Paulie's Picks: 2017 Valero Texas Open

Wow, that was an amazing week! I hope you enjoyed some success using last week’s picks. I heard from many of you who had some big paydays whether on DraftKings or via Wesley Bryan’s victory at around 60-1 odds. The top three players on the leaderboard were featured in last week’s article and made for an outstanding start to a DK lineup (Bryan 1st, Donald 2nd, Cantlay T-3rd).

This week the PGA Tour heads to the Valero Texas Open. This week will be similar to last week in the fact that we expect a winner around -10 and those who have good course history tend to perform exceptionally well year after year (just like Donald last week). Since the course is fairly long and requires many shots into greens with middle to long irons, we may favor some of the longer hitters. Surprisingly, hitting fairways is not as important this week as one would think, as the last three winners finished outside the top 30 that week in driving accuracy (but all three in the top 11 in distance). With all that being said, here are this week’s picks:

DraftKings:

Charley Hoffman $10,700

Charley Hoffman to the Valero Texas Open is like Luke Donald to the RBC Heritage. Hoffman has been incredibly consistent since the event moved to this course in 2010 (13th, 2nd, 13th, 3rd, 11th, 11th, Win). Hoffman has shown some flashes of brilliance this year as shown by his hot start at Augusta. He did miss the cut last week at the RBC Heritage, but I can forgive that as he was probably burned out from the weekend at Augusta. I think the few extra days rest will pay dividends for him this week. Hoffman has admitted that this course fits his eye like no other on Tour. I look for him to be on the front page of the leaderboard come Sunday with a chance to defend his title.

Daniel Summerhays $7,000

Summerhays is a near must play this week at $7,000 (words I thought I would never say). His last four starts at this event have been 7th, 2nd, 4th, and 13th. Some of these finishes were even after not playing great in the months prior to this event. Summerhays was headed for a top 20 finish at the Heritage until he was derailed by a Sunday 75. At $7,000, there are no other options with this much consistent upside.

Luke List $7,600

List has been playing well all year but did miss the cut last week at the Heritage which burned a lot of people. That MC won’t bother me though. His previous 12 rounds on Tour were all 72 or below which is the consistency that will be needed to contend this week. List is one of the longest hitters on Tour (3rd in distance and 182nd in accuracy) and 3rd in Par 5 scoring. With most of the par 5’s being extremely long (~600 yards), List is one of the few players who can get home in two which will be an advantage. He also is near the top in regards to bogey avoidance which will also be key this week. To help our DK score, he also is 11th in birdie percentage which will boost your team up the leaderboard.

One-and-Done:

This is another week in which there is no clear favorite according to the Vegas Odds. The best odds are 18-1 for Matt Kuchar with another 20 players between 18-1 and 50-1. This event is wide open so your choices are abundant.

Charley Hoffman

This is the obvious choice this week as discussed above in the DK section.

Brendan Steele

Steele has had pretty good success at this track as shown by his four top 13 finishes in the past six years highlighted by his win in 2011. Steele’s length and overall consistency are key to his success here. If you don’t go Hoffman, Steele is a very viable option.

Kevin Chappell

If you are looking to avoid rostering the popular Hoffman, you might want to consider Chappell. Chappell has recently seemed to find his game as shown by his top 10 at the Masters. He has a 2nd and a 4th in his six appearances at this event.

Longshot

There are not many viable options this week to be classified as a longshot. Since many of the top players have skipped the event, we are seeing the players usually priced in the 75-1 range move all the way up to 50-1.

This week’s pick: Ryan Brehm 350-1 to win (20-1 for top 10 finish)

Brehm is comparable to Luke List. He is 9th on Tour in driving distance yet 197th in driving accuracy. This course is a bit different than most PGA Tour courses in that it requires more mid to long irons and less wedges. That will help Brehm in comparison to the field as his average rank from 150-200 yards is 50th, meanwhile his average rank from 50-150 yards is 156th. If Brehm can catch a hot putter, he might surprise some and contend for a top 10 finish since he can reach all the par 5s and will not have to rely on as many wedges as he does in other events.

 

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