Just one week stands between us and The Masters. A final opportunity to qualify spurred many mid-tier PGA TOUR players on to the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio for the 2023 Valero Texas Open. This year’s event does not pack exactly the same star power we saw in 2022, as the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth opted to skip straight from Austin to Augusta for an extra week of Masters prep. In any case, we have a fairly deep and motivated field on tap in San Antonio this week. Below, I break down 2023 Texas Valero Open odds.
In short, TPC San Antonio has served as a second-shot course for those who are not completely erratic off the tee. It rewards top-tier iron players in trending tee-to-green form. Here’s a full look at everything to expect from the 2023 Valero Texas Open.
2023 OPENING VALERO TEXAS OPEN ODDS: THE FAVORITES
Scroll to the bottom of this article to compare complete Valero Texas Open outright odds across legal U.S. sportsbooks. Find the favorites below with odds 20-1 or shorter.
THE FIELD AT A GLANCE
It’s always been a difficult schedule draw for the Valero Texas Open. Its position in between WGC Dell Match Play and The Masters creates a natural bye week for those already qualified to travel to Augusta. Currently, just 10 players in this field of 144 are also qualified to play at The Masters. In 2021, Jordan Spieth dispelled the myth that this is a tune-up appearance for Masters invitees, but still, we can expect those on the outside looking in to carry a little extra motivation this week.
Tyrrell Hatton, No. 16 in the OWGR, headlines the field and is expected to open alongside Hideki Matsuyama as the two leading favorites. Rickie Fowler, Corey Conners, Si Woo Kim, Taylor Montgomery, and Chris Kirk join them to represent the next tier of betting favorites. The winner of this event (if not already qualified) earns himself a final spot in the field at Augusta, so there is plenty at stake still for top players on the outside looking in, such as Rickie Fowler and Taylor Montgomery. Although the field lacks star power at the top, it still features a fair level of depth with 25 OWGR top-100 players teeing it up.
JJ Spaun returns to defend his title after picking up his first career PGA TOUR win here in 2022. In addition to Spaun, the list of past champions returning includes: Corey Conners, Andrew Landry, Kevin Chappell, Charley Hoffman, Jimmy Walker, and Martin Laird. The 2021 champion Jordan Spieth is notably absent – the hometown favorite will skip for more Masters prep.
Masters odds are available to bet on now. This week can often be a good opportunity to jump on Masters futures for potential late qualifiers, such as Fowler.
INTRODUCTION TO THE OAKS COURSE AT TPC SAN ANTONIO
The Valero Texas Open found a home on the PGA TOUR schedule as the final event before The Masters each season. That, in turn, created a dichotomy between elite players looking for a final tune-up and gives the rest of the field a shot at making the first major of the year.
Greg Norman designed the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio and brought on Sergio Garcia in a consulting role. Garcia’s involvement was presumably to try and attract the game’s best in lieu of skipping for Masters prep. Ironically, Garcia himself only played once before departing for LIV, with a missed cut in 2018. This will be the 13th time the Oaks Course hosts the Valero Texas Open since slotting in for La Cantera Golf Club in 2010.
This is my least favorite course on the PGA TOUR. TPC San Antonio is a ho-hum, nondescript assortment of holes. It lacks any unique identity or defining characteristics. As a 7,438 yard par-72, it features the standard breakout of 10 par-4s, four par-5s, and four par-3s. It ranks in the top 10 longest courses on the TOUR each year and features some of the least penal rough both around the fairways and greens. As advertised, the Oaks Course features a heavy tree lining, but it relies on the wind and firm conditions as its best defense.
The elements have determined scoring at TPC San Antonio over the years. Some years (2019) saw soft receptive conditions from heavy rainfall while others were impacted by high winds (2022). San Antonio experienced an uncharacteristically hot February and March this year, so we should expect the course to play firmer and more difficult this year, with a projected winning score closer to the -12 to -14 range.
For TPC San Antonio course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past Valero Texas Open winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our Valero Texas Open odds page.Editor’s Note
EVENT HISTORY AND COURSE COMPS
Players who found the most consistent success at the Valero Texas Open tend to fit the mold of accurate ball-strikers with a reliable short game and familiarity around Texas winds. In firm conditions, wayward drives are prone to land among the oak trees here. Driving accuracy has proven more important than distance, despite what the scorecard yardage may suggest.
