2017 Valero Texas Open – Tournament Notes

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Charley Hoffman at the 2016 Valero Texas Open

On a wind-blown TPC San Antonio layout last year, Charley Hoffman began the final round two strokes off Ricky Barnes’ 11-under lead. With a final-round, 3-under 69, highlighted by a nine-foot birdie at the 72nd hole, Hoffman bested San Antonio native Patrick Reed by a stroke at 12-under 276. The win marked his fourth career PGA TOUR title and came in his 293rd TOUR start at the age of 39 years, 3 months, 28 days.

 

More on Charley Hoffman

  • Charley Hoffman will be making his 12th consecutive start at this week’s Valero Texas Open, where he has never missed a cut. He has finished in the top-15 nine times, including a 1st, T2 and T3 showing in 2016, 2011 and 2013, respectively.
  • Hoffman recently held the outright lead after 18 holes at the Masters, following an opening-round, 7-under 65. He was T1 after 36 holes and T4 after 54 holes, before finishing T22.
  • Since February, Hoffman has finished T4 at the Genesis Open and T2 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is coming off a missed cut at last week’s RBC Heritage (73-73).

     

    Valero Texas Open and the FedExCup

Each year, the Valero Texas Open proves pivotal in the race for the FedExCup. Since being moved to its current spot on the schedule in 2009, the winner of the Valero Texas Open has made it through at least two Playoffs events six of eight times. Jimmy Walker (2015), Adam Scott (2010) and Zach Johnson (2009) made it through the season-ending TOUR Championship.

 

Notes on the field

  • 2015 Valero Texas Open champion, reigning PGA Championship winner and nearby Boerne resident Jimmy Walker will be making his 12th start in the 2017 Valero Texas Open. In addition to 2015’s victory, he also finished inside the top five in 2010 (T3). Walker is coming off a T18 finish at the Masters two weeks ago.
  • Two weeks removed from his T4 finish at the Masters, Matt Kuchar is poised to make his 13th start at the Valero Texas Open, and sixth straight. Kuchar’s best finish at TPC San Antonio is a T4 in 2014, though he finished T2 at La Cantera in 2001. En route to his top-5 finish at the Masters, Kuchar posted a final-round, 5-under 67, highlighted by an ace at the famed 16th hole. Kuchar will be in search of his eighth PGA TOUR title and first since the 2014 RBC Heritage.
  • 2008 and 2009 Valero Texas Open champion Zach Johnson is poised to make his seventh start in the event and fifth at TPC San Antonio; 2010/MC, 2014/T6, 2015/T20 and 2016/T29. Johnson, a 12-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is looking for his first win since the 2015 Open Championship. With the exception of 2011 and 2016, Johnson has won at least once a season on the PGA TOUR. So far in the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season, he has collected three top-10 finishes in 11 starts.
  • Canada’s Adam Hadwin followed a 13-under 59 in round three of this year’s CareerBuilder Challenge (2nd) with his first career PGA TOUR win at the Valspar Championship five starts later. Hadwin is fifth in the current FedExCup standings, best among the field at the Valero Texas Open.
  • Five-time PGA TOUR winner and San Antonio native Patrick Reed will make a fourth start in this week’s Valero Texas Open, where he finished second to Charley Hoffman in 2016. Reed also competed on last year’s Ryder Cup Team and represented America in the Olympic Men’s Golf in Rio (T11)
  • Coming off a solo-second at last week’s RBC Heritage, former World No. 1 Luke Donald will be making his fifth start in the Valero Texas Open this week. Last year, Donald was T3 and just two strokes back after 54 holes last year at TPC San Antonio, before a final-round, 2-over 74 resulted in the T13 finish.
  • Ten-time international winner Branden Grace earned his first PGA TOUR win last year at the RBC Heritage. Grace, who went 5-0 as a member of the International Presidents Cup Team in 2015, will be making fourth consecutive start in this week’s Valero Texas Open; 2014/T79, 2015/T30 and 2016/T9. He closed with a 5-under 67 last year at TPC San Antonio to finish inside the top 10.
  • Nineteen-time PGA TOUR winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els will make his fourthstart at the Valero Texas Open, highlighted by a T3 finish in 2010.
  • 2016 U.S. Amateur champion and World No. 1 amateur, Curtis Luck, will make his professional debut at this week’s Valero Texas Open. Luck won last year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the World Amateur Team Championship en route to becoming the top-ranked amateur in the world.
  • England’s Ian Poulter began the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season on a Major Medical Extension, due to injury. As such, he had 10 events to earn either 218 FedExCup points or $347,634 to remain exempt for the remainder of the season. Following a T11 finish at last week’s RBC Heritage, this week’s Valero Texas Open serves as his 10th and final event to satisfy his Major Medical Extension. He is in need of 63 FedExCup points or $30,624. Based on the $6,200,000 purse this week, he will need roughly a top-30 finish. In his only other start at the Valero Texas Open, Poulter finished T37 in 2013.

