The PGA TOUR heads to TPC San Antonio for this week's Valero Texas Open. It's a short journey for the stars in the field who played in Austin last week. They will return to the Lone Star State in May.
There is plenty of course history to lean on this week as TPC San Antonio has hosted here since 2010. However, most of those editions were not played a week before the Masters. There are few added elements to the course setup that come into play when that's the case.
So, instead of relying too much on course history, let's go hunting for some additional data. First, we will look at golfers that just enjoy golfing in Texas, in general. Then we will look for golfers that are arriving with their irons dialed in (strokes gained approach being the metric of choice).
Lone Star Swagger
We stay in Texas for another week so golfers that are comfortable in the wind are likely going to have a good time this week.
Here are the golfers that have gained the most total strokes over the field in Texas, over the last two years:
Sepp Straka ($23): Two of his four best finishes on TOUR have come in Houston. Perhaps that comfort in Texas will translate to San Antonio this week. Straka has three career first-round leads so perhaps that is the preferred market you want to look at, if you don't need the salary savings on Yahoo this week.
Strokes Gained Approach
Iron play is always important but that seems especially true at TPC San Antonio.
"It’s very much a second-shot golf course. No, there’s some tough but fun second shots out here." -Rickie Fowler
"The greens are pretty small in spots so it’s about hitting your irons really well, I think." -Jimmy Walker
Here are the golfers that have gained the most strokes on approach, over their last 12 lead-in rounds:
Roger Sloan ($20): It doesn't get any more affordable than this, as Sloan checks in at a bare-minimum salary. Sloan is a UTEP product and Houston resident there should be some added comfort playing in his home state this week. For the season he ranks 26th in strokes gained approach and 29th in GIR Percentage. Not bad for the salary savings you get here.
Hopefully, these stats will give you some names to dive into when it comes to researching your final selections this week over at Yahoo!