Card of the Week: Valero Texas Open
Welcome to Card of the Week, where we take a look at the most interesting scorecards from the preceding week’s play. This week’s action was in the heart of Texas at the aptly named Valero Texas Open.
While I’m loathe to admit it, the most interesting part of the tournament was… the wind. Wind in the morning and early afternoon on Thursday created an incredible advantage for the players with the late-early draw (afternoon tee times on Thursday, morning on Friday). It was crazy, I’ve never before seen a draw so thoroughly eliminate (nearly) half the field from contention. Matt Kuchar played remarkably well and shot even par, five shots back of the eventual lead. Of the 31 (!) players that shot in the 80’s, 23 had morning tee times. All told, it was at least a 5 shot advantage to go off late, and in my opinion cost several contenders a shot at, well, contending.
Because of this, I’m giving the card of the week to Dustin Johnson for being the only player from the Thursday morning group to finish under par. The only one! Of the nine others that finished in red figures, all were Thursday afternoon tee times. While Kuchar seemed to lose his swing after battling the windy conditions early, DJ battled back into the top 10, going -8 on the weekend after a first round 78. Sure, the cream rose, and Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth were a neck above, but there were really two tournaments taking place, and Dustin Johnson won the other one.