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talkSPORT betting tips – Best golf bets and expert advice for the Valero Texas Open

The Masters is just days away, but the now-traditional warm-up event, the Valero Texas Open, is a valuable PGA Tour prize in its own right with a competitive field of 156 players assembled at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

Of those 156 players, 30 have an invitation to Augusta National next week, including Rory McIlroy, who will be looking to improve on the eve of the tournament he wants to win more than anything else.

Jordan Spieth, Max Homa and Collin Morikawa are among those joining McIlroy in a bid to get back into top form ahead of the Masters while, for the vast majority of the field in Texas, the Valero Open represents a final chance to qualify for the first Major of the season.

The Oaks Course, designed by Greg Norman, has hosted this tournament since 2010 and 2019 marked the first time it was used the week before Augusta.

This 7,435-yard par-72 layout has been host to some low-scoring affairs in recent editions, but difficult conditions Saturday could keep scores in check.

We analyzed the tournament and selected three players who could head into the Masters on a high note.

Open Tips Valero Texas

Ludvig Aberg winner @ 12/1

The top bet of the market might be Ludvig Aberg, who can head into the Masters on a high note by winning his second PGA Tour title in Texas this week.

Aberg missed the cut in that event while still a little-known amateur in 2022, but he has since become a superstar, scoring victories on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour and making his Ryder Cup debut in a successful European team last fall.

The 24-year-old knows this course well having attended Texas Tech University and returns to the Lone Star State in fine form after finishing ninth, second, 19th, 25th and eighth in his last five PGA Tour starts, with the most recent effort coming in his Players Championship debut.

Corey Conners will win and each way @ 25/1

Corey Conners’ first victory on the PGA Tour came in the 2019 Texas Open in qualifying on Monday, then he completed the double in this event last season, and the Canadian has every chance of sealing a triple in Texas this time.

Conners has long been a premier ball striker and that tee-to-green consistency has returned over his last two starts with an 18th place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational followed by a 13th place finish at the Players.

The defending champion has been held back by struggles in short matches in the past, but he has done well in San Antonio in five previous starts and a similar performance should see him contend again.

Austin Eckroat will win and each way @ 90/1

For a big-money round-trip punt, take a chance on Cognizant Classic champion Austin Eckroat as he goes in search of a second PGA Tour title in as many months.

Eckroat has yet to shine in this event, but he is a much-improved player who has hit his irons superbly in his recent starts, including producing a nerveless finish at PGA National.

He finished second last year at another Texas event, the Byron Nelson, and could do better at the Valero.

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