THE 7435 yards par 72 TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks) once again hosts the Valero Texas Open and will provide a tough test for competitors.
Opened in 2010, Masters champion Sergio Garcia was a consultant to chief designer Greg Norman. The Oaks Course meanders through the hills with narrow fairways and bunkers as deep as 12 feet.
With native vegetation which can sometimes be unplayable there could be some high scores. Kevin Na recorded a 16 at the par-four ninth last year after trying to extricate himself from rocks and brush. Driving accuracy and GIR could be a factor to look for.
With a win at the Safeway Open and a T6 a month later Brendan Steele was looking good at the beginning of the season, Apart from a couple of top 20s he hasn’t really done much since.
However, he seemed to enjoy his appearance at the Masters where he finished T27 with a closing round 69. On paper looks a good fit for the Oaks Course. With Driving Accuracy stat of 64.35% and GIR 70.96% he is worth a gamble.
Ryan Moore hasn’t won since the John Deere Classic last year but always seems to be on people’s shortlist when he plays. You can see why after a very good T9 at the Masters two weeks ago.
His second round was a bogey-free 69 but fell away in the fourth round with a 74. Apart from 2013 he’s won once a year every season. It’s surprising to see he has only had two top-10 finishes this year as he is a much better player than that. Driving Accuracy is 67.86% and GIR 66.96% and he is another who should be in contention come Sunday.
One man I’m looking to see challenging shortly is Dane Soren Kjeldsen. He won the ISPS Handa World of Golf in Melbourne, Australia, with team-mate Thorbjorn Olesen.
He is playing a lot more of the PGA Tour and although he missed four cuts in his first four tourneys of the year he looks like he’s got to grips with the courses. He is a plucky wee player and played well in the Masters with a final round 78 spoiling his week. Although he isn’t a long hitter off the tee he is accurate with stats of 68.66%. His putts per round of 28.93 is well backed up by a GIR of 63.03%.
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