Well, I took a couple of weeks off form the golf but with the news that Tiger Woods has been seen in Augusta and may even play in the Master next week, even I have got a little bit excited. Our last few tournaments have been plagued with horrendous weather, I am hoping that will not be the case in Texas this weekend as we move on to the Valero Texas Open, played from Thursday to Sunday at the TPC San Antonio, on the AT&T Oaks Course. A standard par-72 measuring in at 7,435 yards, it was designed by the now unpopular Greg Norman, and isn’t that tough – as long as you can keep to the fairways. Stray, and the rough is as punishing as you will find anywhere, but I suspect the winner will post something along the lines of 20 under par – so we are looking for someone with a red-hot putter to try to keep up with that sort of scoring – no use getting on the green and then three putting (like I do on a regular basis).
Here we go…..
Selections with reasoning:
***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around for best odds and best place terms and any special offers with the bookmakers to steal the most value, and DO check the exchanges for bigger prices – I can’t put them on here accurately as they differ by the minute. Betfair prices quoted are as indicators only and were correct at the time of writing.
1pt each way Chris Kirk 33/1 top 8 places William Hill (36.0) Betfair)
An interesting first option in my eyes with solid course form to his name and some decent if not winning, recent efforts to his name. Four times a winner on the tour we know he has the bottle to hold on to a lead if he gets one, and let’s face it, this isn’t the strongest field ever assembled. The classier players on show may well be using this as a warm-up for next week, with some coming back from injury – will they be putting it all on the line here I wonder, or will their eyes be on a bigger prize? Chris doesn’t fit in to that grouping and will give his best here, and I am hoping that may yet be good enough. He has had three top-eight finishes here in recent years (2016, 2018, and 2020 so I am hopng that is a pattern), making the cut at the very least in all his other visits. A recent seventh at the Honda and a fifth in the Arnold Palmer is just additional good news to me and with eight places available, you can see why I want to be on board.
1pt each way Charley Hoffman 50/1 top 8 places SkyBet and William Hill (85.0 Betfair)
I haven’t seen anyone else going for Charley which surprises me when you look at his record in this event. He hasn’t missed this competition since 2006, with a full set of form figures of 8,11,70,9, 13,2,13,3, 11,11,1,40, 64,2, and 2. So we would have been paid out on five occasions, and been in the vanguard on the last day in seven others – those are outstanding statistics, and although he is no good thing, he should not be a 50/1 chance in my book when you crunch those numbers and I simply cannot resist.
1pt each way Abraham Ancer 22/1 top 8 places William Hill (25.0 Betfair)
A change of clubs this season has taken longer to get used to than he would have liked, but there were some very positive signs last weekend as he took out Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, and draw with Brian Harman in the Matchplay before beating Collin Morokawa 7&6 which takes some doing. He did lose on the final hole to Corey Conners to end his weekend but there were far more positives than negatives from that performance. The crowd will be on his side this weekend as a Texan boy, he lives locally and will be going home to his own bed each night (which is a mental bonus), and with the greens in his favour and some good performances on similar courses (such as El Camaleon in Mexico and the PGA West in La Quinta, California), the hotter the weather and firmer the greens the better he seems likely to play.