The PGA Tour stays in the Lonestar State for the 92nd edition of the Valero Texas Open – the final tune-up before the season’s first major at Augusta National.
The 24th event on the PGA Tour’s 2022-23 schedule, the Valero Texas Open is contested at TPC San Antonio, a Greg Norman-designed par-72, measuring 7,435 yards.
Due to its position on the schedule – sandwiched between the WGC Dell Match Play and The Masters, the field in south Texas is fairly weak but will feature a few high-profile superstars including Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler. J.J. Spaun will defend.
Here are more details about this week’s PGA Tour stop in Texas.
Valero Texas Open
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Valero Texas Open
PGA Tour Debut: 1922
Dates: Mar 30-Apr 2, 2022
Where:San Antonio, Texas
Course: TPC San Antonio (Oaks)
Distance: Par 72, 7,435 yards
Architect: Greg Norman
Format: Stroke play, 72-holes
Field: 144 players, 36-Hole Cut
Winning Share: $1,602,000
FedExCup/OWGR Pts: 500/35
Defending Champion: J.J. Spaun
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Valero Texas Open History
Casual fans may not realize it, but the Valero Texas Open has one of the most extensive histories on the PGA Tour. As the third oldest tournament on the Tour’s schedule, the sixth oldest worldwide, and the oldest tournament where every edition has been played in the same city, the Valero Texas Open has a rich tradition of hosting elite-level golf.
This week’s event will be the 91st time touring pros have teed it up in San Antonio since 1922. For much of its history, the tournament had a reputation for surrendering exceptionally low scores, evidenced most by Mike Souchak’s winning total of 27-under par in 1955, and Tommy Armour III’s record-setting 254 (64-63-62-65) in 2003 – a Tour record that stood until Justin Thomas broke it in 2017 in Hawaii.
However, as the tournament has started to award larger purses, it was moved to TPC San Antonio, which early on proved to be a much tougher test. How tough? Ask Kevin Na, who shot a 12-over 16 on ONE HOLE in the 2011 edition. That may be an extreme outlier, but in 2012, one of the runner-ups had a round of 77 on their card. In fact, from 2011 – 2014, three of the four winners finished in single-digits under par.
The setup in San Antonio has generally become less penal over the past several years, culminating with 2019 winner, Corey Conners, finishing with the first 20 under (or better) since Armour’s aforementioned record setter nearly 20 years ago.
Over the years, the tournament has been contested at eight different venues with a who’s who of legendary names among its winners, including Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Hale Irwin, Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, and Jordan Spieth.
Palmer and Justin Leonard have the most Texas Open victories, with three a piece. Seven other golfers have won twice, including Zach Johnson (2008-2009) – the only active player among the group.
History: Tournament Names
- Valero Texas Open (2002-23)
- Texas Open at La Cantera (2001)
- Westin Texas Open at La Cantera (2000)
- Westin Texas Open (1998-99)
- La Cantera Texas Open (1995-97)
- Texas Open (1994)
- H.E.B. Texas Open (1990-93)
- Texas Open (1988-89)
- Vantage Championship (1996)
- San Antonio Texas Open (1972-80)
- San Antonio Open Invitational (1970-71)
- Texas Open Invitational (1956-69)
- Texas Open (1922-55)
History: Recent Winners
2022: J.J. Spaun (-13)
2021: Jordan Spieth (-18)
2020: Canceled (COVID)
2019: Corey Conners (-20)
2018: Andrew Landry (-17)
2017: Kevin Chappell (-12)
2016: Charley Hoffman (-12)
2015: Jimmy Walker (-11)
2014: Steven Bowditch (-8)
2013: Martin Laird (-14)
2012: Ben Curtis (-9)
2011: Brendan Steele (-8)
Low Score: 254 Tommy Armour III (2003)
Under-Par: -27 Mike Souchak (1955)
Margin of Victory: 8 strokes Corey Pavin (1988)
3 – Justin Leonard (2000-01, 2007), Arnold Palmer (1960-62)
Defending Valero Texas Open Champion
In a four-way tie for the 54-hole lead at the Valero Texas Open, J.J. Spaun‘s dream of his first career PGA Tour title got off to a nightmare start when he opened with a double-bogey to knock him back immediately amid a crowded leaderboard.
In fact, no player had won a tournament where they double-bogeyed the first hole on Sunday since Tiger Woods in his epic 2008 U.S. Open triumph over a scrappy, motivated Rocco Mediate.
Fortunately for Spaun, he played his next 17 holes exactly how he needed to, and as he hit the closing stretch, it looked all but over for the field. Spaun’s 3-under 69 brought him to 13-under for the week at TPC San Antonio and gave him a two-stroke victory at the Valero over two-time Tour winner Matt Jones and nine-time Tour champion Matt Kuchar.
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. J.J. Spaun -13 (-3)
2. Matt Jones -11 (-6)
2. Matt Kuchar -11 (-3)
4. Adam Hadwin -10 (-5)
4. Troy Merritt -10 (-3)
4. Charles Howell III -10 (-3)
4. Beau Hossler -10 (E)
Valero Texas Open Field
The field in San Antonio will be headlined by the trio of Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler.
Hatton, at world No. 17, is the highest ranked player in the field. The Englishman enters off two straight top-4 finishes in his last two stroke play starts.
Fowler, meanwhile, is teeing it up at TPC San Antonio eager to return to the Masters. Fowler has seen promising signs this season, but will need a win to avoid missing a third straight Masters.
Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, is in the field after withdrawing from the match play event in Austin last week due to injury.
Other names to watch include Chris Kirk, Sepp Straka, Si Woo Kim and Corey Conners, who won here in 2019.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Tyrrell Hatton (14-1)
2. Rickie Fowler (16-1)
3. Si Woo Kim (20-1)
4. Corey Conners (22-1)
5. Davis Riley (25-1)
5. Hideki Matsuyama (25-1)
Full Field & Odds
Up Next On Tour
The first major of the season is up next, as all eyes will focus on Augusta National for the 2023 edition of the Masters Tournament.
Carey Hoffman and Paul Daly contributed to this preview.