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Valero Texas Open picks 2022: The forgotten elite our anonymous caddie is betting

March 29, 2022
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Tony Finau of the United States looks on from the 14th green during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 10, 2022 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

If you took a quick glance at the field this week, you might ignore the Valero Texas Open entirely, especially with the Masters lurking in the distance next week. “Why even waste my money?” you may have asked yourself.

We get it, but sometimes your best weeks come when you least expect them. Kind of like when a golfer “doesn’t care” any more, then goes out and wins. Why not us this week, right?

That’s the philosophy we’re rolling with, even with one eye firmly on next week’s small gathering of friends down in Augusta, Ga. As always, our picks come from the industry’s best collection of golf handicappers, including Pat Mayo of DraftKings and Mayo Media Network; Brandon Gdula of FanDuel/numberFire; Rick Gehman of RickRunGood.com; Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports; and an anonymous caddie reporting from TPC San Antonio.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Valero Texas Open.

Valero Texas Open picks 2022: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Abraham Ancer (22-1, Bet365) — He’s been rounding into the type of form we’ve come to expect. His run at the Match Play—really taking it to Collin Morikawa—should give him a ton of confidence this week. You don’t need distance here, but you need sharp irons, which is when Ancer really can contend.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Bryson DeChambeau (28-1, DraftKings) — After watching Bryson at the WGC-Match Play last week, I’m not totally sure where his game is at, but I’d say he looked more rusty than injured. Considering Bryson has shorter odds next week in a far more difficult event, you might as well take the gamble on his talent at a course that matches his skills, right?

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Gary Woodland (34-1, FanDuel) — Woodland is long off the tee but not accurate, and accuracy doesn’t really matter here. He also is striping the irons lately and has great putting from short range, which is a great sign for his long-term outlook. He was T-6 here last year.

Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Maverick McNealy (35-1, DraftKings) — McNealy might win the award for most unlucky last week at the Match Play event (he went 2-0-1 in the group stage and didn’t advance!). He eventually fell to Kevin Na in a playoff to win Group 14 but McNealy’s play was strong and he’s trending in the right direction. Dating back to last summer, McNealy has gained strokes on the field in 18 of 21 events. He’s making big strides in his game and it’s going to result in a victory soon.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Abraham Ancer (22-1, Bet365) — Ancer seems to like this course—he’s made the cut in all four appearances and has even gained strokes off-the-tee each time. His ball-striking is trending back to where it was when he won last year. He’s got a similar game to Corey Conners, who broke through here a couple years ago … and I think Ancer could get it done at, yes, a home game for him this week being a San Antonio resident. It’s #sleepinhisownbed szn.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Sahith Theegala (75-1, DraftKings) — The top of this odds board leaves a lot to be desired, and I won’t be sucked into betting someone just to bet someone, especially when I could use that money much more wisely at the Masters. So Theegala it is. He’s got solid odds, he’s coming off a sneaky seventh-place finish at Valspar and a 22nd in Punta Cana, and, as my “Be Right” co-host Steve Hennessey pointed out on our pod this week, the TPC San Antonio greens are very comparable to TPC Scottsdale’s, where Theegala gained over five strokes putting and nearly won.

Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Chris Kirk (35-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Kirk comes into this event ranked first in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months and third for Opportunities Gained over the same period. His solid tee-to-green game and excellent around-the-green game means he ranks 22nd in the FanShareSports Course Suitability Ranking this week. Kirk has also had success here at TPC San Antonio before, ranking eighth in the field this week for SG/total here.

Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.

Valero Texas Open picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Tony Finau (40-1, PointsBet) — Tony is someone who is always looking to win whenever he tees it up. It doesn’t matter that it’s pre-Augusta, he’s hungry for another win. It’s crazy to see him below some of these other names on the odds board. His hard work will start to pay off; I got to see him play at the Match Play, and his game is close.

Mayo: Luke List (60-1, DraftKings) — The form has tapered off a tad since his breakthrough win at Torrey, but it’s not like it’s been a disaster either. The irons finally went away at Riviera, marking the first time he’d lost strokes on approach since last year’s playoffs. But he quickly got that back at API the following week, gaining almost three strokes in just two rounds. He withdrew from The Players after getting stuck in the awful weather draw and was OK in a tough group at the Match Play. The issue has been the return of the horrendous flat stick. He’s losing 1.875 strokes/putting per ROUND in his past eight measured rounds. That’s bad, even for Luke List. Still, his price has completely bottomed out along with it. If you follow the fantastic tee-to-green numbers and pray for a lucky week on the greens, he can most definitely take down another victory at an excellent course for his skill set.

