Valero Texas Open DFS Golf picks

 First Tee to Last Call: Calling Your Shot

This week I want to talk about shots. The alcoholic kind. Eventually the golf kind as well. 

I found myself at the bar once again this past weekend having a few drinks and watching some college basketball. Typically if I’m going to be out for an extended period of time I try to stick to beer, as it’s a little lower octane than my normal vodka or whiskey drink. Hence, a more responsible choice for a day of drinking. 

I’m very fortunate (or unfortunate) to have a big group of friends who love to get together for drinks. There is always that person in the group that has to order shots. In our case, there are multiple people who have this compulsion. 

The shots are your standard fair of cinnamon or peanut butter whiskey, pick your brand of choice. Either one of these options is fine with me. I don’t find them terribly difficult to drink and I like the taste enough. After extensive research on the subject, I think I can safely say the shots mentioned above are usually met with the least amount of resistance from a given group.

Now, I don’t know if this happens out of boredom or drunken inspiration but inevitably someone deviates from the standard and that’s where problems arise. Most recently this happened in the form of Jägermeister (Jäger)

I have willingly drank my weight in Jäger over my lifetime and I’m still not 100 percent sure why. In my early 20s, Jägerbombs were just what you did. I’m a little older, so when we were doing Jägerbombs you still had actual glassware and you got to drop the shot of Jäger into a pint glass with Redbull in it. It made a really pleasant sound that I only get to enjoy once a year on St. Patrick’s day while doing Irish Car Bombs nowadays. For some reason, a car bomb seems to be the only drop shot that isn’t served in one of those dumb plastic cups with the built-in shot area anymore. 

Getting back to Jäger. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who genuinely enjoys the taste of black licorice. You’re lying to yourself if you taste anything else when drinking this. Magically this liquor becomes somewhat palatable when mixing it with Redbull, which is something else I don’t particularly care for on its own. That being said, this shot still divides a room. 

The shot division got me thinking, “What shots do people hate?” Here’s a shortlist of shots that will sour a party quickly:

Tequila

Pretty much any type will do. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more than one person at your table that has had a favorable night with Tequila.

Whiskey 

I love whiskey… for sipping. Why people shoot whiskey is lost on me. There is a time and place, but it really isn’t when you’re out trying to have a good time. Shooting whiskey is a whole different kind of night than most people are looking for. Flavored whiskeys don’t count in this category. 

Mint Liquor

There are a lot of different varieties here. They all taste the same and it’s all you can taste for quite a while after taking one. Nobody wants whatever drink they are casually drinking to taste like the shot they just took. You wouldn’t chew mint gum and drink beer at the same time. At least I wouldn’t. 

Anything That Curdles

I just don’t get it. It’s gross, it feels gross, and it’s definitely not doing your stomach any favors. Also, no one thinks it’s funny. Don’t order shots with weird creams in them. Yuck.

21st Birthday Punishment Shots

If someone ordered it for you on your 21s birthday, it’s pretty safe to assume no one wants to voluntarily drink it. The examples that come to mind are Three Wisemen, Prairie Fire, Four Horsemen, Around the Well and Starry Night. You get the idea. 

Next time you’re buying shots read the room as they say. Try to find something that will amplify the mood, not kill it. Stick to the norms, no need to stray from what your people like! Possibly most importantly, don’t overdo it. Shots can ruin your night or your friends’ nights, and that’s not fun for anyone.

Speaking of shots, this week’s tournament is the last shot to get an invite to the Master’s. There is a very well-known name in Rickie Fowler who needs to win this tournament in order to get an invite. People are loving that narrative. I for one am out on Fowler. He is lost. I hope he finds it, but I won’t be taking my shot on him this week. 

We are at the TPC San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. The defending champion is Corey Connors from 2019 at 20-under par. I would expect the winner this year to be closer to 15-under par or worse. 

The course is a mix of Bermuda and Poa grass, somewhat similar to a few of the courses thus far this season. This is one of the tougher courses on tour sporting lower-than-tour-average fairways and greens-in-regulation stats. The wind can be a major factor here. As of this writing, the wind looks to be in excess of 20 Miles per Hour (mph) for part of Thursday and most of Friday. 

Valero Texas Open Picks

Ryan Palmer ($9,400) 

Ryan Palmer has been in great form this season with five top 20s in his last eight starts. Three of those finishes were inside the top five, with his best finish being second. He has only missed one cut this season. He rates out first in my modeling over the last 36 rounds for ball striking and third for bogey avoidance. 

His history here is a bit of a mixed bag. He has missed the last two cuts but before to that he finished T6, T4 and T6. Ownership on him is looking to be around 15 percent which I also like. I will be starting a lot of my lineups with Palmer this week. 

Cameron Davis ($8,800)

Cameron Davis burnt me a couple of times over the last few weeks. He was in great form and took a dip for about a month. However, he bounced back quite a bit at the Honda finishing in 33rd following a missed cut the week prior. He rates out fifth overall in my model and is in the top 25 for every stat I looked at. I’ve been on him all season and I think this could be a good week for him. 

Sam Ryder ($7,400)

Sam Ryder looks to be trending up. He finished eighth at the Honda Callis and second last week at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He rates out second in shots-gained ball striking and fifth in shots-gained approach over the last 36 rounds. Ryder is always a threat to trunk slam on Friday, but I like what I’m seeing and will be rolling him out this week. 

Other Golfers I Like this Week

Tony Finau ($11,000)

Charley Hoffman ($9,200)

Lanto Griffin ($8,700)

Sepp Straka ($7,300)

Jim Furyk ($6,800)

Dart Throw

Graeme McDowell ($6,700)


Thanks for reading, and good luck this week!

I use Fantasynational.com for analytics and statistical modeling. If you’re looking for an edge check them out!

Conor Coughlin @aRandomGr3nade