|Valero Texas Open - September 19, 2006
VALERO TEXAS OPEN
LaCantera GC (Resort Course)
San Antonio, TX
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,974
Purse: $4,000,000Winner: $720,000
2005 Champion: Robert Gamez (262, -18)
Valero Texas Open Notes
In 2004, Bart Bryant won his first PGA TOUR event at 41 years, 10 months and 1 day, the oldest first-time winner since Ed Dougherty claimed his lone TOUR title at the 1995 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic at 47 years, 8 months and 19 days.
This year will mark the 76th edition of the Valero Texas Open. Started in 1922, it is the fifth-oldest North American tournament on the PGA TOUR. Only the U.S. Open (1895), Cialis Western Open (1899), Bell Canadian Open (1904) and PGA Championship (1916) are older. In addition, the Valero Texas Open is the oldest PGA TOUR tournament to have been held in the same city (San Antonio) its entire existence.
You might look for a veteran winner this week at the Valero Texas Open. Three of the last four winners of the San Antonio event were over 40—Bart Bryant, 2004 (41), Tommy Armour III, 2003 (43) and Loren Roberts, 2002 (47).
Four of the 18 rounds of 60 recorded in PGA TOUR history have been shot at the Valero Texas Open. Bart Bryant’s came during the third round in 2004 at LaCantera was the fourth in this event. Here is the complete list of 60s shot in San Antonio. Al Brosch was the first to do it, in 1951 at Brackenridge Park Golf Course, followed by Ted Kroll (1954) and Mike Souchak (1955). Robert Gamez, the 2005 Valero Texas Open champ, has also shot 60—at the 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
There have been 13 playoffs at the Valero Texas Open. The most recent came in 1999, when Duffy Waldorf defeated Ted Tryba with a birdie on the first extra hole.
Bart Bryant became the 14th first-time winner in the history of the Valero Texas Open. The first-timers include Chick Harbert (1942), Tony Holguin (1953), Mike Souchak (1955), Jay Hebert (1957), Bill Johnston (1958), Harold Henning (1966), Deane Beman (1969), Ben Crenshaw (1973), Terry Diehl (1974), Ron Streck (1978), Bob Estes (1994), Duffy Waldorf (1995), David Ogrin (1996) and Bryant.
Bart Bryant, a native of Gatesville, became the 16th Texas native/resident to win the Valero Texas Open. They include Byron Nelson (Dallas, 1940), Ben Hogan (Fort Worth, 1946), Jack Burke, Jr. (Houston, 1952), Tony Holguin (San Antonio, 1953), Wesley Ellis (San Antonio, 1959), Ben Crenshaw (Austin, 1973, 1986), Don January (Denton, 1975), Lee Trevino (Dallas, 1980), Bill Rogers (Texarkana/San Antonio, 1981), John Mahaffey (The Woodlands, 1985), Blaine McCallister (Fort Stockton, 1991), Bob Estes (Austin, 1994), David Ogrin (Garden Ridge, 1996), Justin Leonard (Dallas, 2000, 2001), Tommy Armour III (Irving, 2003) and Bryant.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
· If you are looking for a surprise winner this week at the Valero Texas Open, look for someone who has not won in a number of years. Three of the five longest victory droughts in TOUR history ended with a win at the Valero Texas Open, including last year when Robert Gamez set the all-time record at 15 years and six months. Butch Baird is #2 on the list when he won in 1976 and Tommy Armour III is fourth on the list following his win in 2003.
· You might also look for a low winning score this week. Three of the six lowest 72-hole totals in TOUR history have been recorded in this event, including Tommy Armour III’s record 254 in 2003.
· More on Armour: The record holder has a great track record at La Cantera GC. In addition to his record-setting victory in 2003, Armour has four other Top-20 finishes at the course and has made the cut in 10 of 11 starts.
· Texas native Justin Leonard returns to the Valero Texas Open this week seeking his first victory of the year. In eight starts at this tournament, Leonard has two wins and seven Top-15 finishes. He’s 100-under-par in his play at the tournament with 24 of his 30 rounds in the 60s.
· Another player with a great record at the Valero Texas Open is Duffy Waldorf. The veteran has two of his four career wins at the tournament and has seven Top-10 and nine Top-20 finishes to his credit.
· This week’s Oregon Classic is the 500th event in the 17-year history of the Nationwide Tour.
· The U.S. Ryder Cup team will feature nine former Nationwide Tour
players this week in Ireland. The nine combined to win 16 Nationwide Tour events in their careers, plus four more won by U.S. Team Captain Tom Lehman.
· Holding the 54-hole lead on the Tour has not been the pathway to
victory this season. The last 12 54-hole leaders have not won and on the season, only six of 25 54-hole leaders have held on to win.
· Ben Bates needs to make only one more cut to be the all-time leader on the Nationwide Tour. Bates has made 192 career cuts, tied with Steve Haskins for tops on the all-time list.
· Chip Beck made a strong debut on the Champions Tour last week, finishing in a T5 at the Constellation Energy Classic. It was Beck’s best finish in a PGA TOUR-sponsored event since he was third at the 2003 Cox Classic on the Nationwide Tour.
· Tom Kite’s final-round 66 last week in Baltimore boosted him into a T10 and extended his streak of consecutive Top-10 finishes to seven in a row.
· With his successful title defense last week at the Constellation Energy Classic, Bob Gilder became the third player this season to accomplish the feat. He joins Allen Doyle (U.S. Senior Open) and Dana Quigley (Greater Kansas City Golf Classic).
· Out for nearly a year and a half with an injury, Scott Hoch quietly
made his Champions Tour debut last week in Baltimore and posted a T27 finish in his first start since the 2005 Bay Hill Invitational.