Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    The Texas Two-Step

    After the very last rendition of the WGC Dell Match Play in Austin last week, the PGA Tour heads 90 minutes down I-35 to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open on the heels of the year’s first major. Augusta looms in the background and you can almost smell the Pimiento Cheese. Before we get to the gloriousness of The Masters, there’s one more change for a major miracle in the Lone Star State as a familiar site beckons for rookies and tour vets alike.

    For it being my hometown event, my match play picks were delivering the same dead man walking energy as the entire tournament week. A sad ending to the Dell Match Play era in Austin (and maybe on the PGA Tour?) was coupled with an underwhelming performance, to say the least outside of Max Homa making it to the weekend. Am I distracted by The Masters? Undoubtedly – But I hit Jordan Spieth’s victory here at Valero in 2021 so let’s run it back with another W.

    Wide Open Spaces

    TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course is the host, and this track bordering on 7500 yards would play a lot more beastly if there weren’t nice wide landing zones on many of the driver holes – it’s bombs away this week. Still, don’t let the name of the track slip past you – you can get stuck in trees here and record a 16 like Kein N famous did in 2011. The track is crafted around a drama-friendly finish. The par three 16th has a donut bunker in the middle of the green, 17 is a short par four ripe for birdies and the par 5 18t can be an eagle or a double dobby real fast.

    It’s the week before The Masters, so predictably the field is a little bit trimmed down in anticipation of the year’s first major. Notables atop the odds boards include the fiery Tyrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rickie Fowler – who is on the outside looking in the week before Augusta. There’s definitely an opportunity for a longshot or rookie to make their way into contention.

    Forecasting The Texas Open

    This tournament has a knack for producing winners with Texas ties, from Jimmy Walker to Andrew Landry and Jordan as cliche as it is I’ll play to the narrative. In terms of player fits it’s all about the irons and wedges for my card, as drivers have room to work at TPC San Antonio. It’s going to be a dry spring week in SA, so firm fast will be on full display. Let the big dog eat and don’t be afraid to throw a couple of tall boy longshots on your card.

    1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top-10 streaks, and consistent play are never a bad thing.

    2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.

    3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.

    4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.

    At the Dell Match play, Max Homa was my lone play that made it through the group stage and onto the weekend. Outside of that dud, it was a dull week as we bid adieu to Match Play on the PGA Tour, hopefully not for too long. The picks were a D for Dell.

    The Picks

    (Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)

    1: Si Woo Kim – An interesting leadoff play but it fits here – T13 last year and he seems to jump to the top of boards with little notice. Odds are curiously low.

    2: JJ Spaun – The Stars have aligned as the defending champ is coming off a strong showing in Austin, he’ll undoubtedly be a factor come the weekend.

    3: Ben Griffin – Looked impressive in the group stage despite not making the weekend in Austin.

    4: Matt Kuchar- This is why he’s called the ATM – he’ll show up and walk to a top 10 or 20 finish here and his 2nd last year shows he’s a fan of the course.

    5: Beau Hossler – Here’s a Texan play, and it’s a guy who has peaked his head out in Texas events before that’s due for a big finish.

    6: Dylan Frittelli – How about another UT Longhorn winning in Texas this week that isn’t Scottie or Jordan? He finished just outside the top 10 here last year.

    RYP One and Done Pick: Si Woo Kim

    The Deets

    Where to watch: Golf Channel and NBC all week – one last peacock broadcast before the CBS run begins for Jim Nantz.

    Why to watch: It’s the week before The Masters, and the Texas Open always creates some buzz with an interesting list of recent champions.

    What to eat: San Antonio claims that their breakfast tacos are better than Austin’s. They are likely wrong but I’ll make some anyway as a tribute to the Texas Open.

    Purse: $8.9 million

    Winner’s Share: $1.6 million

    Golf FAQs

    How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?

    In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.

    Can you include all four majors into one pool?

    Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions

    How do I assemble a roster?

    Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.

    What happens to golfers who miss the cut?

    Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.

    What are the four golf majors?

    The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.

    How do PGA One and Dones work?

    Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.

    What is a PGA One and Done pool?

    A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.

    Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?

    Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!

    How to run a weekly golf pool?

    In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do golf Pick-X Pools work?

    Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.

    What is a golf Pick-X Pool?

    A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.

    How to run a golf pool?

    How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    When is the Masters?

    The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.

    Where is the Masters played?

    The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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