|Valero Texas Open - October 01, 2007
VALERO TEXAS OPEN
LaCantera Golf Course (Resort)
San Antonio, TX
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,153
2006 Champion: Eric Axley (265, -15)
Valero Texas Open Notes
Eric Axley’s final-round, 1-over-par 71 in 2006 marked the first time since 1960 that a Valero Texas Open champion carded an over-par final round. Forty-six years ago, Arnold Palmer overcame sub-freezing temperatures to win despite a final-round 75.
Last year when Eric Axley won with rounds of 68-63-63-71 (15-under 265) it was the first time since 1997 the Valero Texas Open champion did not post four consecutive rounds in the 60s. Tim Herron won at LaCantera that year after opening with a 71.
In 2004, Bart Bryant won his first PGA TOUR event at 41 years, 10 months, 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, 19 days.
Three of the last five winners of the San Antonio event were over age 40—Bart Bryant (2004, age 41), Tommy Armour III (2003, age 43) and Loren Roberts (2002, age 47).
Eric Axley became the 15th first-time winner in the history of the Valero Texas Open: 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 Bart Bryant (2004).
The Resort Course at LaCantera, a public course, is in its 13th year of hosting the tournament and is the seventh local course to host the event. Others include Oak Hills Country Club (23 times) 1961-66, 1977-94; Brackenridge Park Golf Course (21 times), 1927-28, 1941-49; Woodlake Country Club (5 times) 1972-76; Fort Sam Houston (4 times), 1950-51, 1956, 1960 and Pecan Valley Golf Club (3 times) 1967, 1969-70.
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.
When he successfully defended his 2000 title the following year, Justin Leonard became the eighth player to win more than one Valero Texas Open. Arnold Palmer (1960-62) is the only player with three victories in San Antonio. The other multiple winners: Bill Mehlhorn (1927-28), Dutch Harrison (1939, 1951), Sam Snead (1948, 1950), Ben Crenshaw (1973, 1986), Jay Haas (1982, 1993) and Duffy Waldorf (1995, 1999).
Tommy Armour III broke the 72-hole scoring record on the PGA TOUR en route to capturing the 2003 Valero Texas Open. Armour’s 254 total broke Mark Calcavecchia’s mark of 256 in a winning effort at the 2001 Phoenix Open.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
Chad Campbell entered last week’s Viking Classic as the 160th ranked player in Greens in Regulation on TOUR. He ended up leading the event in GIR hitting 80.6% of his greens on the way to his fourth
career victory on TOUR.
Bill Haas has taken advantage of the Fall Series to make a strong
surge up the money list. Prior to the start of the Fall Series, Haas was 126th on the list and is now 97th after finishing T10 and T3 the last two weeks.
Alex Cejka was the only player to vault into the Top 125 last week in Mississippi. His T8 finish boosted him from 129th to 123rd.
Joe Durant began last week in the 125th spot on the money list and after finishing T17 he’s still 125th on the list. He’s fully exempt next year anyway thanks to a victory last year at the Disney Golf Classic.
David Toms was the leading point getter at last week’s Presidents Cup with 4½ points. Mike Weir led the International teams with 3½ points. Scott Verplank was the only player to finish unbeaten and untied at 4-0.
Look for low scores this week at the Valero Texas Open. Since 2000, the winners of this event have posted an average score of 261, 19-under par. Tommy Armour III set the all-time PGA TOUR record winning score of 254 at the Valero Texas Open in 2003.
Eric Axley entered last year’s Valero Texas Open in 183rd place on the money list, but by week’s end he had his first career win. He enters this year’s Valero Texas Open in 144th place on the money list, but with a lot fewer worries. He’s exempt through the 2008 season thanks to that win.
Bob Gilder won the last two Constellation Energy Classics. While he
won’t be the defending champ of this week’s Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship (that would be Bobby Wadkins), he’ll still be looking for his third consecutive win in Baltimore.
There are only three events left to qualify for the season-ending
Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Only the Top 30 on the money list
will qualify and quite a battle is being waged for that final spot with Morris Hatalsky currently in that coveted 30th position. Among those trailing Hatalsky and looking to move up are such notables as Craig Stadler (31st), Fred Funk (33rd), Allen Doyle (34th), Wayne Levi (37th), Nick Price (38th), Curtis Strange (39th), Fuzzy Zoeller (41st) and Jerry Pate (42nd).
The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship moves to
Baltimore for the first time this week after 17 years in Detroit. Maryland will be the fourth state to play host to the year’s final Champions Tour major after Ohio, Florida and Michigan.
With only four weeks left to qualify for the season-ending Nationwide
Tour Championship at Barona Creek, a tight race is developing to finish among the Top 60 on the money list with only $31 separating #59 Fabian Gomez and #61 Joe Daley.
Chad Campbell’s victory last week at the Viking Classic was the 18th this year by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR and the 214th overall.
Nine former players competed in last week’s Presidents Cup and they
combined to post a 23-16-4 record. David Toms topped the group with
a 4-0-1 record.