Valero Texas Open 2024: 'Horses For The Course', One-And-Done Pick

The PGA TOUR’s schedule restructure in 2024 has led to a better field for the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio. Most of the best golfers in this field have been off, skipping the final event of the Florida Swing (Valspar Championship) and the first of the Texas Two-Step (Houston Open). The Valero Texas Open is a final tune-up before the 2024 Masters. 

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Hence, Rory McIlroy, Brian Harman, Ludvig Åberg, Max Homa, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, and Jordan Spieth are teeing it up at TPC San Antonio this week. They are all looking to supplant reigning Valero Texas Open champion Corey Conners. 

I desperately need to cash an outright before the major season starts. Last week, I lost 1.44 units (u) at the Houston Open and my PGA TOUR 2024 bankroll fell to -26.83u. Billy Horschel and Tom Hoge cashed top-20 bets for me. But, my one-and-done pick, Keith Mitchell, missed the cut and I lost money on Sahith Theegala and Andrew Novak.

My gambling strategy is to profit 20u for every outright golf winner bet. I'll back that golfer in a placement market (top-5, -10, or -20 finishes) since I'd be heated if one of my guys finished inside the top five and I didn't profit. Shop around for placement bets because most legal U.S. sportsbooks apply "dead heat" rules for ties. BetMGM is a sportsbook that pays ties in full. 

Valero Texas Open 2024 Best Bets

Stats courtesy of Bet The Number from the Tour Junkies, Fantasy National by Pat Mayo, and the PGA Tour. 

Hideki Matsuyama

It's rare in golf betting that you can confidently say the "wrong golfer is favored". Yet, that's what we have with Hideki sitting below Rory and Ludvig on the odds board. I won't argue with McIlroy being favored over Matsuyama. But, Åberg? No way. Besides Scottie Scheffler and Wyndham Clark, Hideki has been the best player on TOUR this season. 

His last three starts are a win at the Genesis Invitational, T12 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a T6 at THE PLAYERS. All are "signature events". The bigger names in the field give us a better price for Matsuyama, who’s playing in his fourth straight Texas Open. Hideki was T15 last year and T30 in 2021 with a withdrawal sandwiched in between. 

Furthermore, he is third on my 30-round model at Bet The Number because he ranks just 39th in this field for Strokes Gained (SG): Off-the-tee (OTT). However, Matsuyama was +4.3 SG: OTT at TPC San Antonio last season and has gained strokes with his driver in his last three starts at those aforementioned "signature events". 

Finally, it’s nice to add a specialist to your betting card in golf and Matsuyama is a wizard around the greens (ARG). He leads the TOUR in SG: ARG this season and TPC San Antonio has a below-average green-in-regulation rate. Since this is a Par-72 course, golfers need to score on the Par 5’s. Hideki is ninth in this field for Par 5 scoring over the last 30 rounds, per Bet The Number

The first thoroughbred for TPC San Antonio: Hideki Matsuyama

  • Win: +2200 at FanDuel (0.91u to win 20u)
  • Top-10: +200 at BetMGM (0.59u to win 1.18u)


Collin Morikawa

I have a personal golf gambling policy that says I'll auto-bet Morikawa anytime if his odds are 30-to-1 or higher. Collin's precise ball-striking works on any golf course in the world. What usually holds him back is a weak short-game. But, Conners has an even worse short-game and he's won twice at TPC San Antonio. 

Morikawa is in the same price range as Fleetwood, Horschel, Alex Noren, and Byeong Hun An. Noren, Fleetwood, and An have never won on the PGA TOUR and Horschel hasn't won since the 2022 Memorial Tournament. Collin's last victory was at the ZOZO Championship in October 2023 and he's a two-time major champion. 

Adding to that, golfers with short-to-mid irons play well at TPC San Antonio and there are a bunch of short Par 4s. Over the last 36 rounds, Morikawa is 14th in this field in Approach (APP) shots from 75-100 yards out and first in Par 4 Efficiency: 350-400 yards, according to Fantasy National

Ultimately, this is a "value bet". If Collin struggles in the Texas Open this week, his odds for the Masters will be around +3000. But, since Scheffler isn't playing in this event and Rory has been struggling lately, Morikawa's price is too good to pass up. 

