Tournament officials announced today some early player commitments to the 2014 Valero Texas Open, scheduled for March 24-30, at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks Course.
2013 champion Martin Laird will defend his title. Last year, the three-time PGA TOUR winner, shot a course-record-tying 63 on Sunday on his way to a two-stroke victory over Rory McIlroy. In addition to the defending champion, recent past champions scheduled to compete include Ben Curtis (2012), Brendan Steele (2011) and Justin Leonard (2000, 2001, 2007).
Matt Kuchar, currently ranked No. 8 in the Official World Golf Rankings, leads a group of players in the field who are among the top 40. Kuchar tied for 22nd in last year's tournament. His best finish at the Valero Texas Open was a tie for second in 2001.
Sergio Garcia, who jumped to No. 9 in the Official World Golf Rankings following his victory in last week's Qatar Masters on the European Tour, will tee it up in San Antonio for the first time since 2010 (his lone appearance in the event). One of the hottest players in the world having not finished outside the top-20 in his last eight professional starts, Garcia was also a player consultant to Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.
Two third place finishers from the 2013 edition of the Valero Texas Open will also be making their return to San Antonio. Jim Furyk, 2010 FedExCup Champion, is currently No.21 in world rankings while Billy Horschel is currently No. 41. Following his strong finish in the event last year Horschel went on to capture his first PGA TOUR win three weeks later at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Boerne, TX resident, Jimmy Walker, winner of two PGA TOUR tournaments this season (Frys.com Open and Sony Open in Hawaii) and current FedExCup Points leader, is ranked 35th in the world.
"With the Valero Texas Open practically in my backyard, it makes competing that week much more enjoyable for me and my family," explained Walker. "I'm looking forward to teeing it up again in front of my hometown crowd and would love to be the tournament's next champion."
Additionally, several past Major Champions have committed to participate, including Padraig Harrington (2007 Open Championship, 2008 Open Championship and PGA Championship) who finished tied for 10th in last year's tournament, Retief Goosen (2001 and 2004 U.S. Open Championship) who made his Valero Texas Open debut in 2013, and Mark Calcavecchia (1989 Open Championship).
"With just under two months until tournament week, we are excited to see some of the top players in the game already making plans to attend the Valero Texas Open," said Executive Director, Larson Segerdahl. "We have been actively talking with players the past ten months and are encouraged we will have another great field for the sports fans of the greater-San Antonio region."
Players have until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, March 21 to commit to the Valero Texas Open and can withdraw at any time.
Tickets are on sale and are $15 through the tournament's Chip In for Schools program that runs through March 30. Or, fans can purchase advance daily tickets for $20 each online at ValeroTexasOpen.com. Admission to the tournament is FREE for children 12 and under compliments of SeaWorld of San Antonio and active military and their families are admitted FREE compliments of USAA.
For the cost of an upgraded ticket ($75/person), spectators can also enjoy the all-new, multi-tiered Shiner Patio at 17 hospitality venue, which provides great views along with complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. A more complete menu along with alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase within the venue.
A limited number of Valero Texas Open sponsorship packages are still available. Those interested in securing their place within the event should contact the tournament office on (210) 345-3818 or visit the tournament's website ValeroTexasOpen.com.
ABOUT THE VALERO TEXAS OPEN The Valero Texas Open is the 6th oldest professional tournament in golf world-wide, the 3rd oldest on the PGA TOUR and the longest held in the same city. In 2012, the tournament celebrated its 90th anniversary. It's list of champions includes some of the greatest names in golf history: Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Nick Price, Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, and 2013 Champion Martin Laird, to name a few.
Since Valero became title sponsor in 2002, the tournament has become the annual leader in charitable fundraising among PGA TOUR events. The Valero Texas Open together with the Benefit for Children is well on its way to reaching $100 million in contributions for local and regional charities. Through its history, the Texas Open has raised $86 million for charities - $81.5 million of that since 2002, when Valero became the tournament's title sponsor.
ABOUT VALERO ENERGY FOUNDATION
Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 10,500 people, and assets include 16 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day, 10 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons per year, a 50-megawatt wind farm, and renewable diesel production from a joint venture. Through subsidiaries, Valero owns the general partner of Valero Energy Partners LP (NYSE: VLP), a midstream master limited partnership. More than 7,300 outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.