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Texas Open preview

Sergio Garcia heads to the Lone Star State for the Texas Open. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Roar Guru
19th April, 2018
0

This week the PGA tour shifts its focus to the Texas Open, held at TPC San Antonio, where three Aussies finished in the top 15 last year, and Steven Bowditch won in 2014.

TPC San Antonio is a par-72 measuring up 7435 yards, making it one of the longest courses played all year.

Wind has historically been a significant feature of championships of past, and the recent winners have reflected such, with low, penetrating ball flights favoured. Proficiency with mid to long irons is critical.

The fairways are generous, the rough is not very penal, and there is an emphasis on length off the tee over accuracy. With two Par 5s falling over 600 yards, and another just under this range, distance is imperative.

Greens are far harder to hit here than the tour average, placing considerable emphasis on short games. The greens are relatively flat and slow, so there is a lesser emphasis on putting.

In what is one of the weakest fields seen this year, Sergio Garcia is the only player in the world top 20 competing.

However, eight Aussies are lining up: Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Cameron Percy, and John Senden.

Key statistics
The predictive statistics this week – and the top ten for each – are:

Strokes gained around the green
1. Aaron Baddeley
2. Kevin Na
3. Martin Laird
4. Alex Cejka
5. Bill Hass
6. Jamie Lovemark
7. Ollie Schniederjans
8. Luke List
9. Francesco Molinari
10. Brian Gay

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Proximity 175-200 amd 200+
1. Sung Kang
2. Nick Watney
3. Luke List
4. Tom Hoge
5. Conrad Shinder
6. Talor Gooch
7. Jimmy Walker
8. Kevin Chappell
9. Grayson Murray
10. Jon Curran

Strokes gained off the tee
1. Brendan Steele
2. Keith Mitchell
3. Kevin Chappell
4. Francesco Molinari
5. Luke List
6. Ryan Palmer
7. Xander Schauffele
8. Adam Scoot
9. Tom Lovelady
10. Si Woo Kim

Driving distance
1. Trey Mullinax
2. Luke List
3. Ryan Palmer
4. Keith Mitchell
5. Nick Watney
6. Robert Garrigus
7. Jason Kokrak
8. Adam Schenk
9. Cameron Champ
10. Kevin Tway

A culmination of key statistics
1. Luke List
2. Francesco Molinari
3. Keith Mitchell
4. Adam Scott
5. Kevin Chappell
6. J.T. Poston
7. Nate Lashley
8. J.B. Holmes
9. Nick Watney
10. Si Woo Kim

Top 50
Kevin Chappell is the defending champion, having broken through for his maiden PGA Tour win at TPC San Antonio last year.

Chappell has been battling back problems this year, but despite missing the two most recent cuts, his game is close and rates well for this course.

50-100
Luke List has been phenomenal this year, making the last eight cuts and not finishing worse than T-26, including a third last week at Harbour Town.

Terribly close to a win, there is good chance List comes close this week.

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100+
Keith Mitchell has made nine of the last ten cuts – including a second in Corales Puntacana – is proficient off the tee, and has been improving dramatically with his irons.

The world number 179 is relatively new on tour but has been impressive, and I like how he fits this course.

Texas born
Jimmy Walker has been recovering since contracting Lyme disease last year and has been good with his irons. The 2015 winner of this tournament loves playing at this course and in Texas in general.

Despite not having all of his game firing over the last two years, the 2016 PGA Champion can turn his fortunes around at a course he’s been successful at before.