Paulie's Picks: 2018 Valero Texas Open

This week, the Tour heads to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. The course is long and tends to be pretty difficult. The par 5s are only reachable by the longest players in the field. As such, there is a massive advantage for those players who can bomb the ball off the tee. One other item to note is that you can expect the wind to pick up most afternoons. Before making your final lineups, it is prudent to check the forecast to make sure there isn’t a large advantage based on tee time wave. Here are some players to consider for this week:

DraftKings:

Sergio Garcia $12,000

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Sergio hasn’t played here since 2010 but was a consultant in the design of the course.
With such a weak field, he is clearly the best player this week. However, most people will shy away from him due to the high price tag and his bad play at the Masters. Prior to Augusta, Sergio was playing really solid. I will be playing him heavily in tournament lineups this week.

Xander Schauffele $8,800

Xander is one of the best drivers of the golf ball on Tour and plays very well in the wind. He has gained strokes off the tee in each of his last 20 events. In a weak field, I want guys that have a lot of upside to win the event.

Julian Suri $7,600

Suri is still an unknown among the average golf fan in the US. He plays primarily over in Europe but has had some success in the state of Texas in the past month. Suri, the 67th-ranked golfer in the world, played well at the Dell Match Play. He followed that up with an 8th place finish at the Houston Open after advancing out of the Monday qualifier. Suri is a long driver of the ball whose game should suit this course well.

One-and-Done:

Luke List

List keeps knocking on the door as he was almost a part of the playoff last week. I’m convinced he will win this year. This week may be his time. We have a weaker field with a course that suits players who hit the ball long off the tee.

Charley Hoffman

Hoffman has the deadly combination of course history and current form. He has finished in the top 13 in seven of his eight appearances, including a victory in 2016. He has finished in the top 25 in four of his last five stroke play events. He will be one of the more popular choices this week.

Brendan Steele

Steele feels very comfortable at this event, even mentioning how this course suits his game. In his seven appearances, he has four top-13 finishes, including a victory in 2011. He has been playing better than his record entails over the last few months.

Longshots:

Trey Mullinax (90-1 to win, 8-1 top 10)

Mullinax is the longest hitter currently on the PGA Tour averaging 318 yards. He has finished 22nd and 8th in his last two starts this year.

Chris Paisley (100-1 to win, 10-1 top 10)

Paisley is not known to many American golf fans. He is the 78th ranked player in the world and has finished in the top 5 in three of his last five events. He is very familiar with golf in the US, playing collegiately at the University of Tennessee.

Cameron Champ (200-1 to win, 20-1 top 10)

Champ finished 11th in his last start (Web.com Tour) and murders the ball off the tee (317 yard average). He is familiar with Texas golf having played collegiately at Texas A&M. His elite length will provide him plenty of opportunities to succeed on Tour.