PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton lists five against-the-grain fantasy selections to consider for this week's Valero Texas Open.
Kevin Chappell … At this point, he’s really not a sleeper anymore. It’s already his fourth appearance in this feature this season. This is his 13th start. But even though he doesn’t climb into the Power Rankings, as long as he’s delivering often enough, he deserves this nod. Coming off a T9 at Harbour Town where he shared the 36-hole lead. And while we still can’t discount the positive influence of becoming a father for the first time a year ago, it’s more relevant that he’s enjoyed trickier tracks over the years. TPC San Antonio hasn’t been excluded from his focus. He was a co-runner-up in his debut in 2011 and added a T13 two years later. Ranks 20th in strokes gained: tee-to-green and T27 in the all-around.
Bryce Molder … As one of the shortest hitters on the PGA TOUR, TPC San Antonio isn’t the kind of layout at which success is projected. Yet, he’s recorded top 25s in two of his last three appearances. What he’s lost in distance off the tee, he’s compensated with accuracy and short game. En route to last year’s T20, he ranked sixth in fairways hit and fifth in scrambling. This time, he strides in on a confidence-building Sunday 67 at Harbour Town that vaulted him into a share of sixth place. He finished the week at fourth in the all-around and ninth in scrambling.
Andrew Loupe ... If he’s going to build a stable of go-to sites, TPC San Antonio has the inside track to one of the stalls. In his debut here in 2014, he paced the field with an opening 67, and then parlayed it into a share of fourth place. That remained his career-best finish until a T3 at the CareerBuilder Challenge this past January. That’s one of three top 10s this season. He also finished T14 at The Honda Classic. Currently 24th on TOUR in strokes gained: putting and T18 in par-5 scoring.
Kyle Reifers … The 32-year-old is 2-for-2 at TPC San Antonio with a T11 last year. His closing 68 equaled the low round of the day. For the week, he ranked T7 in scrambling and T4 in par-4 scoring. Since opening this season with a T6 at the Frys.com Open, he’s coasted along comfortably inside the top 70 of the FedExCup standings and has added a pair of top 15s. Both are recent, the latter occurring in Houston (T7) just three weeks ago. In line with his steady progress, he’s 14th in the all-around ranking.
John Merrick … Buried in the overall pecking order (with Past Champion status), the 33-year-old is making just his sixth start of the season. He’s withdrawn during two, including his last in Puerto Rico with a sore right hand. TPC San Antonio has been the site for many a wrist injury over the years, so he’ll need to be more cautious than usual in his sixth consecutive appearance. Last year’s T15 is a personal best. He’s also coming off a T17 at the Web.com Tour’s Servientrega Championship in Colombia two weeks ago.