The first post-Masters, pre-U.S. Open, non-major golf tournament of the season is in the books — and the winner is no one you’ve heard of. The RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links belongs to Satoshi Kodaira.
Yes, that Satoshi Kodaira!
This week, the PGA Tour rolls into Texas and the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. Good Lord, that’s a mouth full. Thank you, corporate America.
Last year, Kevin Chappell broke through and collected his first — and long, long awaited — PGA Tour victory, finishing at 12-under for the week.
So — who is this week’s Kevin Chappell? Only time will tell — but I’ve got a couple ideas about who it may be. And, even more about who it won’t be.
Here’s a look at those who are fittin’ to get fitted for a new pair of cowboy boots and those who are just trying not to squat on their spurs:
Charley Hoffman — My list is not the only list that Charley Hoffman finds himself at or near the top of this week at the Valero Texas Open — and for damn good reason. Hoffman is the all-time leading money winner at this event, a perfect 8-8 in cuts made with a win, a T-2, a T-3 and a couple other top-15 finishes to go along with it. I know I’ve picked Hoffman plenty of times in the past with no wins, but he’s been a fantasy stalwart for more than a year now. In his last four starts, Hoffman has posted four top-25 finishes.
Beau Hossler — It’s been two weeks since Golfstradamus chose Beau Hossler to win the Houston Open and came up one spot short. Hossler, who is still looking for that maiden PGA Tour win, lost in a playoff to Ian Poulter. You might think Hossler would have a hard time bouncing back from such a devastating loss — but that’s not true! Hossler played great at Harbor Town, finishing T-16. Now, he heads to the Valero Texas Open poised to collect that win.
Brendan Steele — Already a winner in 2018, Brendan Steele returns to the site of his first career PGA Tour event looking for his second of the season. Steele is certainly a horse for this course, collecting three top-15’s here since the win in 2011. In his last seven starts, Steele’s also been warm — finishing top-20 or better in four of his last seven starts. He may not win this week, but you’ve got to believe Steele will find himself in contention this week at TPC San Antonio.
Billy Horschel — No player in the world is more streaky than Billy Horschel — and after his week at the RBC Heritage he needs to be paid attention to. If Billy-Ho can keep his putter working like he did a week ago at Harbor Town, he could add to his collection of top-5 finishes at TPC San Antonio and the Valero Texas Open. Heck, he could even pick up a win.
Pat Perez — Another horse for the course, Pat Perez is my last best choice for your fantasy lineup this week. In four career starts at the Valero Texas Open, Perez has made all four cuts and collected no finish worse than T-22. Couple that performance here with the fact that Perez has enjoyed a career 12-18 months and you’ve got the recipe for a great fantasy week in Texas.
Brandt Snedeker — Brandt Snedeker has put himself in some decent positions since coming back from injury, but there’s still no reason for me — or you — to burn your Sneds starts before he proves he’s really back and back to stay. Eventually, he’ll be someone you can rely on but for now, keep him on the bench.
Kevin Chappell — Last year’s champion Kevin Chappell ends up on the this end of the list because he hasn’t been playing great as of late. Plain and simple. Chappell isn’t exactly a horse for the course, so I’m not quite sold on the fact that he’s going to get it together this week in San Antonio.
Sergio Garcia — Sergio Garcia tees it up this week at the Valero Texas Open still struggling to really find his form. Garcia is still a great player and will win again — my bet is at some point this summer — but he’s still not there. Don’t blame him. Still a new dad, still settling in and, honestly, the fact that he’s finally got his major means Sergio has nothing left to prove to any of us. He’ll get it figured out — but, for now, he can stay stowed on your bench.
Luke Donald — Are we at Harbor Town? No? OK — Then don’t start Luke Donald.