The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is the final stop for the PGA Tour ahead of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. While the field will not be as star-studded as the elevated schedule has offered recently, several players will be highly motivated to punch the final ticket into the Masters next week. Last year, J.J. Spaun did just that — winning the Valero Texas Open and qualifying for the first major on the golf schedule. Let’s take a look at betting odds and the field before preview the Oaks Course.
Valero Texas Open Betting Odds at BetMGM Sportsbook
At the time of this writing – March 27th – you can find these odds at BetMGM Sportsbook. The below list features all golfers priced at 50/1 or better.
|Si Woo Kim||+2200|
Here are the recent winners of The Valero Texas Open:
- 2022 – J.J. Spaun (-13)
- 2021 – Jordan Spieth (-18)
- 2019 – Corey Conners (-20)
- 2018 – Andrew Landry (-17)
- 2017 – Kevin Chappell (-12)
- 2016 – Charley Hoffman (-12)
- 2015 – Jimmy Walker (-11)
The field is significantly less stacked than what we are accustomed to in 2023 but players will be highly motivated to qualify for Augusta National. The following ten players are the only players in this field that already have a ticket to The Masters:
Si Woo Kim
The most notable players in the field vying for that spot are Rickie Fowler, Taylor Montgomery, Davis Riley, and J.J. Spaun (last year’s winner). Fowler will get plenty of buzz as a previous Masters fixture in decent form. He did concede his final match last week with neck issues. Similarly, Hideki Matsuyama also conceded to Max Homa with a nagging neck issue. We might consider waiting a bit to place an outright bet on either player.
Ben Griffin is a favorite of this article that has been in good form as well as Matt Wallace coming off of a win at Corales. The odds on both gentlemen seem palpable given a win offers an opportunity at Augusta.
Charley Hoffman missed the cut for what felt like forever in the previously named Charley Hoffman open. He might be a popular DFS play given his course horse status. Finally, Ashkay Bhati and Nicolai Hojgaard round out the field as two of the more talented young players striving to have their breakthrough performance. Both performed exceptionally well last week at Corales with Bhati threatening a PGA record in his second round.
Let’s talk about the course.
2023 Valero Texas Open Betting Preview
- Course: Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio
- Date: March 30 – April 2
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,438
- Greens: Bermuda
Despite its length, the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is a very ho-hum PGA course. Ranking in the top ten in distance, the course does not feature much in the way of penal rough through fairways or around the greens. The greatest defense is weather and firm conditions. While we will look forward to a Kevin Roth weather report, the course is likely to be very dry as temperatures in San Antonio have been very hot over the past two months.
With the course playing firm, the Greg Norman design will lose some distance and more emphasis will likely need to be placed on keeping drives in play. A second-shot golf course, we will be looking for players in excellent forms with their irons and wedges that can create opportunities for birdie. With a bit of wind, we will likely see a similar score as last year’s -13 mark set by winner J.J. Spaun.
The four most challenging holes on the course are Par 4’s between 450-500 yards. There are the typical four Par 5’s and four Par 3’s — like I said, ho-hum — with the Par 5’s having plenty of length. That said, with a potentially lower winning score, players will need to take advantage of the Par 5’s.
The firm conditions will likely lead to some emphasis on around-the-green play. We will also look to see how players do over a large sample in very windy conditions.
Despite the length of the course, the proximity range from greater than 200 yards has a much lower distribution of shots than the tour average. My guess is the firm Texas conditions give players more than enough long to avoid long approach shots.
We will focus on SG: Approach, Good Drives, Par 5 scoring, SG: ARG and Putting, and we will keep an eye on total strokes gained in very windy conditions. Let’s peek at some golfers to consider for outright betting and one-and-done play this week.
Golfers To Watch This Week
Unless mentioned otherwise, all strokes gained statistics will be referenced over the player’s previous 36 rounds on the PGA Tour.
Rickie Fowler +2000
We are going to talk about the elephant on the golf course, first. Rickie Fowler has been playing excellent golf as of late and should be hyper-motivated to get back in the winner’s circle.
However, as mentioned above, nearly the entire field has the same motivation. Corey Conners and J.J. Spaun are both examples of guys with clear calendars the following weekend that punched their Masters ticket with a victory. Fowler was in the same spot last season — in worse form — and missed the cut in Texas.
That said, Fowler’s form has been far better than what he showed fans last season. He ranks first in the field in BOB% and top 20 in approach. He will be a very, very popular OAD play as well as a popular bet. I am not sure what to do with him yet.
Matt Kuchar +3300
Everything we love about Rickie Fowler also seems to fit with Matt Kuchar. Kuchar has a spectacular history at the Oaks Course and is coming to the field off of a great run in the WGC Matchplay. Kuchar has never missed a cut at the Valero Texas Open in his career with several high finishes, including a second place last season.
At a more favorable price, Kuchar also needs a win to get back to Augusta National. If we consider motivation equal amongst all players, I think I’d rather Kuchar at a discount than Fowler with odds below 20/1. Kuchar will probably be a bit more sneaky in your one-and-done pools.
Ben Griffin +5000
Another article, another Ben Griffin promo. Griffin is beginning to fill the role of Cameron Young and previously Corey Conners for me. Keep betting him until he wins. This, of course, means I will likely lost a lot of money on Ben Griffin over the next couple of seasons.
Griffin played well at the WGC Matchplay event and has four consecutive made cuts. In a weaker field, his talent is likely to rise and put him in position for a high finish. While his irons and game off the tee has failed him a bit, his stellar play around the green keeps him in contention. With far less penal rough, a better tournament from tee-to-green should give Griffin a chance.
Ben Martin +7500
Finally, this seems like a great tournament to look down the board to build a card filled with a higher quantity. Everyone is vying to check off a golfer’s bucket list item. Ben Martin comes in after a top ten at Corales.
Martin might be a great fit for this course given his recent form off-the-tee and on approach. Martin is fourth in SG: Approach and sixth in Good Drives. Not exquisite on or around the green, Martin will need to rely on his tee-to-green game to make a run this weekend. With his number being lofty enough, I think he is potentially worth an odd at a cheap price.
Follow me on Twitter at @JoeCistaro to follow along with any additions, matchups, or top finishers I add to my outright betting card. Good luck with all of your wagers this week and thanks for reading.
Image Credit: Getty Images