April 25, 2016
Charley Hoffman made a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday for his fourth PGA Tour victory.
The 39-year-old Hoffman closed with a 3-under 69 at TPC San Antonio for a one-stroke victory over Patrick Reed. Hoffman finished at 12-under 276 and earned $1,116,000.
''This was my hardest one,'' Hoffman said after a vigorous fist-pump and drill-team leg kick when the winning putt fell at 18. ''Grabbing that lead and holding on to it - it's tough to keep the pedal down and give yourself birdie opportunities and win golf tournaments.''
Playing alongside Hoffman, Reed also birdied the par-5 18th for a 69. He missed birdie putts inside 8 feet on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th.
''Today I was missing a lot of short putts, so I'm shocked I even had a chance,'' Reed said.
Reed, who was born in San Antonio, put the pressure on Hoffman with a tap-in birdie at the 18th after reaching the fringe on the 595-yard hole in two. His shot to the green came from the left-hand rough, and had to clear an oak tree and creek in front of the green.
Hoffman followed by hitting his third shot from a greenside bunker to set up his birdie.
''It was about a cup outside left,'' Hoffman said. ''I said to myself 'Let's finish this here. Let's not play anymore.'''
Hoffman also won the 2007 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 2010 Deutsche Bank Championshipand 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Chad Collins was a career-best third at 10 under after a 69. He birdied four of the last five holes.
Third-round leader Ricky Barnes, looking for his first PGA Tour win in 222 tries, stumbled to a 74 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with Kevin Chappell (68), Billy Horschel (70), Ryan Palmer (69) and Martin Piller (70). It was a career best for Piller, the husband of LPGA Tour player Gerina Piller.
Brendan Steele, the 2011 winner who led the first two rounds, had a 75 to tie for 13th at 7 under.
Reed pulled within a shot of Hoffman with a 23-foot birdie putt from the fringe at 15. Hoffman missed a 10-foot birdie try on the hole.
Reed missed a bending, right-to-left putt from 7 feet that could have tied Hoffman at 16, and missed a straighter putt from about the same distance on the next hole.
''I thought they were in,'' Reed said. ''I put the pressure as much as I could on Charley. It shows he was ready to win a golf tournament, and I had way too many mistakes to close one out.''
Hoffman took advantage of the misses.
''I definitely dodged bullets there,'' Hoffman said. ''I made my par saves and he missed his birdies, so I was able to keep my momentum.''
Piller birdied the 12th with a 14-foot putt to take a two-shot advantage over Reed and Hoffman.
But he gave it back with a double bogey on the par-3 13th. His tee shot plugged into the sand in the steep-faced bunker fronting the green. He blasted out - past the green - then chipped back and two putted.
''Bad lie,'' Piller said. ''I made the swing I wanted to. The ball just ballooned on me.''
April 24 2016
Ricky Barnes shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Valero Texas Open in a bid for his first PGA Tour victory.
Winless in 221 starts with a career-best runner-up finish in the 2009 U.S. Open, the 35-year-old Barnes had an 11-under 205 total at TPC San Antonio. He closed with a bogey after a wild drive near a cactus bush on the par-5 18th.
''I'd be lying if I would say it was a successful career being out here without a win,'' Barnes said. ''This is why you play the game, right? Come in on Sundays and have a chance to win.''
Brendan Steele, the leader after each of the first two rounds, was second after a 72.
''I played with Ricky last week, and his game is looking really good right now,'' said Steele, the 2011 winner for his lone tour title. ''I was really struggling. I was able to make enough recovery shots to not make many mistakes and I was able to be patient enough and make a couple of birdies at the end.''
Former world No. 1 Luke Donald and three-time tour winner Charley Hoffman were two strokes back. Donald, coming off a second-place tie last week in the RBC Heritage in South Carolina, shot a 68. Hoffman missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the last hole and settled for a 70.
