Power Rankings: 2016 Valero Texas Open


The 2016 fantasy golf season rolls right along, as the PGA Tour heads to Texas this week for the Valero Texas Open. A field of 156 players will tackle TPC San Antonio, which last season played as the second most difficult track players faced.

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Jimmy Walker won this event last year by four shots over Jordan Spieth. Here are 10 players to watch in San Antonio:

1. Jimmy Walker: We start with the defending champ, who lives in nearby Boerne and is playing a de-facto home game this week. Walker also finished T-16 at this event in 2014 and has finished T-29 or better in each of his last three stroke-play starts. Walker also ranks 17th or better this season in scoring average, birdie average and strokes gained tee-to-green.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar remains quietly consistent, as his T-9 finish at Harbour Town was his sixth finish of T-28 or better in his last seven starts. Kuchar's Valero record is equally solid, as the veteran has four straight top-25s here including a T-4 finish in 2014.

3. Charley Hoffman: The ultimate horse for course at TPC San Antonio. Hoffman has finished T-13 or better each of the last six years, including a runner-up in 2011 and a T-3 finish in 2013. Hoffman has contended in recent weeks in both Houston and Hilton Head, but his final-round scoring average (74.75) could prove to be an issue should he once again play his way into contention.

4. J.B. Holmes: Holmes has the power off the tee to handle a big ballpark like TPC San Antonio, and the shoulder injury that led him to withdraw in Houston appeared to be no issue at the Masters, where he finished T-4. Holmes has finished T-11 or better in five of his last seven starts and had top-20s here in 2010 and 2011.

5. Zach Johnson: Any venue that leans heavily on wedge play, as this week's does, plays into the hands of Johnson. He finished T-6 two years ago and followed with a T-20 finish last year, and the reigning Open champ has been predictably solid in recent weeks outside of a missed cut at the Masters where a self-assessed penalty led to an early exit.

6. Branden Grace: Last week's winner will look to build upon his momentum, and at No. 11 Grace is the top-ranked player in this week's field. It marks his third trip to San Antonio, where he finished T-30 last year, and his success at places like Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits proved that he can handle a stern test.

7. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker finished fourth in 2011 in his lone prior trip to TPC San Antonio, and his early season includes a win at Torrey Pines and a top-10 finish two weeks ago at the Masters. Snedeker is known for his prowess on the greens, but he also ranks ninth this season in par-4 scoring average.

8. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson will look to bounce back from his surprising missed cut at the Masters by teeing it up in San Antonio, where he finished T-30 last year. Despite his Masters disappointment, Mickelson is in the midst of a strong season that includes five top-15 finishes in his last nine starts.

9. Bryson DeChambeau: The kid proved last week that he is no joke. DeChambeau led the field at Harbour Town in strokes gained tee-to-green en route to a T-4 finish, and as a result he is a name to watch this week amid a more watered-down field. DeChambeau has finished top-30 finishes in each of his last three PGA Tour starts, and could factor again if his putter heats up.

10. Patrick Reed: Reed makes his home in Houston and has finished T-16 or better in three of his last four starts, including a T-10 finish at the Shell Houston Open. Reed hasn't played this event since 2013, but he has previously shown that he can tame a tough track (think Doral) and is currently sixth on Tour in scrambling.