The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio for the 2023 Valero Texas Open. Designed by Greg Norman, the Par 72, 7,435 yard course hosts a variety of Bermuda grasses throughout that will test even the best players in the world. Last year’s edition was won by J.J. Spaun, who shot a nice 69 in the final round to win by two strokes over Matt Kuchar and Matt Jones and pick up his first career PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
Making his 7th career PGA Tour start this week, Peter Kuest has had minimal success so far, missing the cut in 5 of his first 6 starts. Kuest has potential, as he averages 319.6 yards off of the tee, good enough for 10th on tour, but he loses accuracy in the meantime, hitting just 54.99% of his fairways, ranking 131st on tour. TPC San Antonio is a course that requires precision off the tee and with Kuest blowing it all over the map right now, he is not in a prime position to be a threat this week. Kuest will eventually contend on tour, but this is not the week, as we predict that he will handily miss the cut.
Kevin Streelman may be 44 years old, but he still has a little bit of gas left in the tank in this late stage of his PGA Tour career, as he is still a fixture inside the top 200 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. He may have just 2 top 25 finishes on tour this season, but TPC San Antonio has been very kind to him over the years, making the cut in all 7 of his previous starts here, with 2 top 10’s and 5 top 20’s during that stretch. He may not be playing his best right now, but some players just seem to have success at certain courses no matter how good or bad they are playing and we predict that that will be in the cards for Streelman this week, as we predict that he will pick up another top 20 finish in Texas.
Matt Kuchar has quietly put together a solid season so far, with 3 top 10’s and 7 made cuts in 11 starts. TPC San Antonio has been a course that suits Kuchar’s game throughout the years, as he has had 3 top 10’s, 7 top 25’s, and 0 missed cuts here in 10 previous starts, highlighted by a T-2 finish last season. Kuchar’s recent success can be attributed to his short game, as he is ranked 1st on tour in both Sand Save Percentage and Scrambling. At the end of the day, the players with the best short game come out on top and we predict that Kuchar’s game will continue to trend in the right direction as he brings home another top 10 finish.
In the midst of his rookie season on tour, Taylor Montgomery is quickly locking down Rookie of the Year honors, with 4 top 10’s, 9 top 25’s, and just 2 missed cuts in 15 starts. Making his first start in this event, Montgomery’s game is driven by his success with the putter, ranking 3rd in Strokes Gained: Putting. Montgomery seems to be in contention seemingly every week on tour and is quickly gaining experience the more he puts himself in this position. He has done nearly everything but win on tour this season, but we predict that that will change this week when Taylor Montgomery picks up his first PGA Tour victory in the Valero Texas Open!