Valero Texas Open: Rd. 1 notes
Rookie Loupe shoots 67, leads Perez and Lee by one
March 28, 2014
- Andrew Loupe is the first-round leader at TPC San Antonio (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Round 1 at the Valero Texas Open is now in the books, with the round completed Friday morning after play was delayed on Thursday due to fog. Rookie Andrew Loupe, who shot a 5-under 67, leads by one shot over Pat Perez and Danny Lee.
More notes on the leaders and notable names ...
ANDREW LOUPE (-5): Loupe (pronounced: Loop) is making his eighth professional start on the PGA TOUR. Prior to the 2013-‘14 PGA TOUR Season, Loupe’s only other start on TOUR came as an amateur in 2011 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (MC). ... After missing the cut in his first five starts this season, Loupe has since finished T27 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and T12 at the Puerto Rico Open. On the Monterey Peninsula, Loupe opened with a career-low, 8-under 63 to take the 18-hole lead by two strokes. ... Loupe made his way to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 32nd-place finish on the 2013 Web.com Tour priority list. The 2011 LSU grad garnered a pair of top-10 finishes in 25 starts on that Tour last season.
When darkness forced the suspension of the first round Thursday evening, Loupe returned Friday morning to finish his round, beginning on the third tee.
Andrew Loupe interview after Round 1 of Valero
PAT PEREZ (-4): Interestingly, it was a pair of negatives for Perez that fueled his first round. It wasn’t until after he shot an 11-over 83 in the final round of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard that he got motivated to play in San Antonio. Then, in this week's opening round, a self-proclaimed, eye-opening bogey at the par-4 15th hole gave him the focus he needed to birdie his final three holes and post a 4-under 68. ... Perez is making his eighth start in the Valero Texas Open. In two previous starts at TPC San Antonio, Perez finished T5 in 2011 and T22 in 2010. ... Having collected three top-10 finishes in his first nine starts of the 2013-’14 PGA TOUR Season, Perez continues to enjoy his best season on the PGA TOUR since 2009 when he claimed his only TOUR title, the Humana Challenge. In 12 events this year, Perez’ only missed cut came in his second start last October at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
DANNY LEE (-4): The Irving, Texas, resident birdied four of his last five holes to shoot 68 and tie his low opening-round score for the season (12 previous starts). Lee opened with a 4-under 68 two weeks ago at the Valspar Championship to take a share of the lead, but missed the cut following a second-round, 7-over 79. ... Lee was unable to break par in the opening round of his first eight starts this season. His last five, including the Valero Texas Open, have all been sub-par scores. ... Lee earned a return to the TOUR for the 2013-’14 Season by virtue of his 27th-place finish on last year’s Web.com priority list. ... In his 56th career start on the PGA TOUR, Lee remains in search of his first TOUR title. Following six straight missed cuts earlier this season, Lee claimed his career-best finish with runner-up honors at the Puerto Rico Open.
WILL MacKENZIE (-3): Of MacKenzie’s four top-10 finishes in 12 starts this year, two have come in his last three starts. A week after his T6 at The Honda Classic, MacKenzie improved to T4 at the Valspar Championship. He is coming off a T43 at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. ... MacKenzie is angling for his fifth top-10 finish of the season this week. His four so far surpassed his previous best of three top-10s in a season (2007). ... MacKenzie earned a return to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 7thplace finish on the 2013 Web.com Tour priority list.
CAMERON BECKMAN (-3): The San Antonio resident, a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, drained a 42-foot birdie putt on his last hole of the day, No. 9, to post a 3-under 69. ... Playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption and out of the Past Champion category, Beckman is making his 19th start in the event and 18th consecutive. His best finish is T12 in 2006. Since moving to TPC San Antonio in 2010, Beckman has missed the cut three times. He finished T63 in 2012.
ZACH JOHNSON (-2): The 2008 and 2009 Valero Texas Open champion has claimed four of his 11 wins in the state of Texas – more than any other state. In addition to his wins at LaCantera GC in 2008 and 2009, Johnson also won the 2010 and 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. ... In his only other start in the Valero Texas Open, Johnson missed the cut at TPC San Antonio in 2010.
JORDAN SPIETH (+3): The 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year bogeyed his first four holes (Nos. 10-13) and six of his first seven en route to a 3-over 75. Spieth stopped the bleeding on his inward nine with birdies at Nos. 1, 5, 8 and 9. ... Spieth is making his third consecutive start in this week’s Valero Texas Open. The former Texas Longhorn missed last year’s cut and in 2012, as an amateur, finished T41.
JIMMY WALKER (+4): The FedExCup leader, who lives near San Antonio, opened with a 4-over 76. Walker was 2-under through seven holes before playing his final 11 holes at 6-over-par. ... Walker, the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season’s only three-time winner, is making his ninth start in the event, with a best finish of T3 in 2010... When Walker won the season’s first event in October, the Frys.com Open, he became the first leader of the FedExCup. Through 20 events after this week, Walker will continue to hold that top spot by 529 points over Patrick Reed.
PHIL MICKELSON (+5): Making his first start in the Valero Texas Open since 1992 (T47), Mickelson struggled with a 5-over 77. That's his highest opening-round score since a 79 at the 2012 Memorial Tournament, an event he withdrew from before the second round. ... Among Mickelson’s 42 PGA TOUR wins are four from the state of Texas (1996 HP Byron Nelson Championship, 2000/2008 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and 2011 Shell Houston Open). ... In seven rounds now at TPC San Antonio, Spieth has been unable to break 70.