Putting on a PGA Tour event is a challenging endeavour at the best of times. The organisers of the Valero Texas Open know all about the hard work that goes in before the tournament even begins but their biggest challenges for this year’s renewal look likely to come during the event itself.
The weather forecast suggests thunderstorms are likely to cause multiple suspensions to the Valero Texas Open which can prove to be a logistical nightmare. But the toughest challenge could be how the organisers make the tough Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio a fair challenge for all players in changeable weather.
Fortunately, everybody involved with the Texas Open is used to dealing with the Texan weather. That’s especially true since the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010. In recent years we’ve seen conditions range from very wet to dry and everything in between (sometimes in a single week) but the one constant is the wind.
Course designer Greg Norman tried his best with the local wind by ensuring that the downhill holes play into the wind and that the uphill ones play downwind but there’s no denying that players who are used to playing in windy conditions have an advantage over the field.
Hoffman at the Double?
Charley Hoffman seriously threatened an upset at the Masters a fortnight ago. The 40-year-old shot a brilliant first round 65 in very difficult conditions but was unable to hold on and was only bit part player come Sunday. Hoffman was clearly deflated to finish in a tie for 22nd and he missed the cut at last week’s RBC Heritage. Better things are expected this week however.
Coming into last year’s renewal, it was clear just how much of a fit Hoffman is for the Oaks Course. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise at all that he won with a very impressive score of -12. One year on, his ability to control his ball flight in the wind and his all-round solid game will surely see him compete at the top of the leaderboard once again at odds of 22/1 with Betfred.
Par Five Scoring the Key for Hadwin
It’s been a long road for Adam Hadwin from promising Canadian amateur to PGA Tour winner but it’s been more than worth all the hard work for the 29-year-old. Since claiming his maiden title at the Valspar Championship, Hadwin’s form has remained strong including a creditable tie for 36th in his debut at the Masters.
Hadwin is impressive in many areas but it’s his par five scoring that could set him apart this week. The par fives on the Oaks Course are particularly challenging but only four players have a better scoring average than Hadwin on the longest holes this season which goes to making him look a good each way bet at 30/1 with Bet365.
Last Chance Saloon for Poulter
Ian Poulter came agonisingly close to securing his PGA Tour card at Harbour Town last week. The Englishman could only tie for 11th when a solo 11th place would have got the job done for him. Still, his game looked strong and he looks worth an each way bet at 70/1 with BetVictor.