Power Rankings - Valero Texas Open

The AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio isn't your typical par 72. It's the endpoint on a spectrum. While in its fifth year as host of the Valero Texas Open, which is annually among the tournament leaders in charitable contributions, there is anything but inside the ropes. This is to say that its quartet of par 5s -- Nos. 2, 8, 14 and 18 -- cannot be defined as scorable even though that's where this week's field of 144 will have to pick up strokes.

The par 5s averaged 4.88 in 2013, fourth-highest all season on the PGA TOUR, but second-easiest among the first four editions of the tournament. TPC San Antonio, which measures 7,435 yards, was also the only par 72 inside the top seven-most difficult sets of par 5s. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that its greens ranked as the most challenging to hit when trying to reach them in two strokes on those holes, a stat that includes going for the green on drivable par 4s. Last year's field stood over eagle opportunities just 11.86 percent of the time on these holes. Ten of the 17 eagles circled last year occurred on the 14th, which stretches the shortest at 567 yards. The par 5s on the outward nine can play over 600 yards.

Overall, scoring did dip more than a full stroke last year, landing at 72.740, but that was still good for fourth-highest among par 72s used in non-majors. This was partially due to the modifications made to the first, fourth and 10th holes -- all par 4s -- where greens were improved. (Fairways at 1 and 4 were also opened.) Still, the 481-yard fourth hole averaged plus-.304 strokes to par, making it the hardest hole on the course. It's the hardest No. 4 on any card in all non-majors.

Defending champ Martin Laird led the field in ball-striking and the all-around ranking. He ranked second in strokes gained-putting and first in par-5 scoring. After beginning the final round five strokes off the 54-hole lead, the Scot closed with a course record-tying 63 to win by two. His strokes gained-putting for the round was 4.397.

Among TPC San Antonio's plethora of defenses is the wind. It's always an element with which to contend and it will be again this week. Otherwise, a risk a thunderstorms could impact play early on Thursday before turning over to all rain, but that's the worst-case scenario. Primarily dry conditions and eventually sunny skies should take over by Friday if not sooner. High temperatures a few clicks on either side of 80 degrees are expected.

1Jason KokrakJason Kokrak
Solo fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he closed with a 73. Sixth in adjusted scoring. T15 at TPC San Antonio last year.
2Jim FurykJim Furyk
Under par in each round en route to a T3 in TPC San Antonio debut last year. T20 in last start at Copperhead; three top 25s this season.
3Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth
Third appearance. Rested after a T20 at Copperhead. Three top 10s and another four top 25s this season. Sits 24th in adjusted scoring.
4Zach JohnsonZach Johnson
The two-time winner of the event is returning since missing the cut in his debut at TPC San Antonio in 2010. Ninth in adjusted scoring.
5Jimmy WalkerJimmy Walker
FedExCup points leader and local resident has rested since a T25 at Doral. T3 in TPC San Antonio's debut in 2010. Second in par-4 scoring.
6Brendan SteeleBrendan Steele
Site of his lone PGA TOUR title (2011). T4 in 2012. Five top 25s this season, including a T20 at Bay Hill. Currently T22 in the all-around.
7Freddie JacobsonFreddie Jacobson
Since a solo second in 2010, he's placed T5 (2011), T18 (2012) and T15 (2013). No worse than T20 in all three starts on the Florida Swing.
8Charley HoffmanCharley Hoffman
No worse than T13 (twice) in four tries here. T3 last year. Three top 10s and another three top 25s this season; 33rd in adjusted scoring.
9Phil MickelsonPhil Mickelson
First appearance in the tournament since his debut in 1992. T16 at Doral in his last start. Still chasing his first top 10 of 2013-14.
10Matt KucharMatt Kuchar
Just like last year, he cooled on the Florida Swing, but has finished inside the top 25 in both appearances at TPC San Antonio.
11J.B. HolmesJ.B. Holmes
Fresh off a T10 at Bay Hill, his first top 10 in nearly 24 months. Tied for 13th here in 2010, and then chased it with a T11 in 2011.
12K.J. ChoiK.J. Choi
Quietly 50th in FedExCup points with four top 20s. Solo sixth at last year's VTO. Sits 41st in strokes gained-putting; T39 in par-5 scoring.
13Pat PerezPat Perez
Benefit of the doubt despite a closing 83 at Bay Hill that dropped him 55 spots into a T67. Tied for fifth in last start at Valero in 2011.
14Ryo IshikawaRyo Ishikawa
Tournament debut. Fresh off a T8 at Bay Hill. Three top 10s and another four top 25s this season. Ranks T12 in par-5 scoring.
15Cameron TringaleCameron Tringale
Current run of eight consecutive cuts made includes four top 25s. TPC San Antonio only site of multiple career top 10s (2011, 2012).
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This article was written by By Rob Bolton. Rob is the Fantasy Columnist for PGATOUR.COM. Got a question for Rob? You can contact him viae-mail: FantasyInsider@charter.net or on Twitter @RobBoltonGolf