Media Center Interviews

March 28, 2023

Valero Texas Collegiate Announcement

LARSON SEGERDAHL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for joining us here during the week of the Valero Texas Open.

We really have a special week lined up here as we kick off the next century of the Texas Open here in San Antonio and couldn't be more excited for what the week has in store.

Today, however, we're particularly excited to announce a new initiative of the Valero Texas Open and the Valero Corporation and we want to announce the creation of a new elite collegiate event called the Valero Texas Collegiate. We will be hosting this event this coming September, so it will be in the fall portion of the college golf schedule, and we'll be hosting it right here at TPC San Antonio on the Oaks course. We'll be hosting it September 8th through the 11th. We will have one round of a college am competition followed by three rounds of elite college golf.

This is something that we as an event and alongside Valero have been following for a very long time as college golf has risen in priority and importance in terms of cultivating the next generation of stars and so we are thrilled to be able to join the ranks of the elite college golf tournaments out there and have, we believe, a top field as we kick off this year's event.

So I do want to announce the schools that will be joining us here for our inaugural event in September. We will be hosted -- the event will be hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio. This is their home course and we're proud to partner with them on this event as tournament hosts.

Included in our field this year is the current top-ranked school in Vanderbilt, University of Oklahoma, Georgia Southern, Virginia, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, Georgia, Louisville, Louisiana State University, Florida Gulf Coast University.

That is 11 teams of the 12-team field that we will be hosting here in the fall. We will be confirming the final team that will join that lineup here in the coming weeks and look forward to sharing that with you once it's finalized.

With that, I'd love to pass the mic over to Mr. Seymour Battle. He is the senior vice president of communications, PR and engagement for Valero and has been a key component to putting all of this together.

SEYMOUR BATTLE: Thank you, Larson, and good afternoon, everybody.

On behalf of Valero, we wanted to announce that we are really proud to continue our tradition in supporting golf here in San Antonio in partnership with the Valero Texas Open and TPC and JW by introducing the Valero Texas Collegiate event.

These college players are the future of the game and we look to create what we hope will be a pipeline for the Valero Texas Open as they look to take off on their pro careers. So again, we're excited about it, look forward to the fall and all that comes with it. So thank you guys.

LARSON SEGERDAHL: Thank you, Seymour.

Specific to the pipeline that Seymour referenced, not only will this event factor into the PGA TOUR U rankings that have become so important for the PGA TOUR and the next generation of golfer, but we are going to create a very direct pipeline for the individual winner of the tournament, who will receive an exemption into the 2024 Valero Texas Open.

This is a great opportunity for a young rising talent to not only compete at the highest level of college golf, but then to be able to tee it up next to the world's best here on the PGA TOUR. With that, I'd love to provide some comments or the opportunity to provide some comments to Coach Matt Wernecke. He is the head men's golf coach here at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

MATT WERNECKE: So I got hired in August and Larson, I think this was kind of in the works already. So I've gotten a chance to work with Larson to kind of get this deal together. It's going to be a game changer for our program kind of in particular. We're trying to get our program onto a national stage and the way college golf works is it's hard to get into these big-time invitationals unless you're hosting them.

So thank you to Valero that they're wanting to kind of put this event together and we could be a part of it. It's great exposure for our kids to tell recruits, hey you get to play against some of the best in the country if you come here. That's kind of the hard pitch. Just to get these guys on this golf course, which is obviously a tough Tour golf course, so to get these kids exposure. From what I gather, they're going to play similar tees, similar hole locations, similar yardage so they'll get a really good feel for this.

And all these top teams want to play together, and so to get this field and to have a Tour start, that's the biggest carrot we can dangle out there to these programs is to play against guys who do it for a living. It's going to be great exposure and we're really happy to be a part of this.

LARSON SEGERDAHL: Thank you, Coach.

We couldn't be more thrilled to partner with Coach and the UTSA athletics program and the golf program specifically on this initiative. This really will be a collective effort and a rising tide floats all boats, right? The success of this event, I think it will allow us the opportunity to see a very rapid growth for Matt's program, for his golfers and we look forward to seeing what they can do with it here in the years ahead under his leadership as coach, so very excited about that.

We've got a very special guest here with us, multiple-time PGA TOUR winner and University of Georgia alum who wanted to share some thoughts as it relates to what this means for college golfers. Really pleased to introduce Mr. Brendon Todd.

BRENDON TODD: Thanks for having me, guys. Got to say as a former collegiate athlete and collegiate golfer, the opportunity to play a PGA TOUR golf course is something pretty special and to have a company like Valero involved in the golf tournament, I don't remember playing in any when I was in college that that was the case. So thank you guys to Valero for helping out the collegiate sport as well.

I think you guys are creating a great product here. It's something that you shouldn't have any trouble getting more great teams to and seeing some great talent come through the Valero Collegiate golf tournament and then moving into the Valero Texas Open I think is going to be something that's going to be really special going forward.

LARSON SEGERDAHL: Thank you, Brendon. Thanks for being here. We'll see how his Bulldogs do in September.

BRENDON TODD: Need to improve.

LARSON SEGERDAHL: With that, we're happy to open it up to any questions that you all may have, but appreciate you being here.

Q. Is this another good opportunity to expose young guys to what you're doing at the Texas Open and continue to bring them along as you enter your second century?

LARSON SEGERDAHL: No doubt, that is the key part of our motivation for this, right? Not only providing great competitive opportunities for the next generation of stars, but this is going to allow us to build relationships with those players early on in their playing careers. So we hope that we can cultivate those relationships through the Valero Texas Collegiate. They will obviously fall in love with this facility, which is just so incredible here at TPC San Antonio and the JW Marriott, and hope that they'll want to come back for years to come as they transition into their professional careers. So we are very excited about the prospects of that.

Q. I know y'all are hosting a women's event here for the NCAA Regionals. Did you feel that was important to kind of I guess pony up or make sure that y'all are doing your part on the men's side and also to bring in that elite golfer?

LARSON SEGERDAHL: Yeah, certainly San Antonio Sports has done a wonderful job working with the NCAA to bring in the NCAA Women's Regionals here in May, in spring. It will be an exciting opportunity for this property to host that event as well.

And certainly I think anytime -- we're a PGA TOUR event, we are a men's event, so generally speaking, we focus on that side of the game. But anytime you can grow the game both on the ladies side and on the men's side together utilizing the resources we have here in San Antonio, this magnificent facility, strong community support to grow both sides of the game, it helps everybody. The more attention we can draw to the game of golf, whether it's through the men's game or the women's game, is good for everybody.

All right. Well, thank you all very much for joining us here this afternoon. We look forward to sharing more news and announcements related to the Valero Texas Collegiate in the month leading up to September and hopefully seeing you all out there during our inaugural event. Thanks so much.