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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Valero Texas Open - Preview

Following Matt Every's breakthrough win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it's now time to turn our full attention to the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. The origins of this event date back to 1922, but TPC San Antonio has only served as the host venue since 2010. For that reason, it's going to be rather pointless to research anything prior to 2010.

TPC San Antonio plays to a par of 72 at 7,435 yards, featuring four par 5s and four par 3s. Here is a peek at the winners and runners-up since 2010.

  • 2010 - Adam Scott (274) over Freddie Jacobson (275)
  • 2011 - Brendan Steele (280) over Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman (281)
  • 2012 - Ben Curtis (279) over Matt Every and John Huh (281)
  • 2013 - Martin Laird (274) over Rory McIlroy (276)
Several types of players show up on this list. Adam Scott, Charley Hoffman, Martin Laird and Rory McIlroy are all long players that tend to play par 5s well. Ben Curtis and John Huh are very accurate, and at times can putt well. Freddie Jacobson is known at the Junkman for his ability to get up-and-down from weird spots better than anyone not named Seve or Victor Dubuisson. Matt Every and Brendan Steele have elements off each of the above in their game. 

The course tends to play pretty tight off the tee and features deep bunkers and plenty of native area. Just ask Kevin Na. The statistical categories that seem relevant are some of the more popular, including driving accuracy, GIR, SGP, Par 5 Scoring average and Proximity. In a way, it seems like the stats suggest two paths to victory. One is to hit it straight off the tee, find the green and putt well. The other is to dominate the par 5s and try to keep it in play as well as possible on the other holes. 

We will dig into the details over the next 24 hours and return to offer our look at the power rankings tomorrow evening. 

Until then, happy research!

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