5 sleeper picks to watch out for at the 2024 Valero Texas Open

Texas Children
Akshay Bhatia, one of the sleeper picks to watch at the 2024 Valero Texas Open (Image via Getty).

The 2024 Valero Texas Open is the next stop on the PGA Tour, beginning on April 4 at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. The event has the added value of delivering the last ticket to The Masters, if the winner is not otherwise qualified.

The field includes several PGA Tour heavyweights, such as Rory McIlroy, Brian Harman, and Ludvig Aberg. But there are others who could also make a surprise at the Valero Texas Open, despite having smaller trophy cases.

Let's take a look at five sleeper picks in the Valero Texas Open field.

5 sleeper picks to watch out for at the 2024 Valero Texas Open

The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio is 7,438 yards and par 72, with a course rating of 76.6 and a slope rating of 145. Undoubtedly, the ability to play at this very hard venue will play a key role in the success of any player in the tournament.

#1 Akshay Bhatia

Akshay Bhatia is one of the top young stars on the PGA Tour who doesn't have a spot in The Masters field, and the Valero Texas Open is literally his last hope.

Bhatia already knows what it's like to win a tournament at the highest level given that he won the 2023 Barracuda Championship. He has played nine tournaments so far in 2024 in which he has made five cuts. On all five occasions he has finished in the Top 20, with a T11 at the Houston Open as his best result.

#2 Nicolai Hojgaard

The young Dane is another rising star who has the opposite situation to Bhatia: he has qualified for The Masters, but is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory.

So far in 2024, Nicolai Hojgaard has played six PGA Tour events and has made four cuts. Second place at the Farmers Insurance Open is his best result. The big question mark is his two cuts of the season have come in his two most recent starts, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.

#3 Eric Cole

The 2023 Rookie of the Year finished six times in the Top 5 last season, but was left owing his first win on the circuit. During 2024, Eric Cole has gotten off to a hard-working start, and has already posted some interesting results.

Cole has played in 11 events during the current season, making the cut eight times. He has only finished in one Top 10 (The Genesis Invitational), but has posted five other Top 25s.

#4 Denny McCarthy

McCarthy had a great season in 2023, with eight Top 10s, including a second-place finish. So far in 2024, he has not reached those levels, although his results have been solid.

So far this season, McCarthy has played eight tournaments, with only one missed cut. He has not finished in any Top 10s, but has been consistently inside the Top 50, including three Top 30s.

In addition, in the previous edition of the Valero Texas Open he finished 18th, with a score of 7 under and three of his four rounds at par or better.

#5 Joel Dahmen

The veteran is involved in restructuring his game, after facing some problems in 2023. During the 2024 season so far, Joel Dahmen has played nine tournaments with five cuts made and only one Top 15, but this one came against the super strong field of The Players Championship.

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Edited by Ankush Das