The Valero Texas Open is next to last chance to qualify for a trip to Augusta National and the Masters. In the past we have seen some fireworks as players have to win to get in to the Masters. That makes for an exciting week.
Steven Bowditch came out of nowhere really to get his first PGA Tour win and first chance to compete for a Green Jacket. The Aussie conquered one of the toughest tests of golf on tour. The TPC San Antonio ranked 4th highest in average strokes-per-round (par 72) at 73.2. Very impressive given the circumstances and what is one the line. To show how tough it was…he closed with a final round 76 and still won by one stroke. This is a tough track!
With two weeks to Augusta, there are a lot of big name players in the field this week. It shows the quality of the course and the understanding of the players that they need a tough test like TPC San Antonio as one last tune up for the year’s first major. That being said recent history shows that we should expect a surprise winner this week.
1. Jordan Spieth – The way he has been playing so far in 2015, if he is in the field we almost have to take him. It is hard to follow a win with another good performance but Jordan took last week off so he should be rested and ready to go. We will see him on the front page Sunday for sure.
2. Martin Laird – He’s playing some pretty good golf so far in 2015 with three Top 15s to start the year. He currently is NOT in the field at the Masters so a win will be huge for him. He won the Valero in 2013 and has the course record (63) so he is definitely capable.
3. Ryan Palmer – This is a total hunch here. Palmer seems to show up on tough courses. He certainly will be well served by his play off the tee. He is 7th in driving distance, 9th in strokes gained (tee-to-green) and 4th in scoring average. Plus he is a Texan. Like we said. Gut feeling here.
Wild Card Pick: We have to go with someone trying to win their way into the Masters here. Also we like the hot hand this week. Matt Jones has been on a roll. He followed up his strong play on the west coast with strong finish last week at Bay Hill. Jones had a chance to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational coming down the stretch on his way to a solo 3rd place finish. It could very well be back-to-back Australian winner at TPC San Antonio.
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