Gdula: K.H. Lee (75-1, FanDuel) — Lee hasn’t flashed the most upside since a Byron Nelson win last season, but he is putting himself into play with made cuts. He missed the first cut of the season and has played through every week since. There are no holes in his game right now.

Gehman: Brendan Steele (80-1, DraftKings) — Steele’s game is starting to turn the corner and it couldn’t happen at a better time. With a T-26 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a T-13 at the Players Championship, Steele is back to making significant gains in the ball-striking categories. He is, of course, losing a ton of strokes with his putter. However, the history for Steele putting at the Oaks Course has been much better. In 10 trips, he’s gained strokes on the putting surfaces in half of them and hoisted the trophy in 2011.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Doug Ghim (80-1, DraftKings) — Ghim’s ball-striking led to a stellar T-6 at The Players, and this feels like a course that should match his skill set—accurate but proficient with the driver and get hot irons. In his debut here last year, he gained over nine strokes tee to green but lost over seven strokes putting. He’s historically a strong putter, so that had to have been anomaly. Of course, if you want a clincher, I could give you that he’s a Texas Longhorn playing in his home state, too.

Powers, Golf Digest: Beau Hossler (140-1, DraftKings) — No offense to the Chris Kirk backers this week (I love Chris Kirk!), but you’re off your rocker if you’re betting him under 40-1 when you can find a guy like Beau Hossler at 140-1. Hossler has had eerily similar results to Kirk in his last six starts, going third-MC-48th-16th-20th-MC. Kirk, meanwhile, has gone MC-MC-14th-seventh-fifth-MC. How is he 100 points shorter than Hoss? The point is, there is way more money in the crumbs this week, and you should seek it out rather than trying to chase on the Kirk coronation.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Rasmus Hojgaard (100-1, DraftKings) — This young Dane is the real deal. He has won three events in the space of just over two years on the DP World Tour and has made his last eight cuts in a row. Last week’s sixth-place finish at the Corales Puntacana Championship ensures he will be brimming with confidence coming into this week.

Valero Texas Open picks 2022: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)

Caddie: Rory McIlroy (8-1, BetMGM) — If Rory struggles at all out of the gate, his mind will instantly go to next week, if it’s not there already.

Mayo: Hideki Matsuyama (14-1, DraftKings) — First week back from his injury? Pass…

Gdula: Jordan Spieth (11-1, FanDuel) — I know he’s thrived here and won here a year ago, but the putting was phenomenal during his three top-10 results over the past four years. I’ll root for him if he’s in contention, but if I’m betting a favorite, it’ll be Rory or Conners.

Gehman: Corey Conners (18-1, DraftKings) — Conners made a deep run in the Match Play last week, playing six matches in five days. Most golfers who make a deep run don’t tee it up the following week with fatigue as a serious concern. Conners will look past those concerns as a former champion of this event. History has generally not been kind to those playing the week right after a Sunday run at the Match Play.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Hideki Matsuyama (14-1, DraftKings) — I would look to fade Hideki in matchups this week. I’d say two tournament rounds are all Hideki is expecting this week, before booking a flight on the weekend to Augusta.

Powers, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (18-1, DraftKings) — A Corey Conners top 10, 20 and 40 will be getting my money … next week. This week, at 18-1 coming off a ton of golf in Austin, he will not be.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Abraham Ancer (22-1, DraftKings) — Ancer comes into this event ranked just 45th in the field for SG/total over the last two months and just 76th for Opportunities Gained. He has not recorded a PGA Tour top-five finish in any of his last 14 stroke-play events and has never finished top 20 here at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open picks 2022: Matchups

Caddie: Hideki Matsuyama (+145) over Rory McIlroy (DraftKings) — There are certainly an equal amount of questions about Hideki with the injury as there is with Rory and his motivation here. So why not take the plus-money, when I think this is closer to a coin flip?

Mayo: Jhonattan Vegas (-110) over Matt Kuchar (DraftKings) — Fortunately, it’s not 2016 … so Vegas, who played great at Puntacana, should cruise to a win here.

Gdula: Adam Hadwin (-112) over Kevin Streelman (FanDuel) — Streelman has great course form, but the past six months show a separation between Hadwin and Streelman that isn’t reflected in the head-to-head odds.

Gehman: Kevin Streelman (-130) over Denny McCarthy (DraftKings) — Streelman is sitting firmly at the intersection of recent form and course history. He enters with three top-25 finishes in his last four starts including a T-7 at the Valspar Championship in his most recent event. Combine that with his excellent course history, highlighted by back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2018 and 2019, and you’ve got a solid play for this week.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Corey Conners (-105) over Hideki Matsuyama (BetMGM) — We know where Conners’ game is after his deep run to the Final Four of the Match Play. There are more questions than answers with Hideki, so at pretty much even odds, at a course where Conners has won, this feels like a home run.

