Fantasy Insider: Valero Texas Open
This is the second of a 10-year agreement for the Valero Texas Open to be slotted in the week immediately preceding the Masters. Of the 144 in the field at TPC San Antonio and as of Tuesday afternoon, 23 are exempt into next week’s major.
The qualifiers include Phil Mickelson, famous in part for his annual pilgrimage to Texas when the Vivint Houston Open used to stride to the plate as the Masters assumed its position on deck. The World Golf Hall of Famer didn’t appear in San Antonio in 2019, so time will tell if this, too, will rekindle a familiar fortnight for the three-time Masters champion.
For all kind of reasons, TPC San Antonio cannot be set up in a similar fashion to how the Golf Club of Houston used to mimic specific aspects of Augusta National to attract Masters’ qualifiers to check in for a tune-up. So, while staying sharp is the primary objective, gamers will require a larger sample size to determine how this week’s performance correlates to next week’s. More on this then.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) … When we default to his class as permanent, it’s probably a backhanded compliment in the short-term. Indeed, there’s been a slow leak of his form and it’s primarily due to his putting, but he still can be relied upon to pop for a top 20 at least once a month if not more often. It’s an OK place to be for his full-season investors, but it introduces too much doubt for weekly gamers and especially in his tournament debut.
Andrew Putnam (+6600) … Because he had recorded consecutive top fives to punctuate a strong start to 2021, he looked good enough to populate my Power Rankings for THE PLAYERS Championship, but he missed the cut. So it goes in that tournament. He’s 3-for-3 at TPC San Antonio with a T8 in 2018 and his short game continues to dazzle.
Danny Willett (+6600) … Recovered from COVID-19 for a solo eighth at Corales. While he’s not on the most impressive of runs, he’s still connected seven paydays dating back to December. There are worse analytics than that to target in DFS and PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf.
Andrew Landry (+20000) … The 2018 champ is a flier because it’s essentially a home game. He’s more than comfortable when sniffing the top of the leaderboard but finding it continues to be the problem. Still, this is a comfort zone and he’s still one of the most accurate off the tee.
Brice Garnett (+12500) … If you covered his name and flashed his stats at someone who plays close attention to the sport, it’s unlikely that even his full-season owners are aware that he’s sixth on TOUR in fairways hit, 56th in greens in regulation, 16th in Strokes Gained: Putting and No. 1 in conversion percentage inside 10 feet. That’s getting it done. He’s also 4-for-4 at TPC San Antonio and has two top 10s and a T25 in his last four starts upon arrival.
Adam Hadwin (+8000) … Quietly generating a valuable 2021, most recently with a T8 at PGA National among six paydays. We’d like to see his irons return to a more familiar level of precision, but believe in this upswing, pardon the pun.