The Valero Texas Open is arguably the most important golf tournament in the Lone Star State. It has been held in Texas each year since 1922 except for the odd break due to war or the host course being used for another tournament. In that time, some of the biggest names in Texan golf have done battle with some of the best of the best on the PGA Tour for this prestigious and popular tournament.
Valero, an energy company, have been the title sponsor of the Texas Open since 2002. In that time, the tournament has consistently been held at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio and has raised more money for charitable causes than any other PGA Tour event. More recently it has also been moved forwards in the schedule so that it takes place the week before the Masters, providing the final chance for PGA Tour players to book their spot at Augusta.
Betting Tips for 1st to 4th April 2021
The Valero Texas Open is a very important tournament for the state of Texas, and for local golf fans and charities. Tournament organisers haven’t always been able to attract the strongest field as it’s been shunted about in the schedule so they have jumped at the chance to be the unofficial warm up event for the Masters.
Augusta National is a unique golf course but those playing in both the Texas Open and the Masters will get the chance to work on the skills required to challenge for a green jacket at the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
Jordan Spieth is the bookies’ favourite for this week. The three-time major champion is a native of Dallas and so the Texan fans will cheer on his every shot. What is more, his recent resurgence suggests he has a real chance of winning the Masters for the second time at 14/1. However, the Oaks Course is a tougher test off the tee than that provided by the wide open fairways of Augusta National so Spieth is best avoided for this week at least.
Charley Hoffman is another player with good form at Augusta National but he also has excellent recent form at TPC San Antonio. Hoffman’s all round game and results have not improved in time to earn himself a spot in the Masters but he is playing well enough to seriously challenge for a second Valero Texas Open title at 30/1.
Other players to consider at longer odds include Graeme McDowell (160/1) who was in pole position to win the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship before blowing up in the final two holes and Danny Willett (90/1) who interests on his tournament debut.
|2021||TPC San Antonio||Jordan Spieth|
|2019||TPC San Antonio||Corey Conners|
|2018||TPC San Antonio||Andrew Landry|
2021: Jordan Spieth
Golf is an inherently frustrating and difficult sport. Even the best of the best can lose their way, just as Jordan Spieth lost his way for much of 2019 and 2020. The three-time major champion couldn’t keep his driver on the planet at times and for all that he, the people around him and his loyal fans all maintained belief, there is nothing like a win to prove you’re back.
The stats suggested that Jordan Spieth’s unpredictable driving meant he was unlikely to justify his position at the head of the betting for the Valero Texas Open. While Spieth’s play off the tee was the weakest part of his game at TPC San Antonio, he more than made up for that weakness with some wonderful approach play.
Despite gaining an average of just 0.24 strokes per round off the tee, he gained an average of 3.22 strokes per round from tee to green and 1.43 strokes with his putter. What players do off the tee is a long way down the list of priorities at Augusta National which will give Spieth, who called his win “progress”, every chance of building on this success with a serious charge at the Masters which followed.
The Valero Texas Open would be high on the list of tournaments that Spieth would choose to snap a run of 82 events without a win. The Texas native always gets huge support from the galleries at TPC San Antonio and he rode their positivity to a two-shot win. There was a lot to enjoy for Spieth who reminded everybody how difficult he is to beat when marrying up a very good week of ball striking with some of that old putting magic.
Charley Hoffman was priced at odds of 30/1 for the Texas Open and he duly rewarded those who backed him each way with a very good performance to see him claim second place on his own. While he misses out at Augusta National, Matt Wallace does have the chance to build on his third-place finish in Texas after what he suggested was the “best I’ve ever played tee to green”.
The 2020 tournament was cancelled.
2019: Corey Conners
Some of the most intense competition on the PGA Tour comes before the tournament even begins. Players who do not yet have a place in the field turn up to tournaments each week for the brutal Monday qualifying with only a handful of places on the line. Corey Conners was absolutely delighted to earn his place in the field for the 2019 Valero Texas Open but that was nothing compared to the joy he felt when becoming the first Monday qualifier to win a PGA Tour event since 2010.
Conners’ win came after a dramatic final round. Si Woo Kim, who had led at the end of the first three rounds, could not find his best golf when the pressure was at its most intense. That opened the door to the chasing pack. Conners was part of the tussle for the win but only belatedly got his head in front thanks to three birdies in his last five holes.
As happy as Conners was with the win that secured his PGA Tour status and saw him added to the field for the following week’s Masters, there was one thing above all else on his mind after the tournament. “No more Monday qualifying,” he said. “That’s the best deal from this. Amazing. It’s a dream come true. I won’t be as stressful on Mondays.”
2018: Andrew Landry
Winning on the PGA Tour is incredibly difficult. Andrew Landry found out just how difficult it is to get over the line at this level during a nervy final round at the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Despite his protestations afterwards that he was not nervous as he tried to close the win out, the very makeable putts that he missed told a different story. Fortunately for Landry, his mistakes on 12 and 14 did not cost him. As the only man to break 70 in all four rounds for the tournament, Landry was a very worthy winner indeed.
Landry steadily built up a head of steam across the four days. An opening round of 69 was good enough for a share of seventh place before back to back 67s saw him take the 54-hole lead. Converting those leads has proven too much even for players with multiple wins at the top level so it is to Landry’s credit that he played controlled golf on Sunday until the back nine. He also deserves praise for the way he rolled with the punches and didn’t panic when Trey Mullinax ate into his lead. He kept going to earn the first of what he hopes will become “a bazillion” wins by two strokes.