Valero Texas Open Core Plays: PGA DFS Picks

This week the Tour continues its short stint through Texas for the Valero Texas Open, the final stop before the Masters gets underway next week. In turn, it’s time to continue our recurring PGA DFS picks series by providing our Valero Texas Open core plays and so much more with the latest data and best industry tools.

The Oaks course at TPC San Antonio will play host to the event for the 14th consecutive year. The 7,400 yard par 72 layout features tree lined fairways, short rough, and larger than average greens. Based on the Wednesday morning weather forecasts, there appears to be a wave advantage taking shape. With mild conditions expected throughout most of Thursday’s opening round, and increased winds up to 18mph Friday afternoon, the PM/AM wave is looking to be the advantageous side of the draw. Make sure to keep tabs on the forecast leading up to lock to give yourself the most up to date information.

Each week I use the Stokastic PGA Sims tool as an integral part of my process. By predicting the lineups I’ll be playing against, and leveraging hole by hole simulation technology, the game theory work is made easy. As always, I’ve used this tool to isolate my favorite plays of the week that I’ll be building my rosters around.

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While many different styles of play off the tee have been able to find success here, the true separator has been elite approach play. Last year the top four finishers in the tournament also finished inside the top four in strokes gained approach. I’ll be targeting elite approach players this week who have some length to their game off the tee to combat the long layout.

These Valero Texas Open core plays and picks will kickstart your PGA DFS process. You can perfect it by reading through Stokastic’s fantasy point and ownership projections, finding high-leverage plays using the top golfers tool or using the PGA Sims tool to build several high-ROI lineups in seconds!

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Valero Texas Open Core Plays: PGA DFS Picks

Alex Noren – $8,700

Alex Noren went on a tear through the month of March, with three consecutive finishes inside the top 20. Over this span, he dominated in approach play gaining over nine total strokes on the field with his irons. The other facets of his game are in great shape as well, gaining strokes on the field in every statistical category over the last month. In his lone start here last year he finished in 15th place, gaining nearly five strokes tee to green. He’s typically known as more of a short game specialist, but when he is hitting it like he is now he is a force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t hurt that he also has an afternoon tee time on Thursday, which is projecting to be the favored split. I love how Noren sets up this week.

Chritiaan Bezuidenhout – $7,900

Bezuidenhout is another player with an afternoon tee time that is on a really nice stretch of play. He’s made six of his last seven cuts, and has two consecutive finishes inside the top 13. Over the last 24 rounds he ranks 6th in strokes gained approach, which is a key metric I’m always considering, but especially this week as I touched on above. He’s also been red hot with the flat stick, gaining strokes putting on the field in five consecutive events. His combination of recent approach play, hot putting, and the good weather draw make him one of my favorite plays of the week.

Akshay Bhatia – $7,700

This has been a player I’ve been keeping a very close eye on for awhile now. He officially came on tour full time last season, and has flashed tremendous upside with ten finishes inside the top 20 since his arrival. Bhatia’s ball striking is what does the heavy lifting in his game, evidenced by top 15 rankings in this field in both strokes gained approach and off the tee. After a string of missed cuts, Bhatia has bounced back nicely the last couple weeks with consecutive finishes inside the top 17. His well rounded ball striking profile should serve him well on this layout, and as another Thursday afternoon tee time, he’s set up well to compete again this week.

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PGA DFS Flier Pick for the Valero Texas Open: Ben Griffen – $6,600

This is another player who recently received his tour card that I thought would flourish early on in his career. While he has shown flashes of upside, to this point he hasn’t shown enough consistency throughout his entire bag to compete on a regular basis. However, his recent stretch of play has given a renewed sense of optimism after what has been a relatively lackluster start to the 2024 season.

From January through mid March, Griffen was only able to notch two finishes inside the top 36 and missed the cut three times over a seven tournament span. Through that stretch, he lost strokes on approach in every start. Recently however, things appear to be trending in the right direction. He’s gained strokes on approach in three consecutive starts, and has two consecutive finishes inside the top 36. It’s clear his game is rounding into form heading into this week’s event. At single digit projected ownership, and a Thursday afternoon tee time, he’s certainly worth the risk as a GPP flier.

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