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14D AGO

Power Rankings: Valero Texas Open

2 Min Read

Power Rankings

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    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    No matter which variation of the Texas two-step that you prefer, you still need somewhere to go when you move. In this version presented by the PGA TOUR, the shift is 175 miles west of Houston to this week’s Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

    For the explanation of why the field is larger than usual, how TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course is set up and more, continue reading below.



    To accommodate as many members in the graduate reshuffle category as possible, this is the last of a three-week plan to expand fields to as many as 156. As of Monday, the commitments to Valero total a maximum of 156. The remaining alternates would not be called unless the field drops below 144.

    The Valspar Championship ended up hosting 152, while the Texas Children’s Houston Open went off with 144. The modification was made to increase playing time for the category that reorders for the first time at the conclusion of the Valero.

    Included in the customary collection of perks reserved for the winner is the last spot in the first major of the season. That, of course, is the Masters next week. Currently, 30 qualifiers are in the field at TPC San Antonio, including Corey Conners, who is defending his second title at Valero.

    Quite simply, Conners was built for TPC San Antonio, and vice versa. The stock par 72 is a premium, ball-striker’s layout. Because it tips at 7,438 yards, distance off the tee is a valuable bonus. Last year’s field averaged 72.092, so much adjacent to the bull’s-eye for the setup.

    Accuracy is imperative given that the first layer of rough is 2.5 inches tall. Beyond that is the kind of four-inch hay that weekend warriors without forecaddies, cameras and a crowd would lament after driving into it, “I hope I can find it.”

    As usual, the entire course is overseeded and the combination Bermuda-Poa greens are governed to 11½ feet on the Stimpmeter. Speed on the putting surfaces needs to be slower than average due to the winds of the Texas Hill Country.

    After a teaser of a beautifully calm opening round, the breezes will freshen on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s forecast is a mixed bag that includes quieter wind and the strongest threat for rain during any round. Daytime temperatures should rise into the 70s throughout.


    ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE

    MONDAY: Power Rankings
    TUESDAY*: Sleepers
    WEDNESDAY: Golfbet Insider
    SUNDAY: Points and Payouts; Medical Extensions; Qualifiers; Reshuffle

    * Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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