Valero Texas Open 2024 betting preview: The sneaky change that caddies and players are talking about at TPC San Antonio

valero texas open 2024 betting preview: the sneaky change that caddies and players are talking about at tpc san antonio

Valero Texas Open 2024 betting preview: The sneaky change that caddies and players are talking about at TPC San Antonio

Take a good look at the above picture. What do you see?

That is a PGA Tour professional’s divot pattern from a greenside chip. Walking TPC San Antonio’s Oaks course, players and caddies are noticing something unique about certain mowing patterns. Practice rounds are taking place for the Valero Texas Open. As 11 of the top 30 in the World Ranking get ready for Greg Norman’s TPC design, everyone is paying attention to the surfaces around the green.

MORE: The bets we’re making right now on the Masters

The first obstacle that catches everyone’s eye are the bunkers. Annually in the top 10 for toughest on the PGA Tour to contend with, guys must get their reps in sand. Jagged edges, tilted lies, and odd angles create a sandy mess to deal with if you are trying to save par. Seventeen of the 18 green complexes have a bunker, and the 16th hole even has a bunker in the middle of the green!

As if the bunkers weren’t hard enough on their own, players and caddies are commenting on the greenside mowing patterns. A majority of the surrounds are playing “into the grain” when the players chip. The leading edge gets stuck when the mowers push away from the hole. To compound the effect, you can see Bermuda grass coming through as well, and we all know it to be very grainy.

That’s what you are looking at in the picture from TPC San Antonio’s Oaks course on Tuesday.

Of the four major strokes-gained categories, SG/around the green held the smallest influence on recent winners. I’m going to change my perspective on SG/around the green this week, based upon what we are seeing (and hearing). The top 65 and ties who compete over the weekend for $9.2 million will need serious around-the-green acumen to take home this trophy. Who are the top short-game guys? Well Hideki Matsuyama (+2000) leads that list and will be on my outright betting card.

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