|Valero Texas Open - May 11, 2009
Valero Texas Open
LaCantera Golf Course
San Antonio, TX
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,881
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,100,000Winner: $1,098,000
2008 Champion: Zach Johnson (261, -19)
Johnson Defends at Valero Texas Open
With one win already this season, at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Zach Johnson returns to defend his title at the Valero Texas Open. Last year’s win in Texas was Johnson’s fourth PGA TOUR title and first outside Georgia. He previously won the 2004 and 2007 AT&T Classic, as well as the 2007 Masters Tournament. Johnson began the 2008 Valero Texas Open final round trailing Rory Sabbatini by a stroke, but his 6-under 64 Sunday propelled him to a two-stroke win over three players.
For the first time, the Valero Texas Open joins the PGA TOUR Regular Season as part of the race for the FedExCup title. In the first two years of the FedExCup, the Valero Texas Open was part of the PGA TOUR Fall Series.
This season, besides his victory, Johnson has two other top-10 finishes—at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he finished third, and at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. At the season-opening event, he tied for sixth. Johnson is sixth in the FedExCup standings.
Valero Texas Open Notes
Last year, the tournament was part of the Fall Series. Having moved to the FedExCup Regular Season schedule in 2009, the Valero Texas Open will be conducted just 214 days after Zach Johnson’s win last October.
This is the first of three consecutive PGA TOUR tournaments in the Lone Star State. Following the Valero Texas Open, the TOUR will be in Irving for the HP Byron Nelson Championship followed by the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth.
Anthony Kim is making his third career start at the Valero Texas Open, having tied for second in his professional debut in 2006. Kim won two tournaments last year (Wachovia Championship and AT&T National) and finished fourth in the FedExCup standings.
Three-time Valero Texas Open champion Justin Leonard has had consistent success at the event. Leonard, who besides his victories also finished second in 1995 and 1998, is making his 12th Valero Texas Open start after a tie for 11th at LaCantera last year.
Brian Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage last month, is back in San Antonio. Gay has missed only one Valero Texas Open since 1999. His best finish was a tie for 10th in 2002.
As the third-oldest event on the PGA TOUR, the Valero Texas Open dates to 1922 when Bob MacDonald defeated Cyril Walker by a stroke at Brackenridge Park Golf Club in San Antonio. The Valero Texas Open also holds the distinction of being the longest-running event held in the same city (San Antonio).
In 2007 and 2008, the event was part of the PGA TOUR Fall Series. With an opening spot on the schedule in 2009, the PGA TOUR moved the Valero Texas Open into that slot, giving the tournament a presence in the FedExCup Regular Season, complete with an increased purse and winner’s check.
In 2010, the tournament will be moving to the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio—a Greg Norman design with player consultant Sergio Garcia. The 36-hole facility is adjacent to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.