Final Bets Valero Texas Open

My Final Thoughts: 2021 Valero Texas Open Final Betting Card, OAD, And DFS Plays

All I can say is thank God we are back to betting Stroke Play tournaments again. I was rendered hopeless at last week’s WGC Dell Match Play and Corales Championship, but the one positive to take away is that my units, like my expectations, were low.

This week, I’m back to going heavy on the research and was able to lock in my card prior to the books adjusting for Dustin Johnson’s Monday WD, so I feel like I’ve got a head-start value-wise. The overall theme of my card this week is prioritizing SG: APP, SG: SG, and Birdies Gained, while giving a subtle nod to players who are due for their first Tour win and discounting any shortcomings off the tee. So that’s it, let’s take a look back at the card in review and how we got there.


  • Corey Conners +2300
  • Cameron Tringale +3600
  • Chris Kirk +4650
  • Lanto Griffin +6500
  • Doug Ghim +10000
  • Harry Higgs +13000

I absolutely love the numbers I was able to get these guys at this week, and even though I have multiple 100/1+ guys, it feels like everyone on this card has a legitimate chance to contend this week. I wrote up each of these players in either Faves & Fades or Bombs & Values, with the exception of Lanto Griffin who fell in between those two ranges. The case for Lanto is his return to Texas where he took down his only Tour victory at the Houston Open in 2019, and his strengths in the key categories of SG: APP and SG: SG that this course demands.

I think this is a week you need to scatter your exposure to tiers across the board, so I’m happy to root for this group of guys and hopefully find myself a little extra Masters bankroll for next week.

First Round Leader

  • Sebastian Munoz +6600
  • Patton Kizzire +9000
  • Peter Malnati +10000
  • Akshay Bhatia +12500

It’s about damn time we hit a FRL in 2021, and while it would have been most appropriate for Sebastian Munoz to do the honors, I have no reservations celebrating the +6600 Matt Jones hit at the Honda Classic. Once I broke the seal on Outrights with Berger in 2021, the floodgates started to open up, so it’d be nice if the same applied to FRLs too.

So incorporating a similar strategy to what worked last time, I’m using my FRLs to hedge onto players I like this week, but just not enough to back outright. Munoz, Kizzire, Malnati, and Akshay all have the ability to streak and go low, so hoping I can get a sweat out of at least one of them.


  • Jordan Spieth -120 > Ryan Palmer
  • Charles Howell III -114 > Matt Kuchar
  • Corey Conners +105 > Scottie Scheffler

After a 2-1 showing at the Honda Classic, my season-long Matchup record has bumped itself up to 20-13-1. If all goes according to plan, we should hang three more in the win column.

Starting first with Spieth vs Palmer, this is my hedge to get some exposure to Spieth, who I’m otherwise not going to have on my card or DFS exposures. He pops up #2 in my models this week behind only Corey Conners and I really can’t find a reason not to like him this week, aside from what you have to pay up to play him. Ryan Palmer is not exactly someone who imposes his will on a field, so while he stacks up well for this track, I’m not afraid to face off against him with Spieth.

Next is both an endorsement of CHIII who I wrote up as a value play and indictment on Kuchar who I wrote up as a fade. Howell is clicking in all facets T2G coming into this event and is due to turn the putting around soon. Kuchar is clinging on the course history and (maybe?) some hype from his Match Play performances last week, and I really just don’t think either should be applicable to handicapping him at this week’s event.

And finally we have Corey Conners, who I expect will have a real chance to defend his title here at plus odds versus Scottie Scheffler, who I believe has burned himself out from last week’s Match Play and is looking ahead already to The Masters. Honestly, I’m so high on Corey Conners, I’d probably bet him blindly at plus odds versus anyone in this field.

One And Done

  • Chris Kirk

It would be so easy for me to play a big name like Matsuyama or Spieth this week, knowing how weak the rest of the field they’re opposing is. But I’m really great at over-thinking OAD ownership and making things more difficult than they need to be. So sticking with my “Masters lookahead” hypothesis, I’m going to fade everyone with Masters eligibility from my OAD considerations. With those guys removed, and understanding I’ve already used Tringale at The AT&T Pro-Am, I’m happy to go to Kirk here. The Recent Form is fantastic, the Course History is great, the motivation is there, and all the key stats line up in his favor. I won’t be the only one to play Kirk this week, but I know he won’t be the chalk, so I’m happy to trot him out in this spot.

DFS Core

  • Cameron Tringale ($9,300)
  • Chris Kirk ($8,600)
  • Roger SloanĀ ($6,700)

I don’t really have any desire to go Stars & Scrubs this week so I’ll be starting my lineups no higher than the $9K range and looking for a relatively balanced build. With this core, I expect to get a pretty high floor of cut makers, as Tringale, Kirk, and Sloan have all been a model of consistency lately, with each of the three have just one MC over the last 2 months of rounds.