Slate Breakdown | Valero Texas Open
It is an exciting time in professional golf, as we have just one more week until golf's first major championship of the year, The Masters. While the word is still out on whether we will get a new REIGNMAKERS set, golfers are certainly starting to prepare for it, and so can we. But, before we drive down Magnolia Lane, first up is a pit stop at the beautiful Marriott Resort in San Antonio, the host site for the TPC San Antonio Courses and the Valero Texas Open.
The Valero Texas Open has been an annual stop on the PGA TOUR for some time and was moved to the week before The Masters a few years ago. A tough spot for any tournament, it has tried its best to draw in top talent by offering conditions similar to what golfers may face at next week's event. A few top names have made the trip this year, including Tyrrell Hatton and 2019 champion Corey Conners.
The Valero Texas Open is considered a "premium event" with a total prize pool of $275,000 and a top prize of $15,000 at ELITE and REIGNMAKER.
Interestingly enough, Greg Norman, now CEO and commissioner of rival golf league LIV Golf, designed this course. With help from current LIV golfer Sergio Garcia, Norman designed a challenging test, especially off the tee and around the greens. Rumored to have started the design process while going through a divorce, Norman was said to have taken his frustration out on it, as the course boasts complex driving holes that require a mix of good positioning (accuracy) and distance. Because of that, it has yielded plenty of different types of winners, from pure ball strikers, better known as “pin seekers,” in Corey Conners, to around-the-green specialists, aka “chippers,” in Jordan Spieth, and all those in between.
Last 5 Valero Texas Open Winners & Winning Score to Par:
- 2022: J.J. Spaun, 275 (-13)
- 2021: Jordan Spieth, 270 (-18)
- 2019: Corey Conners, 268 (-20)
- 2018: Andrew Landry, 271 (-17)
- 2017: Kevin Chappell, 276 (-12)
Now that we've set the stage for the events, it's time to talk specifically about the golfers competing at them here this week.
As I already prefaced, attracting top talent the week before a major is rather difficult. But the prize pools don't change, even if the fields do. This week, the aforementioned Corey Conners and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton will be the cream of the crop, at least in the DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR game. Rickie Fowler will be the talk of the week as he tries to hit the height of his comeback trail and win the event, earning him the last invitation to next week's event.
Fowler though is unavailable for Reignmakers, so we turn our attention to a few others in the event. One golfer that deserves our attention is defending champion J.J. Spaun. Spaun flashed a serious game last week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, getting out of a very tough group with confident play.
Hideki Matsuyama is the most significant question mark of the week; having had to pull out of last week's event. The former Masters champion isn't likely to finish all four rounds here this week in San Antonio, and I'd advise a bit of caution before making him an integral part of lineups.
Other big names attending the event this week include Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Alex Noren, Chris Kirk, and Sepp Straka.
Three-Ball: 3 Draft Kings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
Back to our trio of targets for this week and beyond, as we go a bit deeper with a pair of "Cams" and focus in on a favorite we've already talked a bunch about.
Conners ELITE cards have doubled in price over the last week. And while $600 is expensive for a guy that likely won't find himself inside the top 5 on the odds boards more than two times this season, he is the best player on this slate. He didn't get out of the group stage last week but he looked on point and, for 16 holes, looked like he was going to beat Cameron Young, which would have put him through to the knockout round. He won't have to worry about Young stealing his glory this week.
Davis had a breakout year last year on the PGA TOUR, but that momentum has yet to carry into this year. But, we found out he was battling an illness that didn't have him feeling right for the first 2-3 months of the season and it clearly showed in his play. He finally got healthy at the beginning of March, and the results started to follow, as he had his best finish this season at THE PLAYERS, finishing No. 6 on the leaderboard.
The second of the two Cams... and things are still rocky for this one. It's been so rocky for the long-hitting Champ that he's only made two of ten cuts this season. Ouch. But he's a guy that can come out of nowhere and put up a huge finish without any indication of form. He's also had outstanding success around Augusta National and is in the field for next week's event due to his top-13 finish last year.
In addition, he's scheduled to play in the RBC Heritage and will likely be playing at the Mexico Open at Vidante in three weeks. That allows him to play four times in the next four weeks, making him possibly the only player with a Reignmakers card at any rarity tier to have that expected schedule. The only thing that likely keeps him out of playing in the Mexico Open is a solid finish in the next three weeks, and at his current prices, he will provide a solid return if that does happen.