The excitement is brewing for the two Texas Hill Country tournaments on the 2019 PGA TOUR schedule, and it has to do with who might be on the course and who will host a special event off the course.
By Robert Rodriguez :: Photography courtesy of the PGA TOUR
World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play
It all begins March 27-31, when the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play occurs at Austin Country Club. Much has been made about the revamped 2019 PGA TOUR schedule. This year’s World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play wasn’t greatly affected, although it occurs a week later on the calendar. There’s another storyline, however, that could have a greater impact.
The resurgence of Tiger Woods.
By virtue of his consistently strong play in 2018, Woods currently ranks among the top 64 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings. That makes him eligible to play in the Dell Technologies Match Play, and all signs point to the 14-time major champion coming to Austin.
Should Woods tee it up, it will be his first professional golf appearance in the Texas Hill Country since 1996. As was the case in ’96, galleries will be lined 10-, 20-deep to follow Woods. Only this time, Tiger will be the seasoned vet trying to keep pace and contend with the young superstars.
Defending champion Bubba Watson will have to stave off the best names in golf if he wants to keep the Match Play title. Among those expected to compete include American favorites Justin Thomas, 2018 U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and former Texas Longhorn Jordan Spieth. Expect a strong international contingent “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” headlined by World No. 1 Justin Rose, Spanish sensation Jon Rahm, and Ryder Cup heroes Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood.
Tickets for the 2019 World Golf Championships–Dell Technologies Match Play are available online on the tournament’s official page on PGATOUR.com. For the first time, daily ground tickets ($120-$150 plus fees and taxes) will be available for each day of the tournament. Weekly grounds tickets ($405 plus taxes and fees) will remain on sale, but with total onsite attendance limited to 10,000 per day, daily and weekly grounds tickets are sure to sell out quickly.
For more ticket information, visit www.pgatour.com.
Valero Texas Open
The following week, the PGA TOUR ventures down Interstate 35 to the TPC San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. Similar to the scenario if Woods plays in Austin, a large gallery is expected to follow another person at the VTO. Only they likely won’t be in golf attire — rather, they’ll don dark suits with earpieces.
Former President George W. Bush will be the special guest at the tournament’s Night to Honor Our Heroes event on April 5. Beginning at 6:00pm at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, the Night to Honor Our Heroes celebration is the marquee off-the-course event during Valero Texas Open week. President Bush (and his Secret Service agents) will join guests, active military representing all ranks and services, wounded warriors and corporate supporters to celebrate “Military City USA.” Rare collections of military artifacts will be on display, and engaging speakers will offer moving testimonials that will surely leave guests with a heightened sense of patriotism.
Those interested in purchasing a table or sponsoring the Night to Honor Our Heroes event can call 210.345.3847 or email Sales@ValeroTexasOpen.com.
Other special corporate and charitable events scheduled throughout Valero Texas Open week include Executive Women’s Day, a Dash to the VTO 5K run/walk, a Children’s Golf Clinic and the 19th Hole Fiesta after Saturday’s round.
On the course, the tournament, which occurs April 4-7 on the AT&T Oaks Course, is the final Tour event before the first major of the season, the Masters Tournament. It will hold that attractive spot on the Tour schedule for the next 10 years as part of a sponsorship extension Valero Energy Corporation signed with the PGA TOUR in October 2017.
Preceding the Masters on the Tour schedule means some of the top names will be playing in San Antonio. Among those already committed to the Valero Texas Open: 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open Champion, Rickie Fowler; Cordillera Ranch resident and 2015 champion, Jimmy Walker; San Antonio resident and former Texas A&M golfer, Cameron Champ; and defending champion Andrew Landry and Jordan Spieth.
General Admission, hospitality and clubhouse tickets, and sponsorship packages for the Valero Texas Open are available. Ticket prices start at $25, while hospitality packages start at $60. Military ID cardholders (Active, Guard, Reserve, Retired) and Bexar County First Responders receive special benefits, while children 12 and under are free.
For more Valero Texas Open ticket information, visit www.valerotexasopen.com/tickets.