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Bob Weeks Picks Six – Valero Texas Open

Corey Conners Corey Conners - The Canadian Press

Last Week: Another decent week with two winners from our six selections. Si Woo Kim and Tom Hoge, who we picked for top-20 finishes, were inside that line making them cashable. It could have been even better had Scottie Scheffler gone one spot higher and won his third consecutive title. However, we’re happy to continue our streak of cashing winners.

This Week: The Valero Texas Open is the last stop before the Masters. Canada’s Corey Conners has a pair of wins here including last year when he earned a one-shot victory. The course, TPC San Antonio, is among the more difficult on the PGA Tour demanding both distance and accuracy off the tee. It also requests players hit a lot of greens in regulation, which makes it a Conners specialty.

To Win

Rory McIlroy +900

We’ll jump on the wagon with the favourite this week even though it’s been a sort of average PGA Tour season for McIlroy so far. However, he fits part of the bill for this course with his driving prowess. He’s second in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. Where he’s not so hot is going into the greens, with his iron play lacking. However, he’s coming in from two weeks off and we’re betting he’s spent a lot of time fixing things, if not for this week then certainly for next.

Ludvig Aberg +1200

Another player who hits it a long way and is generally straight, which should be a good sign this week. Aberg has had a very solid first full season on the PGA Tour with the highlights being a runner-up at Pebble Beach and an eighth-place finish at the Players. Generally, most part of his game are strong and this would be a good week to have everything firing together.

Top 10

Corey Conners +330

The Listowel, Ont., native hasn’t missed a cut this year and his finishes continue to get stronger. In his last start, he tied for 13th at the Players with a notable Strokes Gained: Putting of 2.398. If he can bring that with him to Texas and hit fairways and greens as per usual, he will be a threat for a third pair of cowboy boots, the prize awarded to the champion.

Matt Fitzpatrick +330

A mixed bag so far this year from Fitzpatrick who has four finishes inside the top 21 but also three missed cuts. But his most recent finish of a tie for fifth at the Players is his best so far this year and that gives us hope that he’s on the right track to consistency. He is averaging over 300 yards off the tee this year and his putter has been the strongest club in his bag. That’s a good combination for this course.

Top 20

Ben An +200

An tied for sixth here a year ago and also has a tie for seventh on his resume. He missed the cut at the Players but had a tie for eighth at the Arnold Palmer. He has a quiet but effective game, sitting 22nd in Strokes Gained: Total. He’s also very good at finding fairways off the tee, which will come in handy this week.

Brian Harman +190

Buoyed by the tie for second at the Players (we aren’t looking at the missed cut at Valspar) he comes to San Antonio looking to play to his strengths, namely putting. However, he’s also 51st in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, which will come in handy at a course such as TPC San Antonio.