Following Scottie Scheffler‘s third PGA Tour win in the past 45 days at last week’s WGC Match Play event in Austin, the Tour heads to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open.
Fellow Dallas resident and Texas Longhorn Jordan Spieth is a golfer to watch this week as the defending champion, and he’s joined by four other top-20 players in the world at the 7,438-yard, par 72 TPC San Antonio.
The favorite to win this week is Rory McIlroy, with Jordan Spieth next for those interested in the odds and hopeful that Texas sports betting is legalized in the next year or so.
Other players to watch and popular picks this week include the 2019 Valero Texas Open champion, Canadian Corey Connors; and San Antonio resident Abraham Ancer, who lives just down the road from TPC San Antonio and practices there throughout the off-season.
The golfers ranked in the top 20 of the world rounding out the field include Bryson DeChambeau and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who returns to Augusta next week to defend his Masters title.
In total, 20 golfers playing in this week’s 100th-anniversary event at the Valero Texas Open will also play in the Masters next week at Augusta National. And any golfer not yet qualified to play in the Masters that wins this week, like former Oklahoma State Cowboy Rickie Fowler, would earn an invitation to play for the Green Jacket.
Player profile: Jordan Spieth
It may seem hard to believe that it’s been seven years since Jordan Spieth won his first major title at the 2015 Masters. Spieth shot 270 (-18) and tied the 72-hole record set by Tiger Woods in 1997.
Spieth became the second-youngest golfer (behind Woods) to win the Masters. His focus may be looking ahead as he shoots for his fourth major championship win, but Spieth has proven that he can Hook ’em and play his best in the state of Texas.
Just over 13 months ago, Jordan Spieth ranked 92nd in the Official World Golf Rankings and was struggling statistically and to gain solid ground on the course. That was his worst world ranking position since the summer of 2013.
But he turned it around and had one of his finest seasons, despite not winning a major. In the 2020-21 season, Spieth won the Valero Texas Open and had nine top-10 finishes, including runner-up at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth at Colonial Country Club.
Currently, the 12-time PGA Tour winner and Lone Star golfer ranks No. 17 in the world but has fallen off a bit this year.
Spieth won last year’s Valero Texas Open on the strength of his dialed-in wedge play, as he led the field in proximity hitting wedges from 50-125 yards. He also finished 2nd in this event at The Oaks course in 2015.
In 2019, Jordan was tied for the lead after sinking a 113-yard wedge – one of the most memorable shots in the Valero Texas Open (No. 7 at 1 minute mark). Si Woo Kim (+2800) made a hole-in-one on No. 16 in the second round of the 2019 event (4:00 mark) and was the Round 2 leader on his way to a T4 finish.
In 22 rounds played at TPC San Antonio, Jordan Spieth ranks highly in this field in strokes gained.
- No. 2 – SG: Total, Putting and Short Game
- No. 5 – SG: Around the Green
- No. 8 – SG: Tee-to-Green
Longshot Charlie Hoffman (+4600) ranks No. 1 in SG: Total, Tee-to-Green, Ball Striking and Approach over 40 rounds played at TPC San Antonio. Hoffman matched Spieth’s 6-under par 66 in last year’s final round. And Charlie finished runner-up and 2-shots behind Jordan.
Hoffman and Spieth are paired together along with Corey Connors to start the tournament Thursday and Friday.
Notable pairings for Valero Texas Open
Saturday and Sunday’s rounds are televised on the Golf Channel and also on NBC Sports.
- Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day
- Jordan Spieth, Corey Connors, Charlie Hoffman
- Tony Finau, Abraham Ancer, Brandt Snedeker
- Luke List, Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland
Other former Texas Longhorns to watch include:
- Doug Ghim
- Dylan Frittelli
- Kramer Hickock
- Beau Hossler
- Jhonattan ‘Julio’ Vegas
And Southern Methodist University (SMU) is represented by 8-time PGA Tour winner and US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.
DeChambeau is returning from injuries and making just his second start on Tour since January. He’s still not 100%, or a golfer to count on when betting this week.
“Am I going fully at it? No. Not even close,” DeChambeau said ahead of the Valero Texas Open. “I won’t be able to go at it until probably Augusta time.”
See you next week for more memorable moments at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.