Valero Texas Open 2024: Odds, prediction, picks for last PGA Tour event before Masters

The PGA Tour heads west on Interstate 10 from Memorial Park in Houston to TPC San Antonio for this week’s Valero Texas Open.

Won last year by Canadian Corey Conners, the 2024 edition boasts an impressive field in what will mark the final PGA Tour event before the Masters.

Rory McIlroy will make just his third start at TPC San Antonio, while fellow European Ryder Cup stars Ludvig Åberg, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Tommy Fleetwood are in the field, too.

Other notables include Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, and Hideki Matsuyama.

Valero Texas Open Odds:

Here are the current odds for players to win, per DraftKings:

  • Rory McIlroy +800
  • Ludvig Åberg +1200
  • Max Homa +1800
  • Jordan Spieth +1800
  • Hideki Matsuyama +1800
  • Collin Morikawa +2000
  • Corey Conners +2200
  • Matt Fitzpatrick +2500
  • Tommy Fleetwood +2800
  • Byeong Hun An +3000
  • Billy Horschel +3000
  • Alex Noren +3000

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Valero Texas Open Predictions

TPC San Antonio, designed by Greg Norman, features expansive fairways and few elevation changes. Yet, players must find the best angle to attack the undulating greens, which feature numerous run-offs.

Thus, TPC San Antonio prioritizes ball striking, and players with an exquisite short game tend to do well here. Corey Conners fits that bill, so it comes as no surprise that he has triumphed at the Valero Texas Open twice in the past four years.

Collin Morikawa continues slide

Considering Collin Morikawa’s superior iron play, you would think that this course aligns well with his game. But in 2024, the two-time major champion has struggled, ranking 69th on the PGA Tour in overall strokes gained.

Morikawa has not carded a round lower than 67 since The Sentry, and he most recently tied for 45th at The Players Championship. He also missed the cut at Bay Hill, which included an abysmal 80 during the second round.

The big issue with Morikawa in 2024 has been his putting, and given the slippery greens at TPC San Antonio, we envision the California kid struggling with the flat stick again.

Collin Morikawa, PGA Tour, The Players Championship

Collin Morikawa during the 2024 Players Championship.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy contends, does not win

Let’s face it: Rory McIlroy is more focused on Augusta National than on this week’s Valero Texas Open. He flew to Georgia on Monday for a scouting trip, as he only needs a green jacket to complete the career grand slam. He will head to San Antonio on Monday evening or early Tuesday.

Despite that, McIlroy, the favorite, obviously has the game to play well this week and win. But we believe a top-5 finish at +210 is the best bet for the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy has yet to record a top-10 on the PGA Tour in 2024, but something leads us to believe that he finally puts four solid rounds together to give him momentum going into Augusta. So far this season, it seems that McIlroy had one lousy hole or bad round that prevented him from contending.

Look at his most recent performance at The Players Championship. He opened with a 7-under 65 to hold a piece of the lead and then shot a 1-over 73 the following day. McIlroy ultimately tied for 19th.

Rory McIlroy, PGA Tour, The Players Championship

Rory McIlroy at The 2024 Players Championship.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ludvig Åberg finishes no worse than 10th

The young Swedish phenom has had a solid start to 2024, his first full season as a PGA Tour member. Åberg has not missed a cut, nor has he finished outside the top 30 other than at The Sentry to open the year.

He has had two weeks off, most recently finishing in solo eighth at The Players Championship.

Åberg also has little flaws in his game. Everything he does is spectacular, which explains why he ranks 13th in strokes gained overall.

Many pundits talk about his superior ability to drive the ball well off the tee, but what is often overlooked is how strong of an iron player Åberg is. He ranks second on the PGA Tour in average proximity to the hole and finds greens in regulation 70% of the time, ranking 29th.

Considering TPC San Antonio places a premium on iron play, we believe Åberg records a top 10 at +165, but we like the value of him finishing in the top 5 at +320 even more.

Valero Texas Open Long Shot Pick

Outside of a missed cut at the Valspar Championship, Victor Perez has played a solid month of golf. He tied for 16th at the Cognizant Classic, finished one stroke out of a playoff in Puerto Rico, and most recently tied for 17th in Houston.

Victor Perez, PGA Tour, Texas Children’s Houston Open

Victor Perez at the 2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open.
Photo by Raj Mehta/Getty Images

The Frenchman is currently listed at +10000 to win the Valero Texas Open, a tournament he has not yet competed in. But he ranks 13th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained approaching the green. He also is third in finding greens in regulation, doing so 74% of the time.

That said, Perez’s one blemish is his putting. He has struggled on the greens so far this season, losing nearly 8.5 strokes putting in only 17 rounds played. But that is why long shots are long shots. If he can get his putter to cooperate, Perez will be there in the end. His flat stick showed glimpses of hope in Houston over the weekend, as he finished in the top 25 strokes gained putting on both Saturday and Sunday.

Valero Texas Open Winner

The 2024 PGA Tour season has had one common theme: first-time winners.

At this past week’s Texas Children’s Houston Open, Stephan Jaeger became the fifth player to earn their maiden victory on the PGA Tour this season. He joined Nick Dunlap (The American Express), Matthieu Pavon (Farmers Insurance Open), Jake Knapp (Mexico Open), and Austin Eckroat (Cognizant Classic) in doing so.

As such, we like another first-time winner to prevail this week and earn the last remaining invite to The Masters.

That would be Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the South African who is a terrific ball-striker and putter.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout, PGA Tour, Valspar Championship

Christiaan Bezuidenhout at the 2024 Valspar Championship.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

He ranks 11th on tour in strokes gained approaching the green and 17th in strokes gained putting. But surprisingly, he is 150th in greens-in-regulation percentage, finding the putting surface at a 64% clip. Still, he manages to put himself in positions to succeed plenty of times, which helps explain his recent success.

Bezuidenhout most recently tied for 9th at the Valspar Championship and tied for 13th at TPC Sawgrass. He also finished in solo second to Dunlap in January.

Plus, Bezuidenhout played adequately in his first go-around at TPC San Antonio a year ago. He tied for 28th, but he played the par-5 14th—the easiest hole on the course—at 3-over for the week. Even if he plays that hole at even par, his 28th-place finish becomes a top-10.

For all other sports betting content, check out SB Nation’s DraftKings site.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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