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DFS Dish: Valero Texas Open

Ryan Fox

Ryan Fox

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

While casual gamers may be looking ahead to the Masters, the diehards are locked in for the Valero Texas Open.

There are 144 golfers lined up to start the week at TPC San Antonio with the Low 65 and Ties playing their way through the cutline.

Conditions are looking tough with Mother Nature showing her face early and often this week. Let’s look at some historical data to see who might like the challenge.

Wind, Lose, or Draw

We are playing in Texas so the wind is a common theme.

As Jordan Spieth put it two years ago, “It’s very rare you get to play it without a 15-mile-an-hour wind.”

That looks true this week as well with Thursday and Friday calling for 15 MPH winds with gusts exceeding 30 MPH.

Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round when playing in windy conditions (14+ MPH), over the last two years:

Tyrrell Hatton
Hideki Matsuyama
Ryan Fox
Corey Conners
Cam Davis
Alex Noren
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Brendon Todd
Chris Kirk
Rickie Fowler
Thomas Detry
Taylor Pendrith
Sam Stevens
Matt Wallace
Alex Smalley

We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:

Akshay Bhatia
Ricky Barnes
Eric Cole
Byeong Hun An
Sam Stevens
Harrison Endycott
Cam Davis
Ryan Fox
Ben Taylor
David Lingmerth
Peter Malnati
Tano Goya
Brandon Wu
Matt Wallace
Paul Haley II

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Ryan Fox, Cam Davis, Sam Stevens, and Matt Wallace.

We just saw a lot of these names contending at a windy Corales last week.

Cam Davis back on track ahead of the Valero

The Aussie looked lost early in the year with a T32 and five straight missed cuts. Then, he twirled a T6 at THE PLAYERS and followed it up with some good rounds at Austin Country Club. More importantly, he let us know that he was dealing with an illness early in the year and wasn’t able to practice as much as he would have liked. With his body back in tune, his results are following. Davis has a missed cut and T69 in two tries at TPC San Antonio but I think he can post a new personal best this week.

Fox to handle the wind in San Antonio

The Kiwi enters the week ranked 36th in the OWGR. That should allow him plenty of opportunities in big events this year. After three PGA TOUR starts he finds himself just 43 FedExCup Points shy of unlocking Special Temporary Membership which would vault his status a touch and allow him unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the year. With a good background of performing well in the wind, this week presents a good chance to pad those FedExCup totals.