The PGA Tour heads to San Antonio, Texas this week for the Valero Texas Open. Brendan Steele defends the title around the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
Dating back to 1922, the Texas Open is one of the oldest tournaments on the PGA Tour, past winners including: Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.
The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio was designed by Greg Norman and Pete Dye. Opened for play in 2010, it’s a natural-looking layout with huge bunkers and sprawling greens. Many of the fairways are framed by stands of mature oaks, giving the course its name.
This is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit. In fact, in 2011, it was the most difficult of the par 72 courses visited by the PGA Tour. It played to an average of 73.67.
Temperatures are set to be high this week and Thursday and Friday could witness thunderstorms, so don’t be surprised if there’s at least one weather delay during the tournament.
Venue: TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Date: Apr 19-22
Course stats: par 72, 7,435 yards
Purse: $6,200,000 Winner: $1,116,000
Defending Champion: Brendan Steele (-8)
Thursday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Charley Hoffman – He’s something of a Valero Texas Open specialist. He has posted five top-15 finishes in six starts in the tournament. He was runner-up last year over this course and comes into the week on good form after a tied eighth place finish at last week’s Heritage tournament.
Matt Kuchar – He’s normally one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour so his closing 77 last week came as a surprise. That round meant he finished the Heritage in a tie for 44th. It was his worst PGA Tour finish in nine months. He’ll be looking to bounce back strongly here. Expect him to do it.
K.J. Choi – The Korean is not enjoying his best season so far with just one top-10 to his name. But he tends to perform well when the going gets tough and he could be the man to grind out a result over this difficult course.
Key hole: The par 5s. The shortest on the course is the 14th at 567 yards so, depending on the wind, any of them could play as a three-shotter. The longer hitters will have a distinct advantage on these holes.
Skills required: Finding fairways. At 7,500 yards, you’d think length was the most important factor at TPC San Antonio. But, with bunkers and huge trees lining the fairways, driving the ball straight is also essential.
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