Valero Texas Open
We discuss the ongoing post-Masters lull, General Tso's chicken, Kevin Love's untimely concussion, and of course, this week's PGA Tour stop
Valero Texas Open
Where: San Antonio
Course: TPC San Antonio
Defending champion: Brendan Steele held off Kevin Chappell and Fredrik Jacobson by a shot to earn his first PGA Tour win.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Fredrik Jacobson
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Johnson Wagner
5. Ryan Moore
6. J.B. Holmes
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we admit we're in need of a pick-me-up. First, I get "Charl Schwartzeled" by Golf Digest Assistant Managing Editor Jeff Patterson, who denied me a plaid jacket in our big office putting competition; and then, I have to watch Carl Pettersson get draped in one himself for winning the RBC Heritage. No offense to Carl, but watching him pull away from that big-boned leader board wasn't exactly the cure for my post-Masters hangover. Perhaps this week's event will do a better job getting the juices flowing, though there's probably more of a chance of Pettersson winning next year's Boston Marathon. In any matter, let's get to it.
The PGA Tour leaves Hilton Head and heads to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. So after playing at the tour players' two favorite courses (Augusta National and Harbour Town), this event will be staged at one of their least favorites. Not surprisingly, the field is one of the weakest of the season as well.
Random tournament fact: This is the third year this event will be played at the Greg Norman-designed TPC San Antonio. At 7,522 yards, it's one of the longest courses on tour, and it also played as the seventh-toughest course on tour last year. Guess the Shark still has plenty of bite. Sorry, that was bad...
Brendan Steele. Months before he was in contention to be the first major winner to use a belly putter at the PGA Championship, Steele picked up his first PGA Tour win here. In something you rarely see at a regular tour event, Steele held on by parring the final 11 holes. We'd have more confidence in him if he wasn't coming off of three-straight missed cuts, having failed to break 80 twice in his past six rounds.
STUD/KNOCKOUT PICK OF THE WEEK
Charley Hoffman. The normally-inconsistent Hoffman has been surprisingly consistent in this event, finishing in the top 15 in five of six years. At TPC San Antonio, he has finished T-2 and T-13. So in a Fantasy Fix first, we are picking Hoffman to win. It may or may not also be the first time he's been referred to as a stud.
JUST BECAUSE PICKS
Matt Kuchar. The class of the field when going by Official World Golf Ranking (No. 15), He finished T-2 at this event in 2001 when it was held down the road at LaCantera Golf Club. He's coming off a T-44 at Harbour Town, but we're hoping that was simply a post-Masters hangover.
Johnson Wagner. J-Wags is the only player in the field who is in the top 10 in this year's FedEx Cup standings. That is all.
Ryan Moore. First time playing here. Hasn't done much in 2012. Simply put, there's no real reason to pick Moore in this spot. So, why do we like him? Again, we refer you to the rest of the field.
SWEDE OF THE WEEK
Fredrik Jacobson. Apparently, there's something about Texas that causes the Scandinavian to raise the level of his game. He has finished in the top five here in each of the past three years, including a runner-up to Adam Scott in 2010. Following Carl Pettersson's victory at Harbour Town, Jacobson will try to make it back-to-back Swedish winners on tour. Of course, if he tried on Pettersson's new tartan jacket from winning at Hilton Head, he'd get lost.
Starters: Matt Kuchar, Fredrik Jacobson, Charley Hoffman and Johnson Wagner
Bench: J.B. Holmes, Kevin Chappell, Ryan Moore and Colt Knost
Apparently, everyone else was uninspired by this tournament because I didn't get any guest picks. Let's blame Greg Norman. Instead, allow me to share that I somehow just managed to discover General Tso's chicken this weekend thanks to a couple friends. What a game-changer for my taste buds. Unfortunately, my arteries will never be the same either.