Matt Wallace is a four-time DP World Tour winner, but he had yet to break through in his four-plus years playing some events on the PGA Tour.
That is, until he fired 67-66-70-66 to win by one over up-and-comer Nicolai Hojgaard at last week’s Corales Puntacana Championship.
Granted, the alternate field win featured a similar, if not worse, field strength than his wins overseas. However, it’s still an impressive feat and is a continuation of solid form against deeper fields leading in.
Wallace was in contention the week prior at the Valspar Championship before losing his cool a bit down the stretch and settling for T-7th. That’s still a good showing at a tough track like the Copperhead course.
Wallace had two top-20s early in the year on the DP World Tour’s Middle East swing and was in the top 30 a month ago on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic.
He’s still got a lot to play for this week, too, as the Puntacana win didn’t get him into the Masters. Wallace needs to win this week to qualify for the Masters for what would be the fourth time in five years.
The Englishman is now making his third appearance at the Valero Texas Open. He debuted spectacularly with rounds of 69-68-67-70 to finish solo third and two shots clear of fourth place.
Wallace ranks second on the PGA Tour in strokes gained per round around-the-green (.615) and is 29th in SG approach-the-green (.545).
Those are two stats that stand out on what should once again be a gusty Oaks course in play this week.