If you love birdies, eagles, and high-scoring shootouts then the Valero Texas Open is not for you.
TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks Course has hosted this since 2010 and the median winning score has been just 12-under 276.
Texas comfort has been huge here over the last few years. Looking at the winners and runner-up finishers here since 2014, 6-of-12 of them have been Texas natives or residents.
Sticking to the Texas theme, weather has been known to play a huge part in this event so let's look at the weather again before we see who likes tough courses and then end up with a value spotlight.
Thursday (R1): Mostly cloudy with a high near 86 degrees. Winds SSW at 10-to-15 MPH.
Friday (R2): Mostly sunny in the morning; Cloudy in the PM. High of 83 degrees with ESE wind at 10-to-15 MPH.
This event is known for heavy winds. We've seen some major tee-time draws here in the past. Right now it looks like steady winds throughout it's possible that some gusts pop up to ruin or alter one of the waves. If you are doing mass multi-entry this week then give a look at some tee-time stacks.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Beau Hossler (62.5 Projected Pts): It's tempting to play the Texas resident narrative and fire at an out-of-form Hossler. However, the safer play is to let someone else take that risk. The Longhorn has finished outside the top 30 in 8 of his last 9 starts, missing the cut in five of those. He missed the cut in his 2017 Valero debut. He improved last year to put himself at T11 thru 54 holes but stumbled to a T51 finish.
Joaquin Niemann (63.28 Projected Pts): The young Chilean made the game look easy last year when he posted three top 10s in his first five starts as a pro. More recently, he's finished outside the top 30 in 15 of his last 16 starts. The ball-striking is generally still there so I don't think this is a long-term issue but there is also no compelling reason for drafting him at 7th this week which is where he sits on the pre-draft board.
Sungjae Im (39.62 Projected Pts): This one sticks out like a sore thumb. The 21-year-old stumbled home over the weekend at Corales but still managed a top-10 finish. He now has top 10s in three of his last four starts. He's gained strokes tee-to-green in all but one start of his PGA TOUR so keep riding him until the ball-striking wheels fall off. Which may never happen.
Wyndham Clark (34.98 Projected Pts): The Oregon Duck product is finally getting comfortable on the big stage. It took him a year or two to get acclimated. Now he's been inside the top 50 after 20 of his last 24 rounds played. That includes five rounds where he's been T5 or better. Clark has carded more birdies than the field in 22 of his last 16 rounds played. That will provide lots of fantasy scoring.
The AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is one of the toughest venues on TOUR. The field has averaged 73.11 here since the inaugural 2010 edition. Some golfers love the tough test while others prefer a shootout. Let's look for the former.
Looking at sample-adjusted performance on hard courses since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Hard Courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Spieth is way out of form but a tough test might bring out the best in him. Hoffman has been a horse at TPC San Antonio (and in the city in general) since he started playing the Valero. He has 10 top 15s in 13 tries at the Valero, with seven of those coming at TPC San Antonio.
Trey Mullinax: The Alabama product set the course record here last year in round three (10-under 62). He gained 8.9 strokes over the field that day. He gained 3+ strokes over the field in rounds 2 and 4, though, as well. Last year wasn't a one-round wonder, but he is actually fond of the course. When asked about his dominance on the greens last year he responded, "They just kind of remind me of greens from home." There might be something to that because if we look at his six career top-15 finishes, three of them have come on overseeded bermuda greens. More recently, Mullinax has made the cut in 9 of his last 10 starts. Combine his simmering form with course confidence, and Mullinax becomes a great DFS target this week.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!