Scott Shapiro's 2021 Texas Open preview
The Masters looms, but there is one last event on the schedule before the PGA Tour heads to Augusta National for the first major of 2021.
The Texas Open is the third oldest tournament on tour and has been conducted on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio since 2010. Th Oaks Course is a par 72, 7,400-yard track with Bermuda greens.
The Texas Open has shuffled through a number of spots on the calendar, but found its current place, right before the Masters, in 2019. It was canceled, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020.
Golfers with a number of different skill sets have been successful at the Texas Open over the years. Elite ball strikers, like defending champion Corey Conners, Brendan Steele, and Adam Scott have found the winner’s circle in San Antonio, as well as those who depend on hitting fairways and scoring via their short game, like two-time champion Zach Johnson. Regardless, avoiding big numbers will be key for those who hope to finish atop the leaderboard in their last chance to qualify for the 2021 Masters.
Genesis Invitational and Farmers Insurance Open runner-up Tony Finau is the favorite in the outright betting market, with WGC Match Play runner-up Scottie Scheffler and 2015 Masters winner Jordan Speith right behind.
Odds to win the Texas Open
All three are playing well, but I am going to look at a couple golfers who offer a bit more bang for my buck at this year’s Texas Open.
Andrew Putnam (+7000, +650 top 10, +300 top 20)
Putnam heads to San Antonio off a missed cut at TPC Sawgrass, but prior to that, he was in great form. The 32-year-old rattled off three top 10s in five starts prior to the Players, including a seventh at the Phoenix Open and a fourth-place effort at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
On top of his overall solid form over the last several weeks, the Tacoma native has shown an affinity for TPC San Antonio, evidenced by his eighth-place finish in 2018, followed by a 36th-place effort in 2019.
The former Pepperdine star rates out well for the Texas Open. He ranks third in the field over his last 36 rounds in strokes gained putting, eighth in strokes gained around the green, second in scrambling, and is in the top 20 in par 4 and par 5 scoring.
He will not wow you with his distance, but he can thrive at TPC San Antonio.
I like his chances to play well, assuming he can continue to gain on the field with his tee-to-green game, like he did in each of his last two starts.
Cameron Tringale (+2200, top 5 +550)
I endorsed the Southern California native a couple of weeks back, at the Honda Classic, and I am going back to him this week.
The three-time All-American at Georgia Tech has only won once (2014 Franklin Templeton Shootout), but it is just a matter of time until he hoists another trophy, if he continues to play like he has over the last several months.
Tringale has gained strokes on the field with his tee-to-green game in 10 straight events and appears poised to make a big run at the Texas Open. He ranks ninth in the field over the last 36 rounds in strokes gained ball striking, seventh in scrambling, fourth in par 5 scoring, second in sand saves, and is in the top 20 in par 4 scoring and birdies or better gained.
If he can make a few more putts than he did at the Honda Classic, he could find himself back at the Masters for the first time since a 38th-place finish in 2015.
See you next week for the Masters!