There are some weeks where weather plays a very minor role in the outcome of a tournament, and others where it needs to be a consideration. It appears that this is one of those weeks where weather might matter. In particular, Thursday looks to be very windy, with rain in the morning.
I don't have local knowledge when it comes to weather patterns in Texas, but this is one of those weeks to where I know someone who does. My OAD commish, AKA Spotter, AKA Texas Wind Expert tells me that the golf courses in Texas are set up for winds to come out of the south. Think of it as the Trade Winds in the Hawaii tournaments. This week, the winds are expected to come out of the north. Keeping with the Hawaii analogy, that would be a Kona wind. That means holes that are longer and traditionally play down wind, will play even longer and into the wind. Against their design.
For Yahoo! gamers, all of this also means that you want to try and spread your players amongst the AM and PM waves in the first two rounds so you can try and capitalize on any wind advantage that may arise.
Enough of the weather...here we go:
- Jordan Spieth - He really struggled in his first two trips to TPC San Antonio, but he rebounded to finish 10th last year. His form is undeniable. This is a hard week to nail a true number one, but he's the safe play in most formats.
- Jim Furyk - My guess is that a lot of people will be a little cool towards Furyk this week due to being burned at the Copperhead Course two weeks ago. That's no reason to back off this week. He's finished T3 and T6 in his last two trips to TPC San Antonio and was playing well before his T40 at the Valspar.
- Ryan Palmer - The Texan is a good fit this week, as he's 4/5 with two top 15s on this course and has trended into this event with a MC-T25-T12 in his last three PGA TOUR starts. He's also known as a solid wind player and his stats are off the charts for how this course should play.
- Matt Kuchar - He is playing below his standards leading into this event, but one has to like his chances in an event that could turn into a grind fest. Went T13-T22-T4 in his last three stops in San Antonio.
- Brendon Todd - He's the name that kept moving up the board this week. He tied for sixth here last year in what proved to be the spark for his strong summer run. He's trending much better into this event this time around, with top 25s in each of his last three PGA TOUR starts. It does not appear that his game has a weakness when it comes to what it will take to top the leaderboard this week.
- Dustin Johnson - This reminds me of the time he played in Memphis for the first time just before the U.S. Open, and then won it. He has no course history at TPC San Antonio, but who really cares. Have you watched him lately?
- Charley Hoffman - Current form isn't that good, but he is the cream of the course history crop. His five trips to TPC San Antonio have read T13-T2-T13-T3-T11. He's long off the tee and has a history of playing well in the wind. Much more to like than to hate this week.
- Martin Laird - Solid season in the works and has a T9 and a win here. That's enough to crack the top 10.
- Brendan Steele - He looked like a course history giant with a win and a T4 in his first two starts, but slid to a T46 and MC in his last two tries. He's been a cut-making machine of late, so the logical thought is that he'll at least beat the T46 from 2013.
- Zach Johnson - A T9 at Bay Hill and a T6 in last year's Valero Texas Open appear to be a tasty trend. I'll be honest. It feels like smoke-and-mirrors since his top 10 last week was back door by all standards. After all, it took an albatross on the 70th hole to accomplish it.
- Jimmy Walker
- Matt Jones
- Will MacKenzie
- Daniel Summerhays
- Kevin Na
- Jason Kokrak
- Charles Howell III
- Daniel Berger
- Martin Kaymer
- Francesco Molinari
Due to the weather, I'm delaying my one-and-done selection until tomorrow night to make sure one wave isn't going to have a significant advantage through 36 holes.
I do not plan on burning a big name this week. My sights are locking in on Ryan Palmer, Brendon Todd, and Charley Hoffman. (I used Laird earlier this season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Open or he would be on the short list.
I will return tomorrow with a final OAD declaration.
Best of luck to all!