The action is underway at TPC San Antonio as the golfers try to position for the last golf to earn an invite to Augusta for The Masters 2022. Scores for the Valero Texas Open were much better in the morning, as the warmer temperatures in the afternoon brought tougher, firmer greens, and with it, higher scores. Those golfers will turn around and play an easier course on Friday morning for Round 2 as we navigate the first-round action and give a few PGA DFS picks for the second round.
PGA DFS Golf Picks Today: Round 2 Valero Texas Open
Round 1 Recap
As mentioned above, the morning wave was noticeably easier than the afternoon wave. Russell Knox continued his strong play in the middle of this season, and fired an opening-round 65, and would lead for much of the day. The 21-year-old Rasmus Hojgaard also continued his run of good form and got it to eight-under at a time before finishing with a double-bogey on his final hole — hole No. 9 — and would have to settle for a six-under 66. Matt Kuchar would be the third member of the morning trio to shoot five-under or better as he continues his strong play at the Valero Texas Open in his 500th start on tour.
Other notable rounds from the morning wave were Anirban Lahiri, Luke List, Ryan Palmer, Matt Jones and Brendan Steele, all of who shot a four-under 68s.
With Knox’s seven-under leading the way, it would always be challenging for the afternoon golfers to face firmer and faster greens and get to that number. But, the wave didn’t go without good scores. Aaron Rai got off to a scorching start, going five-under through his first 11 holes, but a couple of bogeys, followed by a couple of birdies, would have him end at that score. The same score was shot by J.J. Spaun, who used a hole-out eagle on his front nine to spur him to another good opening-round score. A former champion of the event, Corey Conners, would have a chance to get that number as well, but a poor drive on 18, followed by a horrific lay-up into the water, and a finishing bogey would halt those chances.
A few other notable rounds from this wave were from Jordan Spieth, who gained over two strokes tee to green but lost more than that with his putter, as the best club in his bag remains ice cold.
The Valero Texas Open Round 1 Stat Recap
Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Kevin Chappell
- Matthew NeSmith
- Brendan Steele
- Trey Mullinax
- Cameron Champ
Strokes Gained Approach
- Maverick McNealy
- Camilio Villegas
- Bill Haas
- Robert Streb
- Brendon Todd
Strokes Gained Around the Green.
- Lee Westwood
- Russell Knox
- Seung Yul Noh
- Matt Kuchar
- Doug Ghim
Strokes Gained Putting
- Rasmus Hojgaard
- Troy Merritt
- Matt Kuchar
- Aaron Rai
- Anirban Lahiri
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The same weather pattern as Thursday will be in play for Friday, with slightly stronger winds. Expect the morning golfers to have a softer course, and thus, about a half a stroke better in terms of scoring average.
Tony Finau ($8,500): An awful stretch of golf is what Finau is going through right now, but last week he finished his tournament off in style by birdieing the last five holes he played in the WGC Match Play. That bit of confidence seemed to carry over to this week, as he was one of a few players to be bogey-free on the day. He gained almost three strokes ball striking, slightly with his putter but struggled around the green. If that turns back to his normal play in Round 2, he should be able to move up the leaderboard quickly in the morning.
Davis Riley ($7,900): Coming into the week with all the momentum, having won an event here before, and off of his best finish on the PGA Tour, a second at The Valspar, Riley gained almost three strokes tee to green in Round 1. That shows us his form hasn’t left him and based on the way he putted at the Valspar, that may not be far behind either. He goes out in the morning wave on Friday and will look to continue his solid play and move up the leaderboard in Round 2.
Kevin Streelman ($8,400): In this mini stretch of decent golf for Streelman, the only attribute that he hasn’t looked all that good in is his strokes gained on the approach. He struggled again in that department today, but the rest of his game looks solid. If he can just get his irons going even a little, just to match the field, then he should be able to use the rest of his game, which is, undoubtedly, close to peaking. He should be able to move up the board and set himself up for a weekend run in Round 2.
- Aaron Baddeley ($6,800)
- Ben Martin ($6,100)
- Aaron Rai ($6,900)
- J.J. Spaun ($6,700)
- Henrik Norlander ($6,100)
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