2015 Valero Texas Open picks + predictions, plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Out with the Florida swing, in with the Texas two-step, as the PGA Tour transitions to the Lone Star state for this week’s Valero Texas Open.  A few years ago, PGA Tour players voted TPC San Antonio (this week’s host course) DFL on their favorite courses list.  Something about 7,435 yards, deep bunkers, rocky pastures, relentless wind and steroidal par 4s don’t seem to mix so well together (course designers take note!); however, with the Masters just two weeks away (again- the MASTERS IS JUST TWO WEEKS AWAY, PINCH ME NOW!!), the field is of decent quality as Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Zach “Albatross-bogey-bogey” Johnson and others will be teeing it up this week to sharpen their games up in time for the season’s first major.

Another rip-roarin’ red hot week of picks for me again last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as my Lockzilla Henrik Stenson finished solo 2nd, my Semi-Flier Jason Kokrak finished t-6th and I again spot on nailed a previously red hot player to miss the cut—J.B. Holmes.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Day t-17th, Henrik 2nd)

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson
– The putts finally started falling for Zach on the weekend at Bay Hill (68-66), as did that albatross on 16, en route to his t-9th finish.  He’s a guy who thrives on holing putts–sounds generic and like a “duh” statement, but in Zach’s case it’s extra true- when he gets going he REALLY gets going–so with his sudden found solid form plus his t-6th here last year (first appearance since MC in ’10), Zach is as big of a Lockzilla for a top 10 with winning upside as they come this week.

Brendan Steele
Brendan Steele
– Suddenly Mr consistent, Steele is now riding a cuts made streak of 14, dating all the way back to the British Open last summer…and not only is he making cuts, he’s banking fat paychecks galore, as since the Humana Challenge he has gone t-2nd, t-26th, t-45th, t-14th, t-11th and t-35th in his past 6 starts on Tour.  Add in his past success here of a t-4th in ’12 and his lone PGA Tour victory here in ’11 and boom, expect another high finish from Brendan this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Kokrak t-6th)

Daniel Summerhays
Daniel Summerhays
– A course horse here to be sure, as Summerhays has gone t-2nd and t-7th here the past two years.  His current form also has been solid of late, as he has made five consecutive cuts on Tour, including a t-17th at the Honda Classic, followed by a t-10th at the Valspar just two weeks ago.  He’ll likely be a little more noticed this year coming off of his near miss last year, but then again he’s Daniel Summerhays, so he’ll likely still fly mostly under the radar.  Go ahead and book another snoozy top 10 finish this week.

*Bonus Picks- Also watch for both Francesco Molinari + Gary Woodland this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last Week: Holmes MC)

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
– Whoa whoa whoa Joel, now wait a minute.  You’ve been rip-roarin’ red hot in this BUST spot all season now, but picking the #1 ranked player in the PGA Tour Rankings as the BUST of the week?!  It’s downright crazy, right?  No, actually it’s not really.  Spieth is the absolute perfect fade this week, and here’s why: A) I love fading guys off a win, even with a week in between the next start B) Despite it being an event in his home state, he has not played well at TPC San Antonio.  T-41st in ’12, MC in ’13 and a backdoor 10th place finish last year when he colored Thursday with bogeys galore en route to an opening 75, barely skirting by the cut and then eventually going 68-71 on the weekend to leap up into 10th place.  So, with attention galore due to it being his home state (added pressure), relatively poor course history and fade coming off a win = yep, Jordan Spieth is your BUST of the week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Webb t-43rd)

Hudson Swafford
Hudson Swafford
– This University of Georgia standout outplayed everyone not named Matt Every from Friday-Sunday last week, as he closed out the Arnold Palmer Invitational 66-68-68 for a t-11th finish, his best since the Frys.com Open in October, where he finished t-8th.  To note, Hudson followed up that t-8th at the Frys with a t-18th finish at the Shriners and a t-12th at the McGladrey.  Basically, the guy can flat out play, and it’s been a long time coming for him to be noticed (there’s a reason that Bridgestone features him in all of those commercials with those other big shots—Kuchar, Couples, Sneds, Price, Trevino, DLIII, etc…—-the guy has big time talent).  Disregard his MC last year here when he was a PGA Tour rookie and shot 76-80, and pay attention to the talent and potential that he brings to the table.  Load up on some Hudson this week, and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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