The 2018 Valero Texas Open takes place April 19-22 in San Antonio as golfers look to win their share of the $6.2 million purse. The tournament takes place at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks Course, a beautiful layout designed by Greg Norman with input from PGA professional Sergio Garcia. It is noted for its natural feel, as opposed to other TPC offerings, and often uses native brush and the existing rocky terrain as rough. The field this year looks to be as strong as ever as golf’s tournament season begins heating up in earnest.
The Valero Texas Open is a tournament with a long history. Founded in 1922, it is the fifth oldest professional tournament in North America, and the longest tournament to reside in the same city. The tournament has had many illustrious past winners, including Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer. Palmer won an impressive 3 Texas Opens in a three-peat from 1960-1962. The only other three time winner is Justin Leonard. Last year’s tournament was won by Kevin Chappell, his first PGA Tour victory after several runners up performances.
The tournament also played a role in creating the PGA as we know it today. During a weather dealy at the 1928 Texas Open, professional Tommy Armour wrote the founding documents of the Professional Touring Golfers Association, the forebearer to the modern PGA. It was also the site of Tiger Woods official entry into the PGA Tour, when he received his PGA Tour card as a rookie in 1996 at the tournament.
The Texas Open is also known for its charitable contributions. It has raised over $100 million dollars for charity, only the fourth PGA Tour event to do so. It’s total following the 2017 tournament stood at a whopping $126 million in charitable givings. The Valero Texas Open focuses on giving to local charities that deal primarily with children and veterans of the armed forces and their families.
The biggest talking point of the tournament is the return of Sergio Garcia, a design consultant for the AT&T Oaks Course, after 7 years away from the tournament. Garcia is currently the odds-on favorite before the tournament begins despite a disappointing showing at this year’s Masters. Garcia will face stern opposition, including U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk and defending champion Kevin Chappell. There are some interesting international entries as well, including the Chilean Joaquin Niemann. Niemann, still a teenager, is a former world number 1 ranked amateur and is competing for the first time as a professional. Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma continues his impressive year as he looks to compete for a coveted PGA Tour card. Some of the dark horse picks are Adam Scott, Pat Perez and University of Texas alumni Beau Hossler.
Spectators have a few options if they want to watch the event. General Admissions tickets can be bought on the grounds for $35 or in advance online for $25. These tickets are good for course access on any day of the tournament. For a little more money, fans can experience patio seating and a covered viewing deck at “The U” for $80 per day. Dining and bar options are available for purchase, as well as the numerous concession stands available to all spectators. For $325, fans can experience the tournament at the Cabana, complete with free breakfast, lunch buffet, afternoon hors d'oeuvres and hosted bar service. The same all inclusive dining and bar experience can be had at the air conditioned Executive Club, located on the 18th hole, for $425. As with most PGA Tour Events, active duty, reserve and retired military can enjoy free admission for them and a guest. This courtesy is also extended to local first responders. Children 12 and under are also free. A full breakdown of tickets and services, as well as spectator guidelines, is available in this article’s Resources.
For fans not making the trip to Texas, the tournament will be covered extensively by both the Golf Channel and CBS sports. The Golf Channel will provide coverage Thursday and Friday from 3:30-6:30pm ET and Saturday and Sunday from 1-12:45pm ET. CBS will provide primetime coverage of the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday 3-6pm ET. Radio coverage will be provided by PGA Tour Radio on Sirius XM and online on PGATour.com Thursday and Friday 1-6:30pm ET and Saturday and Sunday 1-6pm ET.