The PGA Tour has wrapped up their disjointed jaunt through Texas with the completion of last week’s Valero Texas Open. For the seventh time in 2018, your champion is someone only seasoned fans would know.
Okay — that’s not entirely true. Andrew Landry is not nearly as nobody a nobody as last week’s nobody – in fact, he’s somebody. Landry’s first career PGA Tour win seems like a long time coming, but, in reality, it’s only been 32 starts since he teed it up on the big tour for the first time.
Coming into the final round, Landry could smell the lead — but would have to go through a two-time major champion, one of the sports top-ranked amateurs making his professional debut, a FedExCup Champion and a host of other hungry pros looking to change their lives forever.
While Andrew Landry was busy putting it all together, there were plenty of players who were left puzzlled; plenty whose weeks fell somewhere between the champ’s and and former Valero Texas Open champ, Steven Bowditch, who missed the cut and finished DFL after rounds of 82-83 (FYI, I shot 81-77 this weekend — though, full disclosure, I did it on a coures that was probably 2,000 yards shorter).
Here’s a look at those who rose to the occasion — and those who left Texas feeling snake bit:
Andrew Landry — Obviously, the top performer last week was the event’s winner, Andrew Landry. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Landry’s maiden win on Tour was the fact that he just hung around all week then capitalized when he needed to. Just 32 starts into his PGA Tour career and he’s now a winner. While proven winners like Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel and Ryan Moore were backsliding, Landry was posting a Sunday-68 to claim the top prize.
Joaquin Neimann — It’s hard not to get excited about Joaquin Neimann after seeing what he did in his first career start on the PGA Tour. Niemann, who has been one of the top amateur golfers in the world for some time now and has popped up as an underdog favorite in the past, posted back-to-back rounds of 67 on the weekend to pick up a solo 6th place finish in his Tour debut. From a fantasy standpoint, you should probably give him a little time before diving in. That said, I expect him to fall somewhere between Peter Uihlein/Bud Cauley and the Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele in production and expectations.
Sean O’Hair — Were it not for two ho-hum rounds in the 70’s on Thursday and Friday, we may have been talking about Sean O’Hair donning the cowboy boots at the Valero Texas Open. O’Hair put together a great weekend at TPC San Antonio, firing 65 on Saturday and following that up with a 66 on Sunday. While he didn’t find himself on many rosters, those who took a flyer on O’Hair were rewarded handsomely. That said, this seems more like lightening in a bottle than an actual trend — choose accordingly.
Zach Johnson — With all due respect to Andrew Landry and those who finished at or near the top of the 2018 Valero Texas Open leader board, it was disappointing to see Zach Johnson fail to capitalize going up against a field of fairly unproven talent. A two-time major champion, Johnson slept on the 54-hole lead but was unable to do much with it on Sunday, mustering only an even-par 72. Surely, Johnson will return to the winner’s circle sooner rather than later — but the Valero Texas Open was certainly a missed opportunity.
Billy Horschel — Another proven winner on the PGA Tour who didn’t quite get the job done on Sunday in San Antonio was Billy Horschel. Still, the former Florida Gator put together a great week from a fantasy standpoint and should be considered in the next couple weeks. No player is more streaky than Horschel, so don’t get off the train just yet. His Sunday 70 was still solid and there is plenty left in the tank for Billy Ho.
Sergio Garcia — Another week, another missed cut for Sergio Garcia. It’s getting to be a far-fetch to blame the cold snap on Masters hangover since it’s been more than a year since donning the green jacket — but hey, why not? Sergio is older but not old, cold but not done. I don’t know when he’ll find his form — there’s plenty of other great things going on in his life off the course right now — but for fantasy owners, it’s time to put Sergio on the shelf. At least until he can refocus on the links.
Pat Perez — I’ve been preaching the fantasy gospel of Pat Perez all season long and will continue to do so. His missed cut last weekend at the Valero Texas Open is going to prove to be an outlier. Keep making him a part of your fantasy homework each week and you’ll be rewarded.