FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2018
First Round Notes
Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 78. Wind E 15-25 mph, with gusts to 30 mph.
In his first start at the Valero Texas Open, Grayson Murray offset a double-bogey five at No. 7 with seven birdies, good for a 67.
Before this week, Murray’s best position after 18 holes on the PGA TOUR was T2 at the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. He finished T63.
Murray, winner of the 2017 Barbasol Championship in his rookie year on the PGA TOUR, is making his 14th start of the 2017-18 season. He finished inside the top-10 at the Safeway Open (T9) and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (T8).
This week’s Valero Texas Open marks Murray’s fourth start in a PGA TOUR event in the state of Texas: 2017 Houston Open (T55), 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson (T27) and 2018 Houston Open (T14).
Murray, a Greensboro, North Carolina native, hit nine of 14 fairways in regulation and 13 of 18 greens. He needed 26 putts to complete round one.
First-Round Lead Notes
Since 2000, there have been only two first-round leaders of the Valero Texas Open to hang on for the win. Justin Leonard claimed his fifth PGA TOUR win in 2000 after holding a share of the opening-round lead at LaCantera, and Robert Gamez achieved the feat in 2005.
This season, six of 23 first-round leaders/co-leaders have held on for the win, most recently being Brice Garnett at the Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
2014 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel, who opened with a 4-under 68, has had mixed success at the Valero Texas Open since 2013; 2013/T3, 2014/MC, 2015/3rd, 2016/T4 and 2017/MC.
Horschel is making his eighth start in the Valero Texas Open this week.
Horschel, a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is in search of his first win since the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.
Horschel has made just five cuts in 11 starts this season, but comes to San Antonio this week after a T5 showing at last week’s RBC Heritage.
Making his fourth start in the Valero Texas Open, Chesson Hadley made five birdies and one bogey to open with a 68. Hadley finished T56 in 2014, T4 in 2015 and missed the cut in 2016.
Hadley, who won twice on the Web.com Tour last year (LECOM Health Challenge, Albertsons Boise Open), made a strong return to the PGA TOUR this season. In his first three starts of the season, he finished no worse than fourth; T3/Safeway Open, 2nd/Sanderson Farms Championship and T4/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. A fourth top-5 finish came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February (T5).
Hadley comes to this week’s Valero Texas Open on the heels of a T7 finish at last week’s RBC Heritage, his fifth top-10 showing of the season.
PGA TOUR rookie Matt Atkins, 27, made five birdies against one bogey to open with a 68.
Atkins, who has made just two cuts in 10 starts this season, made his way onto the PGA TOUR by virtue of his 28th-place finish on the 2017 Web.com Tour priority list.
A native of Aston, Pennsylvania, Atkins won the 2017 El Bosque Mexico Championship on the Web.com Tour.
Ryan Moore and Keegan Bradley, both at 4-under par in their fourth start in the Valero Texas Open, have each claimed one previous top-10 finish in the event. Moore finished T8 in 2012 and Bradley finished T9 in his first start in 2011.
Playing on Major Medical Extension, Jon Curran opened with a 3-under 69. He began the season with 18 events available to earn 305 FedExCup points which, combined with his 60 points, would equal the No. 125 total of 365 from the 2016-17 campaign and keep him exempt for the remainder of the season. Curran comes into this week having missed the cut in each of his first 10 starts.
Joaquin Niemann, the former World No. 1 amateur who is making his professional debut this week, opened with an even-par 72.
2015 Valero Texas Open champion and nearby Boerne resident Jimmy Walker opened with a 1-under 71, the same score he opened with en route to his 2105 victory. Walker is making his 13th start in the Valero Texas Open this week, and 11th straight. In addition to his 2015 win, he finished inside the top 10 in 2010 (T3).
Making his first start in the Valero Texas Open since 2011, and third overall, 2010 champion Adam Scott opened with a 3-over 75.
Past Valero Texas Open champions in the field: Zach Johnson (2008, 2009)/70, Adam Scott (2010)/75, Brendan Steele (2011)/70, Martin Laird (2013)/73, Steven Bowditch (2014)/83, Jimmy Walker (2015)/71, Charley Hoffman (2016)/72 and Kevin Chappell (2017)/72.
Chris Stroud withdrew after round one.
R1: Billy Horschel (68), Ryan Moore (68)
Scoring Averages at TPC San Antonio:
|Round||Front 9||Back 9||Total||Cumulative|
The par-4 first hole played the most difficult in round one at 4.429. The par-5 14th played the easiest at 4.519.
Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels and other petrochemical products. Valero, a Fortune 50 company based in San Antonio, Texas, with approximately 10,000 employees, is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer, and its assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.1 million barrels per day and 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.45 billion gallons per year. The petroleum refineries are located in the United States (“U.S.”), Canada, and the United Kingdom (“U.K.”), and the ethanol plants are located in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. In addition, Valero owns the 2 percent general partner interest and a majority limited partner interest in the Partnership, a midstream master limited partnership. Valero sells its products in both the wholesale rack and bulk markets, and approximately, 7,400 outlets carry Valero’s brand names in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and Ireland. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.
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.
Its 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, Jimmy Walker and 2018 champion Andrew Landry, to name a few.
Since Valero became title sponsor in 2002, the tournament has become a leader in charitable fundraising among PGA TOUR events. The Valero Texas Open together with the Benefit for Children eclipsed the $100 million mark in charitable giving in 2015, becoming the fourth PGA TOUR event to do so. Raising a record $12 million in 2018, the tournament has now contributed more than $138 million to hundreds of worthy charities.
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