Power Rankings: Valero Texas Open

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PGA Tour Power Rankings: Valero Texas Open

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Valero Texas Open may not have attracted the same star power as it has in years past, and that is likely due to its proximity to The Masters this year. In 2013 the event is being played immediately preceding the first major championship of the year. It was previously played two weeks before the players made their way to Augusta National, which provided more flexibility in the schedules of the top golfers in the world.

Even still, four of the top 15 golfers in the world will be teeing it up in San Antonio, thanks to Rory McIlroy’s decision to get in some last minute work before Augusta. While it may surprise some, McIlroy generally isn’t considered a favorite this week. I anticipate him focusing more on getting his game prepared for the Masters than where he sits on the leaderboard.

There are some golfers that are riding high this week after squeaking into Augusta after the Shell Houston Open and that very well might translate to improved performance on the course. At the same time they could face an emotional letdown this week. We’ll just have to wait and see.

TPC San Antonio is an exceedingly narrow course that places an emphasis on driving accuracy and the ability to scramble. A few of the golfers at made the top of our power rankings for their acumen in those areas, but they will need more than just those specific facets of their game to get hot if they hope to win this week.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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#5 Jimmy Walker

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This essentially amounts to a home game for Walker who resides in San Antonio. Don’t underestimate the impact a favorable crowd can have on a golfer. He’s finished in the top ten in one-third of his starts in 2013.

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#4 Ian Poulter

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Poults has made the cut in every one of his last 33 events worldwide and has been a scrambling machine so far in 2013. He’s going to need those skills to navigate this course, and his ability to get up and down might be what sets him apart this week.

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#3 Fredrik Jacobson

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He will be riding a high after qualifying for The Masters over the weekend. He’s also racked up five straight top 25 finishes and has a solid history at this event. The tight fairways shouldn’t bother him, as he’s currently first in driving accuracy.

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#2 Charl Schwartzel

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He’s been in the top 25 in his last 11 events worldwide and hasn’t finished worse than T16 in that time. The 2011 Masters champ would be leading the Tour in adjusted scoring average if he played enough rounds to officially qualify.

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#1 Matt Kuchar

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Kuchar has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2013 season. In seven events, he has five top 25 finishes, three top 10 results and won the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. Historically, he has played well on tight courses, and this one is about as narrow as they come.