Valero Texas Open Round 4 Buys & Fades: Ride Charley Hoffman, Matt Wallace at TPC San Antonio
Steve Dykes/Getty Images. Pictured: Charley Hoffman.
The weather delayed the start of Round 3 at the Valero Texas Open as lightning in the area pushed tee times back by 2 1/2 hours. Once golfers got on the course, though, they found fairly benign conditions allowing for some low scoring all around TPC San Antonio.
Charley Hoffman took full advantage on a course he knows all too well as he shot the round of the day with a 7-under 65. He surpassed 36-hole leader Cameron Tringale with his round but will go into Sunday two shots behind co-leaders Jordan Spieth and Matt Wallace. Both Spieth and Wallace enjoyed 5-under rounds themselves, setting up an entertaining final threesome for Sunday.
It’s not out of the question that someone could jump up from behind and chase down the leaders, but it will have to be from one of the players who is already near the top and require a near perfect round.
The strokes gained data through three rounds should point us in the right direction as we look for the winner on Sunday in San Antonio.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly playing by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different — Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics…
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, ball-striking and tee-to-green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4
I put the buy in on both Matt Wallace and Charley Hoffman heading into Round 3, and neither did anything to let me down. Both players had solid rounds, led by Hoffman, but Wallace was not to be outdone from the final group. I’ll be happy if either comes through and will double down on two-thirds of the final group going into Sunday.
Wallace entered this week yet to find his way to a victory in the states after inconsistency has plagued him in events on this side of the pond. He has been the opposite of that this week in Texas, gaining at least 1.25 strokes on approach in each of his first three rounds. He has also averaged four strokes tee to green through 54 holes and is gaining strokes on the field across the board.
I am a bit of a Wallace truther, as noted by my excited add of him for next week’s Masters during yesterday’s round, and I may believe in him more than he believes in himself. In my eyes, he can compete at an elite level week in and week out and while this is a softer field, he has done very well this week at TPC San Antonio. I won’t be the least bit surprised to see him close the deal on Sunday and roll into Augusta on a high note.
Wallace is +225 to win the Texas Open at BetMGM.
Hoffman has gained more than five strokes both tee to green and ball striking on Saturday, making it nearly 10 strokes gained on the field tee to green over the last two rounds. He dug himself a big hole with his opening round 75 but has climbed his way back into contention and will look to secure the win tomorrow afternoon.
Hoffman has the added motivation of being the only player of the top three that must win to play at the Masters next week, and as gamblers, we are all yearning to bet him in his rightful spot as first-round leader next Thursday.
I’ll be rooting that home and sticking with Hoffman, who is +500 at FanDuel, the rest of the way.
It’s been a really encouraging week for Gary Woodland, who has been searching for his game since the end of last year. He’s shown glimpses at times, but this week is seemingly the first one he has put together over multiple rounds.
Woodland shot a 5-under 67 on Moving Day to climb into a tie for sixth, although he is still six shots back of the leaders. It’ll take a truly remarkable round from him or a collapse from the entire final group to see him contend for the win, but another solid round will be a step in the right direction for his game heading into the Masters.
You can get the former major champion at +8000 on DraftKings.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
In buying two thirds of the final group, I am fading Jordan Spieth nearly by default. It’s not a blind fade, though, as he continues to bail himself out from issues off the tee. He lost .65 strokes to the field in that category on Saturday as he hit just five fairways in his 5-under 67.
While iron play is the key to this course, players have to keep it in play to compete and Spieth has just barely done enough of that to contend. He will certainly be the favorite out of the last tee time, but we have to remember it’s been four years since he last won. I expect Spieth to still have some nerves on Sunday and, to me, Hoffman may be the most comfortable in this spot.
Cameron Tringale took a two-shot lead into Saturday at the Valero Texas Open, but he struggled pretty much from the start. He bogeyed the second hole, and went on a stretch of three straight bogeys on the back nine to drop him behind the rest of his group.
It’s hard to say if it was the pressure of seeking his first TOUR win or just an off day, but Tringale couldn’t get much going in any aspect of his game. He lost strokes to the field tee to green, including 1.49 strokes lost on approach during the round. I expect him to find trouble bouncing back on Sunday, and to drop further down the board if he starts to press as he tries to make up for lost shots.
I was surprised to see Matt Kuchar stay in the field after the marathon that was the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play last week. He made it to the final day, which had him playing seven matches over five days, and that may have finally caught up with him on Saturday.
Kuchar lost more than a stroke to the field tee to green and lost strokes in both aspects of his ball striking. The only thing that held him in the round today was a sharp putter that gained 2.29 strokes on the greens. He salvaged a 2-under round and is tied for sixth going into Sunday. I’m going to play the fatigue factor and look for Kuchar to drop down the leaderboard during the final round, especially with one eye on Augusta National.