 

Tournament notes

  • Players in the Valero Texas Open with Texas collegiate connections include:
    • Baylor University – Jimmy Walker
    • Lamar University – Chris Stroud, Shawn Stefani
    • Southern Methodist University – Kelly Kraft, Bryson DeChambeau
    • TCU – J.J. Henry, Tom Hoge
    • Texas A&M – Ryan Palmer
    • University of Texas – Bob Estes, Cody Gribble, Beau Hossler, Rick Lamb, Justin Leonard, Jhonattan Vegas,
  • 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year of the Valero Texas Open being contested at TPC San Antonio, a Greg Norman design with Sergio Garcia serving as design consultant. Adam Scott won the first playing of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio in 2010.
  • Past Valero Texas Open champions in the field: Justin Leonard (2000, 2001, 2007), Zach Johnson (2008, 2009), Brendan Steele (2011), Ben Curtis (2012), Martin Laird (2013), Steven Bowditch (2014), Jimmy Walker (2015) and Charley Hoffman (2016).
  • Since 1970, there have only been four international winners of the Valero Texas Open, three of whom emerged since 2010: Steven Bowditch (2014), Martin Laird (2013), Adam Scott (2010). The fourth, Nick Price, defeated Steve Elkington in 1992 in sudden death at Oak Hills CC.
  • Dating to 1922, the Valero Texas Open is the third-oldest non-major on the PGA TOUR calendar behind only the BMW Championship (1899) and RBC Canadian Open (1904). It’s also the longest-running event on the PGA TOUR to be held in the same city.

 

2016-17 Trends

Top players winning in 2017

Ten of the 16 winners in the 2017 calendar year have been inside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking entering that week’s event: Justin Thomas (SBS Tournament of Champions/22), Thomas (Sony Open in Hawaii/12), Hideki Matsuyama (Waste Management Phoenix Open/5), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am/6), Dustin Johnson (Genesis Open/3), Rickie Fowler (The Honda Classic/14), Dustin Johnson (WGC-Mexico Championship/1), Dustin Johnson (WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play/1) and Sergio Garcia (Masters Tournament/11).

 

Young stars excelling

Through the RBC Heritage, 14 of the 23 PGA TOUR wins this season have come from players under the age of 30, including seven straight (see shaded portion). The seven straight tied the longest streak on the PGA TOUR since 1970.

Date Tournament Winner Birthdate Age won
10/23 CIMB Classic Justin Thomas 4/29/93 23 years, 5 months, 24 days
10/30 WGC-HSBC Champions Hideki Matsuyama 2/25/92 24 years, 8 months, 5 days
10/30 Sanderson Farms Championship Cody Gribble 9/20/90 26 years, 1 month, 10 days
11/20 The RSM Classic Mackenzie Hughes 11/23/90 25 years, 11 months, 29 days
1/8 SBS Tournament of Champions Justin Thomas 4/29/93 23 years, 8 months, 10 days
1/15 Sony Open in Hawaii Justin Thomas 4/29/93 23 years, 8 months, 17 days
1/22 CareerBuilder Challenge Hudson Swafford 9/9/87 29 years, 4 months, 13 days
1/29 Farmers Insurance Open Jon Rahm 11/10/94 22 years, 2 months, 19 days
2/5 Waste Management Phoenix Open Hideki Matsuyama 4/29/93 24 years, 11 months, 11 days
2/12 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Jordan Spieth 7/27/93 23 years, 6 months, 16 days
2/26 The Honda Classic Rickie Fowler 12/13/88 28 years, 2 months, 13 days
3/12 Valspar Championship Adam Hadwin 11/2/1987 29 years, 4 months, 10 days
4/2 Shell Houston Open Russell Henley 4/12/1989 27 years, 11 months, 21 days
4/16 RBC Heritage Wesley Bryan 3/26/1990 27 years, 21 days

 

 

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