''Sure feels good to be back in contention again and having chances to win,'' Donald said. ''I switched putters last week (and) obviously making more putts.''
Patrick Reed was fifth at 8 under after a 70. He was born in San Antonio.
Billy Horschel (67) and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington (68) were 7 under along with Chad Collins (67), Jon Curran (71), Martin Piller (71) and Nick Taylor (66).
Horschel hasn't won since the 2014 Tour Championship, and Harrington has one PGA Tour win last year in the Honda Classic since his claimed his third major at the 2008 PGA Championship.
''I think if I'm in command of my game,'' Horschel said, ''it doesn't matter where I am. I can get the job done. I've figured out something in my swing.''
In addition to his seven birdies, Barnes did well to rescue himself from trouble. His bogey from the 18th could have been much worse when his drive went left and settled next to the cactus.
''A bad swing at the end,'' Barnes said. ''If you told me 5 under today, I would have taken it before the round.''
He birdied No. 11, 12 and 14 to take the lead. He managed that despite finding the fairway bunker at No. 12, and he blasted to 3 feet from a greenside bunker at the par-5 14th.
''It's not a fluke being out here,'' said Barnes, coming off a ninth-place tie in the RBC Heritage. ''I've been showing a lot lately. Just need to keep what I'm doing the last three days.''
Steele got off to a sticky start. He wasn't as lucky as Barnes when pulled his tee shot on No. 2 into a cactus bush and took an unplayable lie on the way to a bogey.
''I didn't hit many fairways today,'' Steele said. ''Kind of bad right out of the gate.''
Hoffman had a share of the lead before a bogey at No. 12. He reached the par-5 14th in two and converted for a birdie, and made a 6-footer for another birdie at 16.
''Obviously, this course fits my eye,'' Hoffman said. ''I've been knocking on the door for the last month and a half. I want to get a win and take what comes along.''
April 23, 2016
Brendan Steele completed an 8-under 64 in the morning and shot a 70 in the second round Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the Texas Open.
''You always want to keep going when you're feeling good,'' said Steele, who was 8 under through 13 holes Thursday when first-round play was stopped because of darkness. ''The ball was going a long way in the afternoon. Really good conditions. ... Come out this morning early and little bit colder and try to re-gather that momentum was a little bit different.''
The 2011 winner at TPC San Antonio for his lone tour title, Steele had a 10-under 134 total.
''I always feel good here,'' Steele said. ''I know the shots. The course sets up really well for me. Kind of plays into my strength, which is usually driving the ball.
''And so to see it play a little bit softer and with a little less wind, my eyes kind of lit up. It always plays so difficult, firm and fast and the winning score is just a handful under par usually. To see it soften up a little bit, I knew it was good.''
Play was suspended because of darkness with 13 players left on the course. The schedule was thrown off Thursday morning with a 3 1/2-hour rain delay.
Scott Langley, Stuart Appleby and Charley Hoffman were tied for second. Langley shot 68, Appleby 70, and Hoffman 71. Appleby rallied after four-putting from 7 feet for a triple bogey on his opening hole.
''I was swatting at it - a golf ball got in the way,'' Appleby was able to joke. ''I was doing like when Seve (Ballesteros) had a four-putt many years ago. I asked him, 'How did you have a four-putt?' He said ''I miss. I miss. I miss. I make.'''
Patrick Reed (73) was 6 under along with Ricky Barnes (70), Jon Curran (68), Sung Kang (67), Spencer Levin (69), Peter Malnati (71), Ryan Palmer (70) and Mark Wilson (69).
''I feel like I hit a couple of loose shots,'' said Reed, who was born in San Antonio. ''The game feels solid. Just the ball striking a little bit.''
Branden Grace, the RBC Heritage winner last week in South Carolina, shot his second round 72 to make the cut on the number.
Defending champion Jimmy Walker missed the cut with rounds of 75 and 77. Phil Mickelson also dropped out, shooting 77-71.
