2017 Valero Texas Open Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

An interesting shift in dynamics this week brings, as from the numbers one and two favorite PGA Tour player annual stops we go (Augusta + Harbour Town) to the obese, obscene monstrosity that is TPC San Antonio, host of this week’s Valero Texas Open.  How’s that for a ringing endorsement?!

In a PGA Tour player survey that was conducted several years ago, the players ranked this week’s course DFL among the annual rota.  I guess there’s something about 7,435 yards, deep bunkers, rocky pastures, relentless wind and steroidal par 4s that don’t seem to mix so well together (course designers take note!).
My picks last week at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town were up and down, as my Lockzilla Matt Kuchar backdoored a t-11th finish with a Sunday 64, and my Semi-Flier Jason Dufner faded mightily from a chance to win on Sunday also into a t-11th finish.  I whiffed on my BUST pick of the week as Dirt McGirt finished t-3rd and my BOLD play of the week on Jim Furyk decided to bogey his final hole on Friday to miss the cut by one stroke (exact same thing happened the week prior at the Masters, too).

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Kuchar t-11th)

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka
– Brooks came through for me with a t-11th at the Masters and is the cream of the crop this week in a weak field.  He missed the cut here last year in his only appearance, but don’t let that scare you off as after some dismal form to start the season, he’s been mighty sharp in his past two starts.  As long as he rolls the rock well, he’ll contend.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Dufner t-11th)

Byeong-hun An
Byeong-Hun An
– You don’t need to know how to spell his name, only how to recognize it, as he will be making a serious splash into the PGA Tour winner’s circle sooner than later.  He struck the ball extremely well at the Masters two weeks ago, and finished t-33rd despite a whopping seven (!) three-putts.  Hasn’t missed a cut on Tour since the PGA Championship last August and despite it being his first crack at the course, I expect him to be near contention come Sunday.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: McGirt t-3rd)

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter
– The most overrated player in golf gagged away his chance to regain his full PGA Tour status last week at the RBC Heritage, falling apart on Sunday to finish t-11th.  He roughly needs a t-37th finish or better this week to keep his card, or he’ll be on his last straw and clinging to past champion and sponsors exemptions for status.  Can you sense my disdain for Poults?  Other than a mini-flash at the Ryder Cup, some spikey hair and some Ferraris he soon won’t be able to afford to keep, he would be an unknown to most.  Feel free to keep watching as he fades with his Twitter account into nothingness.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Furyk MC)

J.T. Poston
J.T. Poston
– Following Wesley Bryan’s breakthrough win at last week’s RBC Heritage, no doubt about it that fellow young breatheren like J.T. have to be extra motivated.  Shhh, don’t look now, but he’s made 8/9 cuts on Tour in 2017, three of which have gone for top 20s, including a t-17th at the Valspar Championship and t-10th in Puerto Rico, both in March.  He’ll fly under the radar for only one week longer, roster up and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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