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Power Rankings: Valero Texas Open


Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, Tony Finau and Corales champion Chad Ramey will be among the notables reviewed in Tuesday’s draws and fades.

You’ll forgive the recurring theme, but Texas winds forever demand respect and attention. The Invisible Force is TPC San Antonio’s primary defense in the Hill Country. Last year’s 72.475 scoring average was preloaded with averages north of 73 in each of the first two rounds. When the winds eased slightly and the best of the pack played, the score fell well below average. But the message is clear, the wind is prevailing.

Serious gusty breezes extend into Wednesday this week, then are expected to ease for the first round on Thursday. The machine will restart on Friday. It will likely continue to blow enough to cause a break on the ball over the weekend, but the wind is the most difficult element to project this far in advance. It’s a kind of experience with keeping your head on a pivot. Rain is not expected and daytime temperatures will climb into the 80s so conditions will be seasonal.

The entire Oaks course is seeded as usual. In a customary arrangement to help compensate for the wind, the greens (overseeded with Poa trivialis) averaging 6,400 square feet are maintained to not exceed 11½ feet on the Stimpmeter.

The primary stock extends up to 2½ inches. That’s a half-inch increase from last year, but the gnarliest hay found around the edges of the property will reach 6 inches. That’s why it feels like hitting fairways is at a While golfers who profile themselves as ball hitters have an advantage, the goal is more to hit “enough” fairways on a course where the course last year averaged just 7.70 per lap.

The stock par 72 is up at 7,438 yards. It’s down 56 yards with cutbacks of 42 yards on the par-3 third hole and 14 yards on the par-5 14th hole. Spieth splits into the hit fairways (T49) and greens in Regulation (T57) challenge him by placing third in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. The simple translation is that he maximized his opportunities when accurate.

En route to posting 18 under 270 for the two-shot title, Spieth led the field in converting the GIR to par breakers and scoring the par 4. With 10 birdies and six pars to average 4.375 on par 5s, it also co-led in the par 5 score. This is a stat that almost always counts, but it is accentuated on the more difficult courses with proportionate par 5s that ranked T7 among all courses during the super season 2020-21. watch out for that.

Spieth being Spieth, he showed his buttery touch throughout the tournament to finish fourth in scrambling and sixth in Strokes Gained: Putting. Did he put more pressure on his short game and his putting? Yes. Does he have the confidence and the ability to overcome that if it happens again?

On Monday afternoon, Spieth was among 22 out of 144 golfers who qualified for next week’s MastersIf the winner of TPC San Antonio is not already eligible for the first major of the season, they will be the last to enter.


ROB BOLTON’S CALENDAR

PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews each tournament from many angles. Look for his following contributions as expected.

MONDAY: Power Ratings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, draws and fades
WEDNESDAY: Preview of Pick ‘Em
SUNDAY: Medical extensions, Qualifications, Redesign, Ranking of recruits

* – Rob is a member of PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks panel for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

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