As players and fans gear up for The Masters, the TOUR stays in Texas following the Dell Technologies Match Play for the Valero Texas Open.
TPC San Antonio is a 7,494 yards par 72 and features Bermudagrass greens. The main defense of the course is weather. If the wind picks up, it can play pretty tough; otherwise, expect the winner to be in the -20 range.
There are 140 golfers in the field this week. The field is what you would expect this week, with many golfers sitting out prior to The Masters. A few stars have made the trip to make sure their game is in tip-top shape, including Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, and Bryson DeChambeau.
For GPP contests on DraftKings, I will be breaking down the key stats (past 24 rounds) and selecting golfers from different price tiers to provide flexibility for a DFS lineup.
Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
This analysis may reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Approach is the best measure of current form. With plenty on the line this week, golfers will be looking to either punch a ticket to Augusta or round into great form heading into The Masters, so this metric should tell us a pretty good story about where a player is heading to San Antonio.
Jordan Spieth gained 7.4 strokes on approach last year, which propelled him to victory.
- High-end target: Hideki Matsuyama — $10,800 (2nd SG: Approach)
- Mid-range target: Patton Kizzire— $8,000 (5th SG: Approach)
- Value target: Adam Svensson— $6,800 (15th SG: Approach)
Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
Off-the-Tee is statistically more important at TPC San Antonio than TOUR average. Prior to Jordan Spieth’s victory last year, the previous four winners of the Valero Texas Open have ranked eighth, fourth, ninth and fourth in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee for the week. Hitting the ball long and straight will be a major factor this week.
- High-end target: Rory McIlroy — $11,200 (3rd SG: Off the Tee)
- Mid-range target: Brendan Steele— $7,600 (2nd SG: Off the Tee
- Value target: Hayden Buckley — $6,700 (8th SG: Off the Tee)
Scores at TPC San Antonio can get pretty low depending on the wind. If conditions are calm, it may turn into a bit of a birdie-fest, and golfers who give themselves the most chances at making birdies will be in the driver’s seat.
- High-end target: Rory McIlroy— $11,200 (2nd Opportunities Gained)
- Mid-range target: Patton Kizzire— $8,000 (13th Opportunities Gained)
- Value target: Austin Smotherman — $6,800 (7th Opportunities Gained)
Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking
Ball-striking combines off-the-tee and approach. Golfers coming into the week striking it well from tee-to-green will be in a great spot to compete this week.
The rough can be penal at times around TPC San Antonio, so driving accuracy is important. At over 7,400 yards, the course isn’t short, so the driving distance aspect of this stat will be a factor as well.
- High-end target: Corey Conners— $9,800 (3rd Strokes Gained: Ball Striking)
- Mid-range target: Brendan Steele— $7,600 (7th Strokes Gained: Ball Striking)
- Value target: J.J Spaun— $6,700 (16th Strokes Gained: Ball Striking)
Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass)
While a hot putter is always tough to predict, it is still important to factor Bermudagrass putting into the stat model this week. The three most recent winners (Landry, Conners, and Spieth) both prefer to putt on Bermuda statistically.
A combination of iron play and putting were the recipe for these golfers en route to their respective victories.
- High-end target: Bryson DeChambeau — $10,200 (9th Strokes Gained: Putting Bermudagrass)
- Mid-range target: Adam Hadwin— $8,900 (3rd Strokes Gained: Putting Bermudagrass)
- Value target: Robert Streb — $6,400 (7th Strokes Gained: Putting Bermudagrass)