Charley Hoffman

Valero Texas Open Preview: Hoffman 22/1 To Retain Texas Open Crown

2017-04-20
A preview of the Valero Texas Open title in San Antonio.

Charley Hoffman will feel right at home defending the Valero Texas Open title in San Antonio as he looks to put his Masters disappointment behind him and is 22/1 for victory.

Hoffman entered the final round at Augusta just two shots off the lead before carding a six-over 78 as hopes of the Green Jacket disappeared and he plummeted down the leaderboard into a tie for 22nd.

After missing the cut at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, the 40-year-old returns to familiar territory this week on the AT&T Oaks Course at a tournament where he has only finished outside the top 13 once, with a runner-up spot in 2011 and joint third place four years ago.

“I have had more success at Valero than really any other golf course since it has gone over there. It is a place where I feel comfortable, sort of like the Masters,” Hoffman, 9/2 for a top-five finish, said on the PGA Tour website.

“I step on the property and it fits my eye, I just like the way it suits my game. (It is a) great place, I look forward to playing every year.”

Hoffman claimed the 2016 Texas Open by one shot from Patrick Reed, making a nine-foot birdie on the final hole to finish at 12-under.

The American is confident his game can again stand up to scrutiny.

“If you don't believe in yourself, who is going to believe in you?” Hoffman said.

“I sat back with a few people that are close to me and I can ask those questions to and (they) sort of all said the same thing.

“When they say it, it sort of hits you and it is something I have started to believe in myself.”

Hoffman sets off on Thursday in a group of previous winners alongside Brendan Steele (28/1) and also Zach Johnson, who won the tournament in 2008 and 2009 when it was played at nearby La Cantera Golf Club and is 33/1.

At number 14, Reed (28/1) will be the highest-ranked player in the 156-strong field while US Amateur champion Curtis Luck, who played all four days at Augusta, is set to make his professional debut. He is 35/1 for a top-five placing.

Matt Kuchar is the 16/1 favourite with Ryan Moore at 20/1 and Brooks Koepka alongside Hoffman at 22/1. Branden Grace and Jimmy Walker are quoted at 25/1.