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Pick Details

Valero Texas Open
at
TPC San Antonio
Valero Texas Open 3:00 AM | Sun, Apr 04 2021
Sport: PGA | Star Rating: 5.0 Evaluation: Loss (-225)
Pick
100 (True) - Valero Texas Futures @ Multiple Sportsbook

This week we have the last regular tournament action before the golfing world makes a quick return to Augusta.

Having staged the 2020 US Masters just four months ago, the players will head back to Georgia next week for the year's first Major (more about this before the weekend).

Before then we have the VALERO TEXAS OPEN. A final chance for some players to find their form, others to maintain it...

Here's a preview of the action in the "Lone Star state"...

The Tournament - One of the older events on the schedule, the Texas Open has been played for the best part of a century, dating back to 1922. It has moved a bit on the rota, but now finds itself staged around April/May each year. However falling around the time of the US Masters means that it tends to struggle to attract the really big names, who are either preparing for Augusta, or putting their feet-up after it (this year it's the former).

The Course - Since 2010 the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio has been the host venue. The layout is a Greg Norman design stretching 7,433 yards, played as a par 72. The set-up is tough, but not too tough, with local windy conditions being one of the course's main defences... and as recent scoring would suggest, this won't be a breeze for the pros with several winning scores in recent years have been just 8 or 9-under-par.

72-Hole Record - 254, Tommy Armour (2003)

18-Hole Record - 63, Matt Every (2010)

Past Winners - Cancelled (2020), Corey Conners (2019), Andrew Landry (2018), Kevin Chappell (2017), Charley Hoffman (2016).

The Field - A full field for this PGA Tour event with 150+ starters. Jordan Spieth is the +1200 market leader.

The Weather - Temperatures will stall around the low 70s this week, but looking at the forecast the chance of rain on any of the four days is minimal. Wind speeds though will be light, barely registering over 10mph. So good playing conditions, by and large.

The Bets - There are five bets ranging from +2200 to +10200.

Here are the details...

VALERO TEXAS OPEN - TOURNAMENT WINNER

(starts Thursday)

COREY CONNERS
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +2200 Bet365, William Hill, Betvictor
Top 10 Odds: +230 FanDuel

"The Canadian ranks highly on my ratings sheet this week, and everything suggests he should be at the business-end come Sunday evening. Conners has been in sublime form recently, finishing 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and then 7th at the Players Championship. We all know that Conners is a tee-to-green machine, and very rarely has a poor week off the tee, or with his approaches, and this has been highlighted in his last two strokeplay events where he ranked 6th and 14th from tee-to-green and 1st and 8th in approach play. The most encouraging difference in recent weeks is the upturn in his putting, which has seen him rank 13th and 18th respectively for Strokes Gained: Putting, which for a man who usually losses strokes to the field is a massive positive. Anytime Conners gains strokes putting, and around the greens, he tends to be a big factor and this was certainly true for his last two starts. This week he returns to the venue of his first, and only, tour victory with the course setting up perfectly for his accurate approach game. The greens here are small and you have to be pinpoint with your irons, as short-siding yourself around here is bad news. Therefore great approach play is key and it will be a huge help if he continues to putt well to get him out of trouble when he does miss the odd green. If Conners brings his current level of golf to Texas this week, there's every chance he wins here again. He looks the pick at the front-end of the market."

RYAN PALMER
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +2800 Bet365, William Hill, Betvictor, Sportsinteraction, Fanduel
Top 10 Odds: +320 FanDuel 

"Palmer also ranks very well on my sheet this week. He's had a very good season, with the highlights being a 4th place finish at the season opener Tournament of Champions, and 2nd place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Last time out Palmer finished 17th at the Players Championship, and gained strokes off the tee, on approach, and on the greens - which bodes well for this week. Palmer is a Texas man who has gone close here on a couple of occasions in the past. From 2015 to 2017 he finished no worse than 6th, which underlines his liking for this venue. He's a player in a similar mould to Conners, in that he's great from tee-to-green, and the weeks his short game co-operates, he tends to challenge. Last time out at TPC Sawgrass he ranked 15th in Strokes Gained: Putting so, just like Conners, if he maintains these standards on the greens there's every chance Palmer could be victorious in his home state. At around +2500 (after Dustin Johnson's withdrawal) he looks like an auto-play given his liking for the course and state of his game this season."

CHRIS KIRK
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +4100 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +450 Fanduel 

"We've looked at Kirk a couple of times recently, and I have no doubts that the man from Atlanta will be looking for a big week ahead of next week's Major in his home state. For sure, Kirk has had his issues off the course, but the player who has four PGA Tour titles to his name, is very much on the comeback trail. He's started 2021 with a 2nd place at the Sony Open, and missed just one cut in registering a run of 16-MC-16-8-48-25. That lowest finish came in the Players Championship, and the calibre of opposition this week is no match for Sawgrass. Kirk is driving the ball well, crucial here in San Antonio, and his putting has been solid, if unspectacular. Previous visits to this tournament have seen him post three Top 20 finishes in six starts - two of those inside the Top 10. Sitting out last week might well be a blessing in disguise, and his previous start at the Honda, where he finished 25th, was marred by a late falter, when another Top 10 was in his sights. Playing well, with course form to his name, and a definite winning mentality, make Kirk a bet well worth having this week. A solid play IMO."

HAROLD VARNER
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +6200 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +550 Bet365, Betvictor, Fanduel

"Varner has been very hit or miss this season, but the recent signs are that his game is on the up again and this week could represent another great opportunity for him to claim his maiden title. He finished 13th in Phoenix, 21st at the Arnold Palmer, and 19th last time out at the Honda Classic, these are his best results from his last six starts. At the Honda Classic he ranked 5th in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, and 12th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, which are his best numbers since Phoenix. His last trip to Texas saw him finish 15th at the Houston Open, which shows a definite liking for conditions in the state. This train of thought is backed up by his last three results in the state which are 23/19/15. Varner finished 19th at this event when it was last played in 2019, and finished 9th here on debut in 2016. His game lends itself to this venue as he, like the players above, relies on his ball-striking to contend each week. Varner has the added incentive this week of knowing that a win here will see them qualify for the Masters as this is the last chance to get in. Varner's game is in a good place right now and he just needs that upturn on the greens to have a realistic chance of contending for the title. There's enough juice in his price for me to add him to the staking plan and hopefully he can continue his fine run in Texas."

SEPP STRAKA
Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +10200 Sportsinteraction
Top 10 Odds: +650 William Hill

"Straka finished 9th last week at the Corales Puntacana to end an 11 week stretch without a Top 10, and there's every chance the big Austrian can carry on where he left off last week. The week before Straka finished 33rd at the Honda Classic, ranking 15th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, which shows me that his game is trending nicely in the right direction again after a lean start to the 2020/21 season. Prior to last week, Straka's best result in the last 12 months was a 5th placed finish at the Houston Open, and he also finished 4th at the same event the year before, indicating a strong liking for Texas conditions. Straka's best results in 2020 and 2021 have both been in Texas, and although they weren't at this week's venue, he's shown a clear liking for playing in the state. His form is trending nicely and, like Varner, will see this as a great opportunity to play well and get an invite into the Masters next week. At the price he looks a backable play."

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