Things are heating up nicely on the PGA Tour
With just a couple of weeks to go before this year’s Masters there are only two events left for the Tour players to get their games into shape. The Valero Texas Open has been on the calendar since 1922 and over recent years it’s been an unpredictable tournament with some unfancied winners.
With recent winners including Ben Curtis, Brendan Steele and Steven Bowditch there is plenty of value available in this week’s field. Keep reading for our betting preview of the 2015 Texas Open.
The Oaks is one of the hardest courses on the Tour
Since it made its debut as the home of the Valero Texas Open in 2010, The Oaks course at TPC San Antonio has ranked among the hardest of any par in every season. Last year’s scoring average was 73.286 against a par of 72 and it ranked as the hardest course in par-5 scoring in 2015 (4.9 strokes).
On top of this there could well be breezy conditions and there is a threat of thunderstorms. Last year’s winner Steven Bowditch scored 4 over par in his final round and hung on to win with a combined score of 8 under. It is that sort of course.
A fortnight ago we highlighted the recent putting success of Jordan Spieth and suggested that you follow the young American at odds of 15/1. Spieth duly won the Valspar Championship and his excellent form with the putter could be key to success again this week.
The 21 year old has four top ten finishes to his name in 2015 and now sits 6th in the world rankings. With a 10th place finish at this event in 2014 he is a worthy favourite at 15/2.
It has been an impressive return to competition for Dustin Johnson this year after an extended period out of the game. Johnson has three top five finishes since his return to tournament golf including his excellent win at the WGC Cadillac Championship a couple of weeks ago.
It could be a breakthrough year for Johnson and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him bag a Major title by the end of 2015. He is making his debut at the Texas Open but he’s rested after his Doral win and could go very well at 17/2.
Jimmy Walker currently leads the FedEx Cup rankings after an excellent four consecutive top ten finishes early in 2015. The 36 year old won in Hawaii in January although he has failed to crack the top 20 in his last three outings.
It’s worth noting that Walker hasn’t missed a cut since the Barclays last August and that he followed up a disappointing opening round 76 at The Oaks last year to post three under par rounds and finish in a share of 16th place. He offers great each way value at 19/1.
Some outsiders to watch
Brendan Steele is one of those golfers that regularly features over the weekend without ever really troubling the top of the leaderboard. The 31 year old is on a run of 14 consecutive cuts made but on only one of those occasions has he ever gone on to record a top ten finish.
His final round has often cost him in recent weeks – a 74 at the Northern Trust Open and a 76 last week at the Arnold Palmer – but he does have a good record in this tournament. He shout 8 under par to win the competition in 2011 and finished T4 on his title defence in 2012.
Steele is a good each way bet at 39/1.
Matt Jones may not be a household name but the Australian has a PGA Tour win under his belt and has been in impressive form over the last month. After finishing T7 and T14 at consecutive events in February the 35 year old took three weeks off and returned for an impressive 3rd place finish at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He is a previous winner in Texas – he won the Houston Open last year – and after an opening round 77 at this event in 2012 he recovered to post three good rounds and finished T32. Jones is a 49/1 chance.
It’s been a solid season so far for Will MacKenzie. The 40 year old ranks third on Tour in proximity and T13 in adjusted scoring and was in good form to finish T6 in Puerto Rico three weeks ago.
MacKenzie has posted three top ten finishes as well as a respectable T44 in a strong field at the Valspar Championship a fortnight ago. He finished just a shot behind the eventual winner Steven Bowditch at this tournament last year and looks terrific value at 79/1.