🏌️ Matsuyama +1800 To Win

Plus: 5 Ways To Lower Your Handicap

Good Morning. One more tournament before the Masters - it's the Valero Texas Open, and we’ve got our top picks we’re betting on lined up in today’s edition.

The Valero Texas Open was first held in 1922 - it is the sixth oldest professional golf tournament worldwide, the third oldest on the PGA Tour.

⛳ This day in history: April 3 has been a tournament date 8 times in Masters history. The last time the tournament was played on April 3 was 1959.

Our Top Picks For Texas Open

🚩 The 2024 Valero Texas Open tees off at TPC San Antonio tomorrow with a strong field of competitors, highlighted by top players from the OWGR and a host of PGA TOUR winners.

💰 Purse: $9.2 million, winner takes home $1.656 million.

Here are our top picks we’re betting on:

🚀 Most Likely to Win: Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) has been showcasing consistent form over the last couple of months. Following his victory at Riviera, he continued his strong performance at TPC Sawgrass with another top-10 finish. His exceptional play in strokes gained tee to green and around the green places him among the top players since the beginning of the year.

🚀 Key Player in the Top 5: Ludvig Aberg (+260) is coming fresh off an impressive eighth-place finish at the Players Championship, where he excelled in driving and approach shots. TPC San Antonio's layout should complement Aberg's excellent ball-striking skills and ability to score well on par-5s.

🚀 Key Player in the Top 10: Byeong Hun An (+320) has been reliably solid in 2024, with just one missed cut so far. He secured an eighth-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was a runner-up in Hawaii at the start of the season. An's proficiency off the tee, coupled with recent improvements in putting, has contributed to his consistent performances.

🚀 Key Player in the Top 20: Corey Conners (+115), a two-time winner at the Valero Texas Open, is currently enjoying a remarkable streak of excellent ball-striking. Following his 13th-place finish at the Players Championship, where he excelled in both driving and approach play, Conners has now demonstrated outstanding iron play in five consecutive events.

🚀 Underdog Likely to Emerge: Alex Noren (+3000) with three consecutive top-20 finishes, is in superb form. He displayed impressive improvement throughout the Houston Open, particularly in his approach shots, and returns to a course where he previously finished 15th, showcasing his proficiency in that aspect of the game.

* All odds via BetMGM, at the time of publishing.

Star-Studded Field At Valero Texas Open

Photo: Getty Images | Source: PGA Tour

The 2024 Valero Texas Open tees off tomorrow at TPC San Antonio and there's a lot to look forward to.

⛳️ Star-Studded Field: 9 of the top 20 ranked players in the OWGR are a part of the field at Texas Open. The pack is led by World No 2 Rory McIlroy, who returns to PGA Tour action after a month's gap.

Harman, Homa, Aberg, Fitzpatrick, Matsuyama, Morikawa and Spieth are the other notable stars.

📌 Masters Spot At Stake: The winner this week at Texas will be the final qualifier for the 2024 Masters if not already eligible. Thirty players in this week's field have already booked their tickets to Augusta National.

🤔 Horschel A Swiftie? Billy Horschel was spotted wearing two bracelets with Taylor Swift reference at San Antonio. He uses Swift as a motivational tactic - his wife made him a bracelet that reads "FEARLESS."

The word just so happens to be the name of Swift's second album that was released in 2008.

His daughters are also massive Swifities and they made him another bracelet that just says - Sky, Colbs and Ax.

🌦️ Weather: The weather conditions this week appear to be ideal for Golf. While the first two days will be bright and sunny, Saturday and Sunday are expected to remain cloudy but there are hardly any chances of showers causing interruptions.

🏌️Tee Times Of Key Players (ET):
9:15 am - Aberg, English, Dahmen
2:08 pm - McIlroy, Fowler, Fleetwood
2:19 pm - Matsuyama, Glover, Spieth

📺 How To Watch:
Thursday: 4-7 pm (Golf Channel)
Friday: 4-7 pm (Golf Channel)
Saturday: 1-3:30 pm (Golf Channel), 3:30-6 pm (NBC)
Sunday: 1-2:30 pm (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 pm (NBC)

Worth Mentioning

Masters Deploys Artificial Intelligence To Curb Viewership Decline

Source: IBM.com

IBM and the Masters Tournament announced several new fan features coming to the Masters app and Masters.com digital experience for this year's event.

Powered by generative AI capabilities built from watsonx – IBM's AI and data platform – fans this year will have access to shot-by-shot Hole Insights offering detailed, data-driven projections and analysis for each hole on course.

What Are The Features?

🚀 Data-driven recaps of how each hole has played daily and throughout the 2024 Tournament

🚀 Projections of how each hole might play, based on past and current performance data

🚀 Historical insights into how each hole has played, based on eight years of Tournament data – including more than 170,000 shots – and ball position on course

🚀 Fans following highlight videos on 2024 Masters app and website can use English and Spanish narration as required

The PGA Tour has witnessed a significant decline in viewership in recent events and these features can go a long way in improving the numbers by enhancing the viewership experience and fan engagement.

What else is making news

Zurich Classic: Twin brothers Pierceson and Parker Coody and Nicolai and Rasmus Højgaard will play in same event, a first in the history of the PGA Tour.

Poor Leadership: Brandel Chamblee labels Jay Monahan’s leadership as ‘poor’ in midst of ongoing PGA Tour-LIV Golf saga.

Change In Strategy: Rory McIlroy shaking up Masters prep: won't arrive until Tuesday, skipping Par 3 Contest in bid for elusive career Grand Slam.

ANWA: Here are 5 storylines to watch at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

DP World Tour: The DP World Tour's fifth CEO of all time, Guy Kinnings has outlined his plans for the future of the sport after succeeding Keith Pelley.

Anthony Kim: LIV Golf's Anthony Kim set to make first US start In 12 years this weekend, makes multiple revelations.

Tony Finau: Check out how Ping supercharged Tony Finau’s driver ahead of the Masters.

Best Performers At Texas Open

Photo: Raymond Carlin III | Source: Golfweek

The Texas Open tees off tomorrow - here are the top performers with some of the best course history over the last five seasons.

🏌️ Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been incredibly consistent at the Texas Open but hasn't managed to win a single title.

His finishes: T-3 (2023), T-2 (2022), T-12 (2021), T-7 (2019) and T-51 (2018)

🏌️ Corey Conners: Conners is the defending champion and has a great course history at TPC San Antonio.

His finishes: 1st (2023), T-35 (2022), T-14 (2021), 1st (2019) and T-26 (2018)

🏌️Charley Hoffman: Hoffman missed the cut in 2022 but has notably finished second on two occasions at this tournament.

His finishes: T-22 (2023), MC (2022), 2nd (2021), 2nd (2019) and T-64 (2018)

🏌️Jordan Spieth: Spieth has made three starts in the last five years and won it in 2021.

His finishes: T-35 (2022), 1st (2021) and T-30 (2019)

🏌️Rickie Fowler: Fowler has finished in the top-20 in three of his last four starts.

His finishes: T-10 (2023), MC (2022), T-17 (2021) and T-17 (2019)

5 Ways To Lower Your Handicap

In this video, we share with you five tips that could help you bring your handicap down in a short span of time.

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