Powers, Golf Digest: Hideki Matsuyama (+145) over Rory McIlroy (DraftKings) — Hideki Matsuyama should be a +145 dog against exactly zero golfers on the planet, no matter the event or how good the other guy might be. End of handicap.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Patton Kizzire (-110) over Russell Knox (Bet365) — I really like Kizzire this week. Knox on the other hand has missed his last three cuts here and has just one top-40 finish here in his past six attempts. One of the main reasons he does so badly here is his putting on slow Bermuda greens. He ranks just 117th in this field for SG/putting on said greens.

Day 1 Matchup Results from the WGC Match Play: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Na (+115) over Henley); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Garcia (-125) over Kokrak); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Young (-105) over Reed); Powers: PUSH (Bland (+150) over Bryson); Caddie: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1; Gehman 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 15-3-4 (up 11.32 units); Powers: 13-6-3 (up 6.66 units); Caddie: 12-8-2 (up 3.68 units); Alldrick: 11-10-1 (down 0.64 units); Hennessey: 10-11-1 (down 4.11 units); Gdula: 9-13-0 (down 4.45 units); Gehman: 7-12-3 (down 5.48 units)

Valero Texas Open picks 2022: Top 10s

Caddie: Abraham Ancer (+275, DraftKings) — I really like Abe this week, as you read above. Back up that outright bet with a top-10, as I really do think this is a great course fit for him.

Mayo: Gary Woodland (+350, DraftKings) — The shine has come off of Woodland since his consecutive T-5s to kick off the Florida swing, but his T-21 at the Valspar was actually closer to what we want to see from Woodland moving forward. He gained over four strokes on approach and over two around the greens. Get the driving back to normal levels, make a few putts and he can most definitely improve on his T-6 at this venue from a year ago.

Gdula: Mito Pereira (+750, FanDuel) — Pereira is debuting at this course, yet he has the right skillset to figure it out. He’s long off the tee and has been nails when putting from within 15 feet. He’s expected for some positive putting regression and is an elite iron player, too.

Gehman: Tony Finau (+350, DraftKings) — My confidence is generally low on Finau but he flashed brilliance in his final match against Xander Schauffele last week. He’s still struggling with his putter, but not as badly as he was a few months ago. With a field this weak and a number this long, it was hard to look past Finau as a viable contender.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Min Woo Lee (+1400, FanDuel) — Lee hasn’t been great in his few starts over in the U.S., and this is a Masters prep week for him. But for a top-50 player in the world, in this event, these odds are kind of nuts.

Powers, Golf Digest: Kevin Chappell (+1600, DraftKings) — Charley Hoffman is the true Valero King, but Chappell might be the Valero Prince, and he’s shown some nice flashes recently, unlike Chuck Hoff. He had decent showings at the Farmers and the WMPO, and then finished top 20 last week in Puntacana. His Valero history: win in 2017, fourth in ‘16, 15th in ‘13, second in ‘11.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Patton Kizzire (+475, PointsBet) — Kizzire is one of the best putters in the field this week on these slow, Bermuda greens. He ranks seventh in the field for SG/putting on said putting surface over the last two years. Both Kizzire’s long- and short-term form are great too, ranking 13th for SG/total over the last two years and sixth for SG/total over the last two months.

Group-winner results from the WGC Match Play: Powers: 1 for 1 (Power +330); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 9 for 22 (up 32.55 units); Alldrick: 5 for 22 (up 17.5 units); Gehman: 4 for 22 (down 1.3 units); Mayo: 2 for 22 (down 4.45 units); Hennessey: 4 for 22 (down 6.53 units); Caddie: 5 for 22 (down 7.75 units); Gdula: 1 for 22 (down 18.6 units)

Valero Texas Open 2022 picks: One and Done

Gehman: Charley Hoffman —
Hoffman has played 44 rounds at TPC San Antonio dating back to 2010. He’s gaining 2.4 strokes per round, which over that sample size, is some of the most elite course history by any player at any course. In those 11 trips, he has one win, three runners-up, one third and four more top 15s. He’ll need to break out of a recent slump, but there’s no better place for him to get right than TPC San Antonio.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson.

Hennessey: Chris Kirk — Even if you’re not into betting Kirk at the 25-1, 30-1 numbers we’re seeing, the one-and-done play seems appropriate.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry.

Powers: Charley Hoffman — I’m with Rick here. This field is gross and you should absolutely not waste a stud pick on it. Take the dude who dominates at Valero and the guy you will have zero use for the rest of the season - Charley Hoffman.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns.

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.

Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.

Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.