A week from now we will be on the verge of the most anticipated major in my lifetime. But before we get to that, we have the Valero Texas Open, hosted once again at TPC San Antonio. This is a brutal spot on the schedule for the event between the grueling WGC Match Play and The Masters. As such, the field lacks star power, which presents an opportunity for a lesser-known player to claim a PGA Tour victory.
TPC San Antonio historically rewards solid ball striking, especially if the wind is up as currently forecasted. A player won’t be able to fake their way around this course. Errant shots are penalized and missing the green on the incorrect side can yield an almost certain bogey. Let’s take a look at three solid ball strikers who can contend this week:
Corey Conners $10,100
With questions lurking around all of the other high-priced players, Conners is the clear best option over $10,000. This is where it all started with Conners, when he won as a Monday qualifier back in 2019. Since then, Conners has proven himself to be one of the best overall ballstrikers on the PGA Tour. He is the only player in the field to rank in the top 10 in both approach (first) and off the tee (fourth). This elite ball striking should allow him to contend yet again this week.
Cameron Davis $8,300
We are getting a reduced price on Davis here because of his bad form in 2023. A few weeks back, reports surfaced that he has been dealing with an illness all year. He is finally back to full health and it has shown in his game as he went 2-1 in match play last week and finished sixth at The Players prior to that. So I’m willing to ignore some of what we saw early in the year from Davis and focus more on his long-term form and pedigree, which would place him closer to $9,500 in this field. Davis ranks as the fifth best player in the field in my model, as his above-average ballstriking paired with a high birdie rate makes him a great DraftKings play.
Luke List $7,200
List is a cheaper, less consistent version of Corey Conners. He ranks second off the tee and 11th on approach. Yes, his putter can be balky at times, but on a course like this, he won’t have to putt that well to pay off his $7,200 salary. He has made the cut in each of the last two years, including a 17th place finish in 2021.