The second thoroughbred for TPC San Antonio: Collin Morikawa

  • Win: +3000 at FanDuel (0.67u to win 20u)
  • Top-20: +125 at BetMGM (1u to win 1.25u)


Byeong Hun An 

Even though An just caught a stray in my Morikawa handicap above, I just have a good feeling about him this week. The South Korean crushes the ball OTT and is one of the best scorers on TOUR. This season, An is seventh in driving distance, leads the PGA TOUR in "Total Driving Efficiency", and ranks second in birdies-or-better rate. 

Byeong missed his first cut of the season at his last start in THE PLAYERS. I’m willing to excuse An’s performance at THE PLAYERS since TPC Sawgrass is a much tougher course. There is a TOUR-high 16 water-danger holes at TPC Sawgrass and TPC San Antonio only has two water holes. 

Moreover, An finished solo second at the Sentry in January, lost in a playoff the next week at the Sony Open, finished T16 at the Genesis, and T8 at the Arnold Palmer. All in all, An is having a great start to his 2024 season and he’s seventh in the FedExCup standings. 

Lastly, An has played on the weekend in three of his four starts at the Valero Texas Open. Last season, An was T16 at TPC San Antonio, and T7 in 2019. Byeong was +10.7 SG: Tee-to-green (T2G) in 2023 and +14.6 SG: T2G in the 2019 Texas Open. 

The third thoroughbred for TPC San Antonio: Byeong Hun An 

  • Win: +4000 at Bet365 (0.5u to win 20u)
  • Top-20: +160 at BetMGM (0.75u to win 1.2u)


Nicolai Højgaard 

While he's never won on TOUR, Nicolai won the DP World Tour Championship in November, which had a strong field with great golfers such as Rory, Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, and Jon Rahm. Højgaard missed back-to-back cuts at the Arnold Palmer and THE PLAYERS. I'll discard those results since those were "signature events" at tougher courses. 

Højgaard was T28 at the 2023 Valero Texas Open. The Dane gained strokes in four of the five most important golf stats including T2G, APP, ARG, and Putting. Nicolai was -3.1 SG: OTT at TPC San Antonio last year. But, the driver is his best club. If Højgaard can improve his driving and perform nearly as well in those other areas, he'll contend at the Valero Texas Open. 

The fourth thoroughbred for TPC San Antonio: Nicolai Højgaard 

  • Win: +8000 at FanDuel (0.25u to win 20u)
  • Top-20: +300 at BetMGM (0.5u to win 1.5u)


Valero Texas Open 2024 One-And-Done Pick: Corey Conners

Despite bricking two straight events, I'm still "in the money" after the first 12 events of the 2024 Mayo Cup (the One-And-Done contest I entered this season). I'm tied for 618th out of 4,400 entries with $6,336,494 collected. If the Mayo Cup ended today, I would've profited $200 on my $200 entry. 

Previous Picks
  1. J.T. Poston for the Sony Open: 6th for $300,875
  2. Xander Schauffele for the American Express: T3 for $635,600
  3. Sahith Theegala for the Farmers Insurance Open: T64 for $19,080
  4. Jordan Spieth for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: T39 for $70,125
  5. Tom Kim for the WM Phoenix Open: T17 for $125,400
  6. Collin Morikawa for the Genesis Invitational: T19 for $251,400
  7. Taylor Pendrith for the Mexico Open: Missed cut for $0
  8. Tom Hoge for the Cognizant Classic: T28 for $59,014
  9. Scottie Scheffler for the Arnold Palmer Invitational: 1st for $4,000,000
  10. Hideki Matsuyama for THE PLAYERS Championship: T6 for $875,000
  11. Min Woo Lee for the Valspar Championship: Missed cut for $0
  12. Keith Mitchell for the Houston Open: Missed cut for $0

Unfortunately, Conners will be popular at the Valero because his only two wins on TOUR are at this event. That said, I need to break this one-and-done cold streak, so I'm not overthinking it. Conners is second in my 30-round model at Bet The Number and first in my power rankings at Fantasy National

The Canadian's worst finish at the Valero Texas Open is a T35 in 2022. Conners is one of the worst putters on TOUR. However, he has picked up strokes on the greens in four of his five career starts at TPC San Antonio. Hopefully, Conners is less popular this week since the field is stronger than usual in the 2024 Valero. 


Follow me on X (or Twitter, whatever) @Geoffery-Clark and check out my OutKick Bets Podcast for more betting content and random rants. I'll be adding bets to my PGA Tour 2024 betting record via X all season. 

Written by
Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events. Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB. Clark graduated from St. John University.