''I don't feel bad about the physical game, the ball coming off the blade,'' Mickelson said. ''The swing is on plane. I need better mental focusing, seeing the shot before I step into it.''
Former SMU star Bryson DeChambeau also missed the cut in his second pro start, shooting 74-73.
April 22, 2016
Brendan Steele got his only PGA Tour victory at the Texas Open five years ago. He was chasing a record when the first round of this year's stop near the Alamo was suspended because of darkness.
Steele was atop the leaderboard at 8 under through 13 holes Thursday when play was stopped. Only half of the field completed the round after play was delayed for 3 1/2 hours because of morning rain.
Among those who did finish, Charley Hoffman had a 6-under 66, a stroke ahead of Stuart Appleby and Peter Malnati. Appleby ended his round with five consecutive birdies.
''I can't figure the last time I probably had two, three birdies in a row. Five was a great finish,'' said Appleby, without a top-10 finish his 10 previous starts this season.
After playing bogey-free Thursday, Steele will return Friday morning to complete his first round at the TPC Oaks Course within reach of the course record of 63 set by Matt Every in 2012 and matched by Martin Laird in 2013. Steele could match that by going 1 under his final five holes.
The Texas Open tournament record is a 60, when played at La Cantera. Bart Bryant shot a 60 in 2004, and Zach Johnson equaled that in 2009.
Defending champion Jimmy Walker opened with a 75. Walker had four rounds under par last year in his hometown event to hold off Jordan Spieth in what was his last PGA Tour victory.
Spieth isn't in this year's field, the first time since he turned pro at the end of 2012 that he missed a Texas event.
Steele, who started his round on the back nine, had birdies on his first three holes and four of the first five. After a 12-foot birdie at No. 18, he made the turn with three consecutive birdies to start the front nine.
But he was among the players with afternoon tee times who will have to finish their first rounds Friday, then turn around in short time to play their second rounds. Every afternoon group Thursday got through at least eight holes, but none finished.
Hoffman's only bogey came when he missed the fairway at the 17th hole, but he rebounded to finish with an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 18.
''One of the toughest flags on the golf course. Hard to get one close. Not a lot of green where that pin is, obviously, and no matter what you do ending your round with a birdie is always great,'' said Hoffman, who needed only 26 putts in the round. ''Bounce back after a bogey on 17 and I'm happy with 6-under.''
Malnati turned in the shot of the day at the 347-yard 17th when his 94-yard approach shot hit on the green and spun sideways into the hole.
''That was cool,'' said Malnati, who was in the fairway and signaling to someone at the green to confirm if the ball went into the cup.
After missing cuts in his last seven starts, and nine of his last 10, Malnati had his best round since a 67 at the Sony Open in Hawaii more than three months ago. He got his only career victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi last November. The 28-year-old is in his first full season on the PGA Tour.
''It's important for me to remember it's a long season and I'm going to have, hopefully, a very long career,'' he said. ''So this little stretch the last seven weeks stinks. It's no fun. If I keep kind of a big picture it helps me a little bit. I felt it was coming around. It has been a tough seven weeks.''
|T9||USA||Harold Varner III||-8||69||72||70||69||280|
|T55||ZIM||Brendon de Jonge||Par||69||74||74||71||288|
|CUT||USA||Justin B Hicks||1||74||71||-||-||145|
|CUT||KOR||Si Woo Kim||2||72||74||-||-||146|
|CUT||USA||Billy Hurley III||3||71||-||-||-||71|
|CUT||CAN||Richard T. Lee||3||73||74||-||-||147|
|CUT||FRA||Julien BRUN (AM)||4||76||72||-||-||148|
|CUT||RSA||Drikus Van der Walt||8||77||75||-||-||152|
|CUT||USA||Frank Lickliter II||9||76||77||-||-||153|
|RET||ARG||Miguel Angel Carballo||7||76||-||-||-||76|
|RET||RSA||Tyrone Van Aswegen||9||77||-||-||-||77|