Tournament: Valero Texas Open, April 19-22, 2018
Course: TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), 7,435 yards, par 72. Yes, that San Antonio.
Defending Champion: Kevin Chappell. The UCLA Bruin captured the title last year for his first PGA Tour career victory, defeating a hard-charging Brooks Koepka in the process.
Fun Fact: Sergio Garcia is named as a consultant on the course redesign completed in 2010. Sergio has also not played in this tournament since 2010. Something smells like paella left in the Texas sun too long.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Former 'Dawgs in the Field ( Four ): Chris Kirk, Harris English, Keith Mitchell, Hudson Swafford.
After a relaxing week on Hilton Head Island, the Tour swings back to Texas for the Valero Texas Open. If you’ve been reading, yes, the Tour was in Texas back in March for consecutive weeks. And yes, the Tour will head around the Southeast before making it back to Texas for 2 weeks in May. And no, this makes no sense except to appease corporate sponsors and television broadcast companies.
Situated in the Hill Country, rolling elevation changes and a resort-style golf course will give this field a great chance to earn FedEx Cup points. Because only 6 of the top 30 in the world are playing this week. All of the top 30 (aside from an injured Koepka) were in the Masters 2 weeks ago, and several made the trip down to HHI last week. But most are taking a break before jumping back into the pressure-filled fray of The Players Championship to be held in just a few weeks. But 4 former Bulldogs did the make the trip.
Hudson Swafford is coming off a missed cut last week, and this is out of character for him the last 18 months. So he’ll look to play the weekend and keep his playoff chances alive.
Keith Mitchell did make the cut but didn’t do anything spectacular at the RBC Heritage. He did close with a 69, jumping him from the bottom of the board to a T55, and wants to continue his momentum.
Chris Kirk is playing okay, but seems to miss a cut about every 3 or 4 tournaments. He’s won in Texas before (Colonial), so maybe he scares the leaderboard this week.
And Harris English has made 4 of his last 6 cuts, with all being T33 or better. He’s holding his own in the rankings, but it’s nowhere near where he was 3-4 years ago. Still, he’s exempt and better play well to keep that exemption.
So those will be the ‘Dawgs chasing little white balls. If you’re not into watching G-Day, or want something to sandwich around G-Day, flip it on over to CBS and root on our boys.
And as always….