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Valero Texas Open preview

With the US Masters in Augusta right around the corner, the Texas Open will provide the perfect tournament for big golf players like Rory McIlroy, to make their final preparations before the first major tournament of the year. The current Texas Open Champion is Ben Curtis, who hopes to retain his title before the US Masters.

The Texas Open is slightly different this year compared to previous years as it was usually held just after the US Masters. This year however, it has been altered to be played in preparation for the season’s first major.

Plenty of players have entered this tournament with their mind set on warming up before they set out for Augusta. One of those players is former world number one, Rory McIlroy. The Irishman has fallen out of form lately, losing his world number one spot in the process to a certain Tiger Woods.

McIlroy entered the tournament only 30 minutes before the deadline and as a result, had to postpone a scheduled trip to Haiti in his role as a UNICEF ambassador.

McIlroy will be joined by 2011 Masters Champion, Charl Schwartzel and 3 time Major winner Padraig Harrington, plus a host of other big names such as Englishman Ian Poulter.

First played in 1922, the Texas Open is one of the oldest golf tournaments played on the PGA Tour but will be held this year at a comparatively young course. The Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio was designed by Greg Norman and Pete Dye, originally opened in 2010; it has hosted every Texas Open there since.

Last season it was the most difficult course on the PGA tour as it directly followed the US Masters and had an average score of 73.939. However, this year the track has been softened, as some greens have been flattened and dangerous run-off areas taken away. Some of the fairways have been widened and the rough has been cut shorter this time around.

The weather in Texas shouldn’t be a problem this year, with only the wind looking to make things difficult for the players to win and claim that $1,116,000 prize money.

Author Daniel Foster.
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