Expert Picks: Valero Texas Open

April 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to TPC San Antonio this week for the Valero Texas Open. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at TPC San Antonio?
Expert picks: Valero Texas Open
Pick orderPlayer selected
FREDRIK JACOBSON. Watching Carl Pettersson last week, it's obvious that Swedes will win every week from here on out on TOUR. So I'll take Jacobson, whose last two Valero finishes at TPC San Antonio are T5 and second. He's also 7-for-7 in cuts made this year.
COLT KNOST. No longer burdened by expectations following his U.S. Amateur Championship, the Texan is playing with a confidence that he didn't have his first two years on TOUR. Two top-3 finishes this season, including last week.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Knost
CHARLEY HOFFMAN. Hoffman has played the Valero Texas Open six times, is a cumulative 47 under there and only once has he finished outside the top 13. Plus, he returns to the Lone Star State with confidence after a tie for eighth at Hilton Head.
If Ross had the top pick ... Hoffman
CAMERON TRINGALE. Had he not made several bogeys on the back 9 here on Sunday last year, Tringale may have been the champion. He settled for T5, so he has some unfinished business to take care of this week. Finished T8 in his last start.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Hoffman
BUD CAULEY. With TPC San Antonio entering just its third year as the host course, there aren't many established track records here. Strongly considered J.B. Holmes, but went with the rookie, who possesses the all-around game to become a star.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Cauley
RYAN PALMER. Slow start to 2012, but this is his week. TPC San Antonio is a big boy course, and Palmer is really underrated when it comes to hitting it 300 yards and straight. Missed the cut at TPC San Antonio in 2011, but tied for ninth there in 2009.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Jacobson
K.J. CHOI. This will be his first start at TPC San Antonio. Missed his first cut of the year two weeks ago at the Masters, so he's rested. Tends to play well in spurts; ran off three top-10s in a row before his win at the 2011 PLAYERS.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Palmer
HARRIS ENGLISH. Sticking with the first-timer theme here with Brendan Steele having won last year. English is coming off a T8 at the RBC Heritage and has all the tools -- he's long off the tee, is top 20 in greens in regulation and a good putter.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Hoffman
JOHNSON WAGNER. Wagner is fifth in FedExCup points this year thanks to four top-10 finishes, including a win at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He tied for 15th at the Valero Texas Open last year and should be rested after a week off following the Masters.
If Deason had the top pick ... Donald
J.B. HOLMES. This guy loves the southern half of Texas. In his five starts in either Houston or San Antonio since 2009, he has four finishes of top 13 or better. That includes a tie for 11th last year at Valero and a tie for eighth three weeks ago in Houston.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Holmes
Standings after 16 events
LAST WEEK: A rough week for picks, as Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar didn't contend for the win at Harbour Town:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
2 3 6 10 0 1856.24
2 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
2 5 6 10 2 1723.75
3 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 5 7 10 3 1629.75
4 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 2 3 6 1 1102.85
5 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 2 3 7 1 1071.08
6 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
1 3 4 5 2 1060.76
7 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 2 6 7 3 1031.92
8 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 2 2 8 1 838.30
9 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 2 4 8 0 749.17
10 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 2 3 7 3 623.75

MAKE YOUR PICK: Tell us who you expect to win this week's event.