Looking at recent course history, nine players have multiple T15 finishes over the last five years: Charley Hoffman, Kevin Streelman, Ryan Moore, Matt Kuchar, Corey Conners, Chris Kirk, Lucas Glover, Si Woo Kim, and Jimmy Walker,
12 players made the cut in each appearance over the last five years (min. three starts): Aaron Baddeley, Kevin Streelman, Ryan Moore, Matt Kuchar, Corey Conners, Martin Laird, Lucas Glover, Si Woo Kim, Dylan Frittelli, Lanto Griffin, Troy Merritt, and Ben Martin.
Some call the Valero Texas Open the Charley Hoffman Open. Over the last six years, Hoffman has a win and two runner-up finishes. Hoffman played this event every year since 2006. Last year marked his first career MC over 16 career starts and, coming off a disappointing MC at last week’s Corales Puntacana Championship, there may finally be some buy-low value on the career course horse.
The rest of the top 10 in terms of SG: TOT at the Valero Texas Texas Open after Hoffman are: Aaron Baddeley, Kevin Streelman, Ryan Moore, Matt Kuchar, Corey Conners, Martin Laird, Ryan Palmer, Chris Kirk, and Kevin Chappell. It’s interesting to note the number of players with below-average distance found success on this long setup.
I struggle to find a perfect comp course for TPC San Antonio, which only adds to the list of reasons why I fail to get excited about this event. Given the combination of wind exposure, length hidden in long par 5s, and a fairly lackluster strength of field year-over-year, I actually like Corales Golf Course quite a bit as far as comp courses go. Tapping into players who ride momentum from a strong finish last week is a sensible strategy. The list of top players at the 2023 Corales Championship in the field this week include: Thomas Detry, Sam Stevens, Tyler Duncan, Matt Wallace, and Matthias Schwab.
Silverado Resort & Spa, host of the Fortinet Championship, is another interesting comp course. It shares length, tree-lined hazards, and lack of penal rough despite tight fairways. Detroit Golf Club, PGA National, and TPC Twin Cities all require a similar driver-heavy game plan with emphasis on approach play across a mix of risk/reward holes.
With unique aspects of firm conditions and gusting winds, I’m looking across all other Texas venues on the PGA TOUR for reference. Notably, I’m looking to Memorial Park, but am also including TPC Craig Ranch, Colonial CC, and GC of Houston. It’s not a bad idea to eye the leaderboard at last week’s WGC Dell Match Play, either, as Matt Kuchar proved to carry over momentum before his T2 finish here last year. Andrew Putnam, JJ Spaun, and Matt Kuchar each looked strong in Austin, advancing through the Group stage last week.
The top-10 players SG: TOT across these comp courses are: Hideki Matsuyama, Alex Noren, Troy Merritt, Chris Kirk, Cam Davis, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Thomas Detry, JJ Spaun, and Andrew Putnam.
KEY STATS TO CONSIDER FOR 2023 VALERO TEXAS OPEN ODDS
- SG: APP
- Good Drives Gained / Fairways Gained
- SG: ARG / Sand Saves Gained
- Bogey Avoidance
- Par-5 Scoring
- SG: Putting (L36, slow greens)
- SG: TOT (High Winds)
- Course & Comp Course History
Strokes Gained numbers would suggest that TPC San Antonio is a bonafide second shot course. It could serve as an Approach and Around-The-Green contest as long as players can avoid taking themselves out of position on tee shots. With that in mind, I’m leaning more heavily on Good Drives Gained over SG: OTT, a stat that typically favors more accurate drivers. The top 10 players in Good Drives Gained entering this week are: Tyler Duncan, Tyrrell Hatton, Aaron Rai, Will Gordon, Nate Lashley, David Lingmerth, Adam Long, Hayden Buckley, Ben Martin, and Stephan Jaeger.
Approach play is important every week on the PGA TOUR, but precise irons gain even more importance at TPC San Antonio. With a balanced distribution of approach shots at this event, I’m bypassing any specific proximity ranges in my modeling and instead placing a heavier emphasis on SG: APP. The top 10 players in SG: APP entering this week are: Tyrrell Hatton, Russell Knox, Sepp Straka, Ben Martin, Si Woo Kim, Robby Shelton, Erik van Rooyen, Corey Conners, James Hahn, and Satoshi Kodaira.
