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010. He was also the first Monday qualifier to win a PGA tournament since 2010. Conners’ tee to green carried him to victory, as he finished 2nd in the field in SG: TEE TO GREEN for the week. Conners entered the tournament at odds of 150 to 1, or even higher in some places.
The first of the four majors takes place this week in Augusta, GA. The Masters is considered by many to be the best tournament of the year, and certainly generates the largest prize pools in the DFS world. The Masters Tournament will be played, as always, at the Augusta National Golf Club. There will be 87 players teeing it up, a much smaller field than in normal PGA events. The cut rule for the Masters is a little different than any other tournament. Any player in the top 50, including ties, will get to play the weekend, as well as any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead.
Patrick Reed is the defending champion. Reed took a 2 shot lead going into the weekend last year and was able to hold on for the victory, finishing at 15 under par. Rickie Fowler finished 2nd at 14 under par and Jordan Spieth finished 3rd at 13 under par. The winning score at the Masters has varied quite a bit over the past 12 years, ranging from 1 over par in 2007 to 18 under par in 2015. The other winners of the event over the past 5 years are Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, and Bubba Watson. Dating back to 1997, Tiger Woods has won the tournament 4 times. Phil Mickelson has taken home the green jacket 3 times.
Course and tournament details are shown below.
· Par 72
· 7,475 yards
· Bentgrass greens
· Average difficulty ranking 4th over past 3 years (out of 50/51)
· Winner prize money TBD ($1.98M in 2018)
Augusta National is long, and tends to play longer than the 7,475 yards on the scorecard due to the number of elevation changes throughout the course. However, the fairways are wider than normal and the rough is generally not too penal. The course is a traditional par 72 with four par 5s and four par 3s. There are 44 bunkers and 6 water hazards. The greens are bentgrass and the fairways are ryegrass. The greens will be some of the fastest the players see all year. The average green size is around 6,500 square feet, which is pretty standard for a PGA Tour event.
The early weather forecast calls for a fair amount of wind throughout the week. A couple days are indicating winds of around 15 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph. Temperatures are expected to reach the high 70s or low 80s each day. As always, keep an eye on the forecast leading up to lineup lock Thursday morning.
Given the nature of the course, bombers and off the tee specialists do have an advantage at Augusta National, even though it isn’t completely obvious when looking at the list of winners over the past few years. Bogey avoidance is always a strong consideration at majors since the course setup will be more difficult than most weeks. As the number of greens missed will be higher than most PGA events, around the green play should be weighted more than most weeks. It’s also worth noting that the players will be on bentgrass greens for the first time in a while, so make sure that is factored into your putting analysis.
Course Breakdown: Holes that will score the most points that should be focused on are:
Hole #8 Par: 5 570 Birdie Rate – 32.1%
Hole #2 Par: 5 575 Birdie Rate – 37.2%
Hole #15 Par: 5 530 Birdie Rate - 38%
Hole #13 Par: 5 510 Birdie Rate – 42.8%
** All other holes are 17.6% and UNDER. Massive Par 5 scoring advantage!
GOLFERS TO USE IN YOUR LINEUPS:
Rory M. ($11,600) – Top priced golfer and the most discussed so far this week so I’m not going to spend much time on him. His last 5 Masters finishes are incredible with a 5th in 2018, 7th in 2017, 10th in 2016, 4th in 2015 and another 8th in 2014. WOW! 5 top 10 finishes in last 5 years, you think he wants to win??? He is also coming off 1st, 6th and 2nd place finishes. No need to discuss him any further he is a solid play, very expensive and will be highly owned by the masses in GPPs.
Matt Kuchar ($7,900) – This will be the most popular and also high owned play this week. He is almost a lock for cash games but in GPPs I think his ownership will be high enough to pivot away. What can we say about Kuch… Last 5 years here he has finished 28th, 4th, 24th, 46th and 5th. Solid! And they priced him sub $8k? WTF! He also ranks 5th in our Custom Model which is heavily weighted on course history. He is also swinging the hot stick averaging 88.6 DK points this year and that is good for a whopping 11.2x his current salary! Cash game lock him in, GPP use with caution!
Jimmy Walker ($6,600) – Why not get down in the dirt for a cheap punt in case you want to fill your lineup with studs. Jimmy Walker is only sitting on an average of 7.7x value his current salary so far in 2019, his custom model rank blows at 66th and looking at our cheatsheet you would immediately cross him off your list. However, in the last 5 years here he has finished 20th, 18th, 29th, 38th and 8th. Some people just love certain courses and 5 straight cuts at $6.6k, why not.
Ian Poulter ($7,600) – He ranks 26th in our Custom Model. He is also averaging 82.6 DK points per contest which is good for 10.9x his current salary and he has 4 cuts here in the last 4 years he played. He finished 44th in 2018, did not play in 2017, 49th in 2016, 6th in 2015 and 20th in 2014. Experience is the key to his course. New comers WILL NOT WIN here!
CUSTOM MODEL RANKINGS:
1. Rory M. – Shocker! He is smashing this course!
2. Jon Rahm – No surprise, priced at $10k on DK with 93.5 DK ppg average.
3. Justin Rose – Priced at $10,800 and 5 years here with 5 top 15s.
4. Paul Casey – 4 top 15s in 4 years and ranks 3rd and 5th in the high scoring Par 5s.
5. Matt Kuchar – Only guy in the top 10 with a double digit x value at 11.2x his salary.
6. Bubba Watson – In the mix.
7. Hideki Matsuyama – Love his price tag at $8.7k, 4 top 20’s in last 4 years!
HOTTEST GOLFERS SINCE JAN 1, 2019:
Charles Howell – 86.3 DK points per game for 12.3x value his salary!
Kevin Kisner – 77.8 DK ppg for 11.6x value his salary!
Matt Kuchar – 88.6 DK ppg for 11.2x value his salary!
Ian Poulter – 82.6 DK ppg for 10.9x value his salary!
Keith Mitchell – 69.8 DK ppg for 10.3 value his salary!
Thank you for reading and good luck!
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