How often have you heard “One more week until The Masters” this week? This is the third time I’m saying it, and it’s true. Most fans (and players) will be focused on the drive down Magnolia Lane for The 2022 Masters Tournament next week, the first major of the season. Reports from Augusta National have spotted Tiger Woods walking 18 holes to see if his leg can hold up in competition. The first major of the season needs no help in drumming up excitement, but everyone’s emotions are at a fever pitch with the Tiger news. Now that I’ve spent an entire introduction talking about another tournament, let’s talk the Valero Texas Open and rank our top 25 this week.
Without a doubt, Rory McIlroy is number one on the betting board and in the rankings. The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio could not fit Rory’s game better unless it were an untorn Nike Shirt glued to his body. With two par 5s over 600 yards and a handful of lengthy par 4s, McIlroy should feel comfortable, confident and rested, especially after taking off the Match Play last week. Sure, he was spotted at Augusta earlier in the week, but I’m not worried about Rory focused on both The Masters and Valero; he doesn’t strike me as a golfer who does anything unintentionally, especially before a major. If we just go back to May last year, Rory won Wells Fargo the week before the PGA Championship. He’s first in par 5 scoring and first in SG: Total over the previous 24 rounds.
Defending Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama is returning from an injury that’s kept him out since THE PLAYERS Championship. He’s the second-shortest in odds, but we should be bearish on Matsuyama with no indication of how his injury will hold up. He should be okay, but he’s getting ready to defend his Masters title next week and probably using Valero to dust the rust off, similar to what the next golfer did last week.
We can spend an entire article on Bryson DeChambeau, but his odds don’t reflect his upside this week. He didn’t win a match last week, but his upside is too good to pass up, especially in this field. He’s currently longer in odds here than he is at The Masters, and The Oaks course sets up well for Bryson’s MO, which is to get it as close as possible to the green with the driver.
Beau Hossler and Doug Ghim make it inside the top-25, and if you want to know why go check them out in the Best Bets article, but the golfer who’s also receiving a significant bump in the power rankings compared to his odds is Austin Smotherman. He’s been a positive ball-striker in his last four measured tournaments and has finishes of 11th at The Farmers, 33rd at Pebble Beach and 25th at Valspar. He also finished inside the top-5 here at the 2020 TPC San Antonio Championship when he was on the Korn Ferry Tour.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Abraham Ancer has withdrawn from the Valero Texas Open.
PGA Power Rankings
|11||Si Woo Kim||+2800|
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