A great win last week for Satoshi Kodaira at the RBC Heritage to earn his PGA Tour card. It was an exciting week of golf but Si Woo Kim backers will not be happy with how he played down the stretch, appearing to give the tournament away after missing a number of short putts. This week will be another tough test in windy conditions, but that is probably where the similarities end.
TPC San Antonio is a long 7,435 yard Par 72 with fairways and greens that are very tough to hit. It is a Greg Norman design with plenty of trees lining the fairways. The rough is not too thick here but the trees and native area can lead to trouble as Kevin Na knows all too well after making a 16 on the Par 4 9th in 2011.
The main key stats we are looking at this week:
Xander Schauffele @ 33/1 Skybet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
A great driver of the ball who leads this field in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and 8th in Driving Distance over the last 12 months. Loves a long course and his ball-striking has been on form for a while now, gaining strokes both off-the-tee and on approach in his last 5 tracked events. Won twice last year in stronger fields than this so looks to go well here on a course that should suit.
JB Holmes @ 60/1 Unibet 6 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another long driver, JB has finished in the Top 16 in 3 of his 5 visits here. He is an outstanding wind player who is showing signs of getting back to his best ball-striking form after falling away towards the end of last year. He has gained over 12 strokes on approach in his last 3 events and but poor putting has cost him a good finish. He has putted well at times here and if he performs well on the greens this week he should go well.
Long Shots to consider:
Aaron Wise @ 125/1 Betfair/Coral/PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Aaron Wise has been playing solid in 2018 without any really good finishes. He is 14th in Driving Distance and 8th in BoB% in 2018. He looks to be a good wind player. A highly rated prospect who is poised to come good if he can get all his game together at the same time. Was consistently hitting it close from 175-225 yards from November-February so if he can back to that form can contend.
Brandon Harkins @ 150/1 Coral 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another player who has shown flashes this season without really breaking through. 11th in Driving Distance, 16th in BoB% and 28th in SG:T2G in 2018 bode well for this test. 25th at The Sony Open, 8th at Careerbuilder, 12th at Farmers and 15th at Pebble beach show that he knows how to play in windy conditions. The main weakness in his game is his around the green play so he will need to continue his outstanding iron play from 150-225 yards.
Robert Garrigus @ 200/1 Coral, BoyleSports 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
An elite ball striker coming in 8th in Driving Distance, 7th in Bob% and 4th in proximity from 175-200 yards this year. The issue with Garrigus is often putting where he is one of the worst on tour. He has actually gained strokes putting in 2 of his last 3 events including an outstanding putting performance at another Texas course in Houston. The overseeded green surfaces in Houston have a similar make-up to the ones found here so if we are being hopeful another good putting performance could lead to a good score.