By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
On the record for targeting top 10s in every event, I've been criticized for settling for too little. What's overlooked is that victories and top fives are neatly tucked in that same bubble. In fact, more than half of my top 10s this season have been top fives. It's a sound strategy, and it's the kind of philosophy that will help you keep it simple at the Valero Texas Open.
Case in point, if you haven't burned Matt Kuchar, plug him in. Sure, there may be better spots later, but that angle isn't as relevant at TPC San Antonio, a treacherous piece of property that's still relatively new to many in the field. Kuchar has been motoring along wonderfully and he has a T13 under his belt here last year. The purse is $6.2 million. Not too shabby.
When you gather all of the most important factors in making your decision this week, Kuchar stands atop most lists. But even if you're hesitant, consider what happened to me earlier this season.
I exhausted Kuchar at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, electing to holster Dustin Johnson for a more sensible site. Kuchar tied for ninth in the 30-man field but DJ came out on top. Then when I leaned on Johnson at Pebble Beach -- an obvious selection given his series of successes there -- I promptly rued my decision not to use him in the season opener. Johnson missed the cut for $0.00.
Time will tell how poor my timing was with Johnson, but the point is clear and I learned from it. Instead of waiting to use Tiger Woods for the Masters or another more lucrative event, he paid dividends at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a victory. No regrets.
Now, if you, like me, no longer have Kuchar at your disposal, then Fredrik Jacobson is a suitable alternative. Arguably just outside the range of obvious investments in a one-and-done, the Swede makes sense given his recent form (five straight top 25s), history at TPC San Antonio (2nd; T5; T18) and a confidence booster of having just qualified for the Masters via the Official World Golf Ranking. He's also rested having taken the last three weeks off.
Jacobson is my choice for the Valero Texas Open. And yes, I'll settle for a top 10.
Last week: Keegan Bradley; T10; $137,433,33
Overall Record: 12-for-14
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 9
Top 25s: 11
Missed Cuts: 2