Valero Texas Open: Best Final-Round Matchup, Future Bets

Valero Texas Open: Best Final-Round Matchup, Future Bets article feature image
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Nothing went according to plan Saturday at the Valero Texas Open, with Ryan Moore and Grayson Murray sliding down the leaderboard.

Moore fell two shots back, while Murray pretty much removed himself from contention.

Instead, we have Zach Johnson and Andrew Landry tied at the top, with Johnson listed as the favorite at +175 and Landry right behind at +275.

Trey Mullinax is one back and at +600 after breaking the course record with a 62 on Saturday. Moore is in fourth and at +600 as well.

At the top, Landry has been the most consistent this week. He’s gaining most of his ground on the field with the tee-to-green game, while the putter has been a little above average.

Johnson was actually below the field average from tee-to-green but putted the lights out Saturday to maintain his tie at the top. He made five putts outside of 10 feet and didn’t miss inside nine feet during the third round.

For Mullinax, backing up a course record for any player is difficult, and nearly all of damage was done with his short game, so I’m not expecting anything low from him. He gained 8.9 strokes on the field during the round, and 7.3 came around the green and with the putter.

We still have Moore within striking distance to cash at +2500, and Murray is in a tie for ninth, so the +1250 top-10 is still in play for him.

If you’re looking to jump in or add something, Chris Kirk at +2800 might be worth a look. He’s four shots back and is fifth so far this week in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. We’ve seen a lot of low rounds the past couple of days, so we know a score in the mid- to low-60s is available. If Kirk heats up with the putter a little bit, he could give himself enough birdie looks to contend.

Matchups

My first target will be Landry over Johnson and Mullinax at +200. I mentioned a lot of the reasons above. This is also just a really good course for Landry. The driver is his best club, and TPC San Antonio lets him take advantage of that.

I’m also backing Brendan Steele over K.J. Choi and Zac Blair at even money. Steele is a great player tee-to-green most weeks. He’s ninth this week in that regard but is tied for 30th in the tournament because the putter has failed him. Choi and Blair are both below the field average this week from tee-to-green, so this is a spot where we’re getting the superior player who’s striking it better.

Pictured above: Zach Johnson