The 2017 fantasy golf season heads west this week, as the focus of the golf world shifts to the Lone Star State for the Valero Texas Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, where the winner will receive a pair of cowboy boots.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week’s event.
1. Charley Hoffman: Hoffman’s victory here last year capped a stellar run where he finished T-13 or better every year but once dating back to 2006. Hoffman was also a runner-up in 2011 and T-3 in 2013, and more recently he contended through the first three rounds of the Masters and was a runner-up last month at Bay Hill.
2. Matt Kuchar: If Kuchar treated every round like Sunday, he’d be lapping the field. After a strong close helped him to a T-4 finish at the Masters, Kuchar shot a final-round 64 at Heritage to snag a share of 11th place. His San Antonio record features four straight top-25 finishes from 2012-15, highlighted by a T-4 finish three years ago.
3. Jimmy Walker: Walker lives in nearby Boerne and will have plenty of fan support this week in a de facto hometown event. While he missed the cut last year, he held off Jordan Spieth to win this event two years ago and now makes his return for the first time since becoming a major champion. He has four top-25 finishes in his last six starts, including a T-18 finish at the Masters.
4. Branden Grace: Grace has steadily improved at this event, from a missed cut in 2014 to a T-30 finish in 2015 and a T-9 result last year. After finally figuring out how to hang at Augusta National, the South African finished a solid T-11 in his title defense at Harbour Town and now heads to a course where his burly ball-striking will be an asset.
5. Billy Horschel: Horschel has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but steady results haven’t been an issue for him recently in San Antonio. The former FedEx Cup champ has finished T-4 or better three times in the last four years (2013, 2015, 2016). While he missed the cut last week after returning home for the birth of his daughter, his results at Honda (T-4) and Bay Hill (T-13) showed what he can do on familiar layouts.
6. Patrick Reed: Reed was a hard-luck runner-up at this event last year, but he returns in search of form. Reed hasn’t cracked the top 20 since a T-12 finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January and missed the cut in both Houston and Augusta. A return to the site of positive memories last year may spark a turnaround, but he’s a volatile fantasy selection at this point.
7. Brendan Steele: Steele earned his first career win at this event back in 2011, and he returns in the midst of his best season since. After winning the season opener in Napa, Steele has racked up five more top-20 finishes and tied for 27th at the Masters. In addition to his win in San Antonio, he also finished T-4 in 2012, T-8 in 2015 and T-13 last year.
8. Brooks Koepka: After a rocky start to the year, Koepka appears to be turning things around following a T-9 finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play and a T-11 finish at the Masters. The former Ryder Cupper missed the cut here last year, but he finished T-36 in his 2014 debut and will be able to lean on his length this week on a layout that can stretch to nearly 7,500 yards.
9. Kevin Chappell: Chappell is one of the best players still in search of his first win, and the first of his six career runner-up finishes came at TPC San Antonio in 2011. Since then he added a pair of top-15 finishes, highlighted by a T-4 result last year, and he finished T-7 at the Masters two weeks ago.
10. Daniel Summerhays: Summerhays hasn’t experienced much success since contending last summer at Baltusrol, but he’s always a player to watch at this event. Last year’s T-13 finish broke a streak of three straight top-7 results at TPC San Antonio for Summerhays, a run that included a runner-up finish in 2014.