Freddie Jacobson: So far in 2013 Freddie has six starts and has made the cut in his last five. Of those events he owns a total of three top 10s and one top five finish. He is rested since he has not played since the Cadillac Championship a few weeks ago. He has finished 18th (2012), fifth (2011), second (2010) and fifth (2009) in his last four trip to this event. He is currently fourth in stokes gained putting, second in scoring average, fifth in scrambling and fifth in total putting on tour this year which are all important this week on the challenging TPC San Antonio. Contender.
Jimmy Walker: In 2013 he has made the cut in all nine events he entered with five top 25s, three top 10s and a third at the Pebble Beach Pro Am. He missed the cut the last two years at this event but in the top 25 in 2009 and tied for third in 2010 over the TPC San Antonio. He is ninth on tour in birdie average, eighth in par breakers, fifth in par 5 performance and second in par four performance this season. I know he has not won on tour yet but he gets to sleep in his bed all week and that might be enough to break the streak.
Charl Schwartzel: He is making a stop here to get ready for Augusta. The best ball striker in the field has made the cut in all four events this year including two top 10s and a third at the Northern Trust Open. He is rested since the Cadillac and ready to go on a run over the next couple of months. He is first in scoring average, 14th in driving distance, 30th in strokes gained putting and 14th in par 4 performance. He should be primed and ready to fire this weekend at the TPC San Antonio with the Masters right around the corner.
Brendan Steele: He has eight starts in 2013 making the cut in seven of them with one top 10 (T6) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. It is not his form that makes me like him this week. He is the personification of a “horse for the course”. He played here two times in a short career on tour finishing fourth in 2012 and wining the event in 2011. Nothing on the stat front will really jump out at you but he is patient (needed here) and appears to love the track. Could be the cure for what is ailing him.
Rory McIlroy: Rory is a late addition to the Valero but he is still number two in the world and the sky is falling all around him if you talk to the “experts.” Please, he is getting adjusted to new gear and only has four official starts on the season. Tied for 45th last week but the last three rounds were under par along with the closing 65 at the Cadillac. He is first on tour in driving distance and sand save percentage while holding third in final round scoring. This is obviously a tune-up for Augusta so expect him to be a much crisper player and give the field he can win.
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