Sleeper Picks: Valero Texas OpenApril 02, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM fantasy columnist
Sleeper Picks: Valero Texas Open
Tom Gillis ... Arguably one of the most dangerous touring professionals in terms of unpredictably flourishing despite the creaks and groans of a 44-year-old well-traveled body. While he led the PGA TOUR in birdie average in 2010, when his game is on, he's tended to find success on the most difficult courses. To wit, his best finish among three cuts made in eight starts this season is a T25 at PGA National, which ranks as the hardest course in relation to par this year. He was a co-runner-up on the track last year. He's 2-for-2 at TPC San Antonio with a T9 in 2010.
Robert Streb ... The rookie tied for 22nd at the Shell Houston Open, best among 20 in his class at Redstone. It's the second time he's been low rookie without the benefit of a top 10 (T11, Puerto Rico Open). Overall, he's 6-for-10 on the season with four top 25s and sits 80th in FedExCup points. Also ranks 35th in greens in regulation, 61st in strokes gained-putting and 67th in adjusted scoring.
Vaughn Taylor ... Although saddled with conditional status, he's managed three top 25s in four starts, one as a result of open qualifying for The Honda Classic (T25), another after receiving a sponsor exemption into the Arnold Palmer Invitational (T21). Ranks 10th on TOUR in fairways hit and 15th in adjusted scoring. He's survived two of three cuts at TPC San Antonio.
Nathan Green ... Relegated to the Past Champions category this year, the 37-year-old has missed two cuts in as many starts this season, but he's fared nicely at Greg Norman-designed AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. After sharing low Aussie at T23 with Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden in 2011, Green took outright honors (of 10 Australians) with a T24 last year. He finished at even-par 288 in both editions.
Matt Bettencourt ... In terms of timing, he lands here solely on the merit of his T24 in Puerto Rico four weeks ago. Even though he missed a cut on the Web.com Tour since, he's on the short list of PGA TOUR members that ride a groove when they find it. This goes back to his last full year on the developmental circuit in 2008 when he won twice and posted two more top fives in his last six starts to earn playing privileges in the big leagues for the first time. He repeated the pattern in the summer of 2009, albeit without a victory. That would wait a year when he broke through in Reno to begin a run of four consecutive top 25s.