With players hitting greens in regulation well below the TOUR average due to firm conditions and unpredictable winds, we must factor in short game stats. 10 players who rank inside the top 40 in SG: ARG, Scrambling, and Sand Saves Gained – Hideki Matsuyama, Eric Cole, Brendon Todd, Matt Kuchar, Andrew Putnam, Ben Griffin, JJ Spaun, Byeong Hun An, Zac Blair, and Peter Malnati.
The ideal player for this week should excel in Good Drives Gained, SG: APP, SG: ARG, and SG: TOT (Comp, Windy Conditions). Just 10 players in this week’s field rate out above average in each of those categories: Chris Kirk, Si Woo Kim, Brendon Todd, Thomas Detry, Matt Kuchar, Cameron Percy, Scott Piercy, Andrew Putnam, Nick Taylor, and Nate Lashley.
Correlation And TPC San Antonio
Looking at correlation charts this week, we see a notable dip in the importance of Par-4: 450-500 and Par-3 Scoring relative to TOUR average. Instead, SG: APP, Par-4 Scoring, Bogey Avoidance and Good Drives Gained make the greatest jumps. Driving Distance, Prox 200+ and 3-Putt Avoidance are among the least correlated stats with success.
There are 13 players in the field rank above average in each of the above key stat categories: Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Smalley, Rickie Fowler, Brendon Todd, Corey Conners, Ben Martin, Davis Riley, Nate Lashley, Ryan Fox, Joseph Bramlett, Akshay Bhatia, Satoshi Kodaira, and Dylan Wu.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: MATT WALLACE
The four-time DP World Tour winner dating back to 2017 has continued to trend upwards in this pivotal Ryder Cup year. Wallace notched his first TOUR victory Sunday, winning Corales Puntacana Championship. He’s also riding back-to-back top-10 finishes leading into the Valero Texas Open after an impressive T7 showing at the Valspar Championship.
If SG: FTG (Fairway-to-Green) was a legitimate stat, Wallace would lead this field in it. He’s the only player to rank inside the top 14 in both SG: APP and SG: ARG over the last 36 rounds. That’s especially encouraging on a second-shot layout like TPC San Antonio, but his latest two events have shown positive signs with the driver.
Ranking No. 8 in SG: T2G (L12 rounds), Wallace’s form has improve since his previous best TOUR finish (third, 2021 Valero Texas Open), a credit to his resurgent iron play in 2023. Over his last seven events, he gained 1.5+ strokes on Approach in all but one start.
He’s an ideal fit for TPC San Antonio and a player I’ll look to start my betting card with at any odds beyond 40-1.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR AT 2023 VALERO TEXAS OPEN
Valero week feels like a bit of a tease for us golf fans. It serves as a bridge between seeing all the game’s best face off at the WGC Dell Match Play and The Masters. With that said, it’s a great betting opportunity without any imposing stalwarts to headline the field. At last year’s event, I was high on JJ Spaun, who opened at 200-1 odds despite ranking top 10 in SG: TOT leading into tournament week. Unfortunately, I only bet him to place top 20, so we’ll hope for better decision making on the card in 2023!
With all the course fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early towards the below player pool for DFS. Naturally, I’m looking their way in Valero Texas Open odds, as well. It’s broken down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings:
For my model in Fantasy National this week, I’m prioritizing SG: APP, Comp Course History, SG: T2G (L12), SG: ARG, and Good Drives Gained, followed by a more balanced mix of SG: Ball Striking, SG: P (L36), Bogey Avoidance, and SG: TOT (High Winds), and Par-5 Scoring.
Tyrrell Hatton claims the No. 1 honors in the model this week. That serves as solid validation of the model inputs, as Hatton rides into this week in pristine form, leading the field in SG: APP, SG: T2G, and SG: Ball Striking over the last 36 rounds. In that span, he posted three top-6 finishes over his last four starts (WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and THE PLAYERS). He did appear to be battling a hand injury at WGC Dell Match Play, but, assuming he’s in full health, he will be a deserving favorite ahead of his Valero Texas Open debut.
After Hatton, my model’s top 10 is rounded out by: Hideki Matsuyama, Chris Kirk, Si Woo Kim, Alex Smalley, Eric Cole, Rickie Fowler, Aaron Rai, and Brendon Todd.
When odds open Monday, I’ll be eying Rickie Fowler, Si Woo Kim, Matt Wallace, Brendon Todd and Aaron Rai depending on where odds ultimately fall. Thanks for reading and good luck with your 2023 Valero Texas Open bets!