WATCH: HOW SHOULD YOU BALANCE YOUR LINEUP THIS WEEK
The Valero Texas Open tees off from TPC San Antonio Thursday morning, and even though the field thins out a lot faster than you’re used to over the last few weeks, there are still plenty of tough decisions to be made. Here are a few names to consider at every price level as you begin building your lineups. Good luck.
Charley Hoffman ($10,700) – There are solid reasons to like every one of the top six or so options on the board this week, but on what proves to be one of the harder courses on the PGA Tour every summer, past success here has to count for something. And Hoffman capped off a string of good performances here with a win last year, and despite coming off the MC last weekend, he’s still played well enough over the past few months (five top-25s since the beginning of March) to make him at least worthy of GPP consideration.
Jimmy Walker ($10,500) – Another former winner, Walker took the title in 2015, and he’s coming in playing well, with a T18 at Augusta. But that was actually not a fluke – it was his fourth top-25 finish since the beginning of February. It’s probably not going to last all season, so you might as well ride his hot streak now, on a course you already know he likes. If it pays off, you can probably safely ignore him for the rest of the year.
Brendan Steele ($9,900) – My favorite pick on the board, he is both fourth on tour in Bogey Avoidance and 12th in Par-5 Scoring, two metrics I am definitely going to be looking at as I build my lineups this weekend. That kind of convergence on a golfer who won here six years ago, has been consistently playing well here since and is currently riding a streak of made cuts stretching back well into 2016, makes for a solid selection.
Kevin Chappell ($9,400) – He has been inside the top-five here twice, with some other solid performances mixed in, and is coming in likely feeling pretty good on the heels of his T7 at The Masters. His strength lies off the tee, and he doesn’t merely have solid distance (although he does have that) – he really takes the tee shot as a chance to gain an advantage on the other players, putting himself in the best position to make a nice approach and get a chance to putt for birdie.
Luke Donald ($8,700) – He played here last year for the first time, and manned a place at or near the top of the leaderboard all weekend long, ultimately settling for T13 after a disappointing Sunday. He has just one top-10 on the year, but that performance – his best of the year – was a second place effort last weekend, where he holed 16 birdies and eagles against just five holes over par for the weekend. That kind of consistent play will keep him in contention against these fields all summer long.
Ollie Schniederjans ($8,200) – If nothing else, a name to keep an eye on this weekend, as the 23-year-old former No. 1 ranked amateur in the world posted his third top-10 of 2017 at the RBC Heritage. He shot four rounds in the 60s, making 18 birdies against just seven bogeys, and his 4.58 Par-5 scoring average has him sitting 30th on tour at this point in the season, and as I said before, that’s a skill that could certainly pay off this weekend.
Jhonattan Vegas ($8,100) – He missed the cut at the Masters, and he finished T38 at the WGC-Mexico Championship, but other than those two tournaments with brutally deep fields, Vegas has more than held his own this year. He is a fantastic cash game option this weekend, having still made every cut in 2017 other than the Masters, with six top-20 performances in his last 10. As long as his putter doesn’t fail him, his consistency approaching the green (30th in GIR %) should leave him in a position to consistently be climbing the leaderboard this weekend.
Luke List ($7,600) – Like Schniederjans, he is high on the par-5 scoring list (currently third), List is also sitting comfortably inside the top-20 in total Strokes Gained. He is still looking for his first win of the season, but he has been coming close, with a couple of top-five performances already. He finished T3 two weeks ago at the Houston Open, shooting four straight rounds under par, and showing enough fondness for the state of Texas to make me comfortable.
Danny Lee ($7,100) – He has five straight made cuts, including three finishes inside the top-25. He hasn’t really threatened in any of those tournaments, but he has been showing a lot of potential, getting the job done in different ways (13 birdies and four bogeys at the Puerto Rico Open vs. 21 and 12 at the Houston Open the following week). If he can bring it all together he could even compete, making him a more than reasonable GPP consideration.
Sam Saunders ($7,000) – He only has two rounds over par in his last 12, a run that has allowed him to rack up a three-tournament streak of top-20 finishes. He has seen his Strokes Gained: Putting rank grow over that span, and on a course where dropping it in the hole is tough even after you make the difficult trek to the green, he is hoping that trend continues.
Daniel Summerhays ($7,000) – You really just cannot ignore the facts about Summerhays here – he has made the cut five times in five tries here, and has finished inside the top-15 in each of the last four (including three top-10s and two top-fives).
Martin Flores ($6,200) – The argument here is that through 16 rounds of golf this season, he is currently 18th in Bogey Avoidance. As a cheap plug and play, you could do worse for your GPP lineups than a guy whose last two made cuts were a T10 in Puerto Rico and a T14 at Pebble Beach.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.