At the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this past weekend, we saw Scottie Scheffler impressively pick up his third win of the season at Austin CC. The 25-year-old is now the No. 1 ranked player in the world, dethroning Jon Rahm, who held the top spot for over eight months. This week, the PGA TOUR will remain in Lone Star state for the Valero Texas Open, before we head to Augusta National next week for the Masters. The Valero Texas Open will take place at TPC San Antonio (par 72, 7,494 yards, Bermuda greens overseeded with Poa Trivialis), which has been the only home of this event since 2010, excluding 2020, when this tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. At last year’s edition of the Texas Open, Jordan Spieth snapped nearly a four-year drought without a victory, winning this event at -18.
One of the Texas native’s key ingredients to his victory at TPC San Antonio was outstanding iron play, which is always essential at this par 71, given how difficult the greens are to stick consistently. Spieth finished fourth in SG APP last year, making him the fourth Texas Open champion in a row to rank inside the top-five in the stat. By PGA TOUR standards, the rough is very short at TPC San Antonio and missing the fairways isn’t problematic. This gives a slight edge to bombers this week, but we have seen both long and short hitters succeed at this venue, so don’t hesitate to target short players if they are standing out to you. As usual with a par 72, the par fives at TPC San Antonio are without a doubt the most critical holes. Including Spieth last season, six of the 11 players to win the Texas Open at TPC San Antonio have led their fields in SG on the par fives.
As expected with this being the final event before a major, the Texas Open presents an underwhelming field, with only four of the top-20 ranked players in the world competing. Still, this is a huge week for any golfer who has yet to qualify for the Masters, as a win would book them a ticket to Augusta. Following the untraditional format at the WGC-Dell Match Play, we get back to a full field of 144 players in San Antonio, with a standard top-65s and ties cut occurring after the first 36 holes.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite sub $7.5K targets to attack on DraftKings for the Valero Texas Open.
Troy Merritt, $7,300
Merritt is in the midst of a strong 2022 campaign, making 9/12 cuts with six top-30 finishes, including a T27 at the Valspar in his most recent start. That week, the 36-year-old amassed 5.2 strokes from T2G and ranked second in the field with 20 birdies. Merritt has shot under par in six of his past eight rounds and has only missed one cut in six appearances at TPC San Antonio.
Merritt is simply underpriced for his upside and particularly stands out when we compare DFS pricing to betting odds. On DraftKings Sportsbook, Merritt carries +5500 odds to win the Valero this weekend, which are better odds than Kevin Streelman, who is notably more expensive for DFS at $8,700.
Nick Taylor, $7,300
In five tries at TPC San Antonio, Taylor has made four cuts, two of which were top-25 finishes. As for his current form, the Canadian has been very reliable as of late, proceeding to the weekend at nine of his past 10 events. During this run, Taylor has recorded seven finishes of T33 or better and has generated positive strokes with his irons at six tournaments.
Taylor brings top-25 upside this week and needs to be on your radar at this low of a cost.
Matthew NeSmith, $7,100
NeSmith heads to San Antonio on the heels of a T3 at the Valspar. During this finish, which is his seventh made cut in his past 10 starts, NeSmith had a stellar week striking the ball, gaining 9.3 strokes from T2G and a tournament-high 7.9 strokes on APP. Both of these numbers set new career-highs for NeSmith and the 28-year-old has now produced at least five strokes from T2G and on APP in two of his past three starts.
NeSmith carded a solid T34 in his debut at TPC San Antonio last season, and if he can find a little luck with his putter to combine with his outstanding form as a ball-striker, the South Carolina product could contend in this weak field.
Pat Perez, $7,100
Looking for a cheap, safe bet to make the cut this week? Then look no further than Perez. Including a pair of top-10s, the veteran has advanced through the cut in six of his past seven starts. Plus, Perez has been terrific as a par five-player, ranking fifth in SG on par fives over his last 24 rounds, setting him up perfectly for his return to TPC San Antonio. At this Texas venue, the 46-year-old has been very successful, making five of six cuts, with four of these finishes coming inside the top-25.
Perez is far too cheap for his chances of getting us four rounds of golf and is never a popular name. In his past 10 starts, only once has Perez cracked double-digit ownership in DraftKings’ main GPP of the week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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