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Time For Texas – The Valero Texas Open



After scintillating Sundays at Quail Hollow and Sawgrass it will be a tough go for the Valero Texas Open. The opening event of the Texas swing has big boots to fill if they want to keep the streak alive of compelling 2010 PGA Tour events.

Even with a new venue, TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course designed by Greg Norman with the help of Sergio Garcia, it will be hard for hardcore golf fans to get fired up for this one. Take the field alone – gone are the Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwoods and in their place are the likes of Rich Barcelo, Matt Bettencourt, and Michael Connell. Thankfully 2010 two-time PGA Tour winner Ernie Els has decided to show up (his first-ever appearance) along with the Vijay Singh, Zach Johnson (2-time defending champion) and Justin Leonard. David Duval, John Daly, and Lee Janzen will also be around as they attempt to resurrect their careers.

The best news for all in the field is that the La Cantera Golf Club has been left behind in favor of the new layout affiliated with the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. La Cantera, at less than 7000 yards and playing to a par of 70, could not withstand the pressure of PGA Tour players. Take the example of 2009 winner Zach Johnson’s 3rd round score of 60 or Tommy Armour III’s tournament record of 254 (2003) as testament to that. This is a tournament that dates back to 1922 and it deserves better than that.

In its place the PGA Tour has shuffled in 7522 yards of burly golf. Strong and lengthy par four and three holes are trademarks of the Oaks Course and the pros should have their hands full as they get to know the terrain. "The topographic subtleties of the rolling Texas Hill Country terrain, framed by magnificent stands of mature live oaks, create a pristine natural setting that is as playable as it is beautiful," says Greg Norman of The Oaks.

Of course, that is the man wearing his marketing hat. The player in Norman will probably be more interested this week to see the entire field push themselves to traverse his handiwork in a successful manner. His co-designer (more of a player consultant) Sergio Garcia, is in the field and we’ll soon see if his extra insight proves to his advantage.

If this event was still back at La Cantera then placing a bet that Zach Johnson would pick up his third consecutive win might be a safe gamble but with the new venue it could come down to other factors in picking a winner. Leonard is after his 4th Texas Open win but the extra length of the course might keep him away from the hardware. Els is obviously the strongest player in the field but his missed cut at THE PLAYERS could work against him. 

Poolies should take a hard look at Ben Crane who has a win this year and was in the mix for a time at Sawgrass. J.B Holmes could be a contender as well with length and quality play of late. 

But if I had one player to call as a possible winner I would have to take Bo Van Pelt. He has been spending a lot of time on the leaderboards of late and he just might be the guy to grab the near $1.1 million prize the winner will receive this week.

Golf Channel has the early coverage and CBS picks up the weekend.

The report provided to by Flagstick Golf Magazine (

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Bob Parsons explains why PXG Gen2 irons cost $400, but are “probably worth $1000”



As part of the launch of its new 0311 Gen2 irons, Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) offered me time to interview the man himself, Bob Parsons, who’s the founder and CEO of PXG. Parsons founded in 1997, among other companies throughout his professional career, and depending on how much you trust Forbes’ Net Worth estimates, he’s worth $3 billion.

So why did he start a golf equipment company, and what makes PXG so different? In my interview with Parsons (who’s quite the character, as you’ll find out), we discuss those questions and much more.

I encourage you to watch the entire interview (obviously), but for your viewing convenience, here are the topics we covered and the timestamps from the 12-minute interview above. Enjoy!

  • Scottsdale National Golf Club upgrades and new Gen2 irons (0:37)
  • What made you start a golf company? (1:25)
  • Spending $350,000 a year on golf clubs (2:24)
  • Recruiting Mike Nicolette and breaking the mold of product releases (2:48)
  • Were you nervous it took three years to upgrade the irons? (3:45)
  • New COR2 technology and its benefits (4:33)
  • Did you set out to disrupt the industry? (5:30)
  • PXG’s growth in size and Tour presence (5:55)
  • What’s your favorite country to play golf in? (6:41)
  • What’s your relationship with the military? (6:55)
  • What’s in your bag? (8:55)
  • What’s your relationship with GolfWRX? (9:45)
  • Why are these irons $50 more expensive? (10:09)
  • When can we expect new metalwoods and Gen3 irons? (11:18)
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Kelly Tilghman leaving Golf Channel after 22 years



Kelly Tilghman is stepping away from Golf Channel after a 22-year run at the network. The Myrtle Beach native has been a less visible presence on air in recent years.

The first woman to serve as play-by-play announcer for a PGA Tour event, Tilghman announced Wednesday that this will be her last week at Golf Channel.

Tilghman began working at the network in 1996 in the tape library, starting just a year after Golf Channel’s inception. Her departure leaves Mike Ritz and Rich Lerner as the only remaining on-air talents from the channel’s early years.

Golf Channel released this statement.

Tilghman told Golfweek’s Forecaddie she’s not done with television just yet.

“This process was very peaceful for me…I can’t imagine a scenario where I would never be on television again.”

In a farewell letter published on Golf Channel’s website, Tilghman wrote about the decision to step away at Bay Hill.

“It’s the perfect spot for so many obvious reasons. Arnold’s family will be there. My Golf Channel and NBC family will be there. I know you will too, like you always have. I’ll forever cherish the memories we’ve built together.”

You can read her full letter here, which includes the Arnold Palmer anecdote below.

“Enter Arnold Palmer. I’ll never forget that day in the early years when he paid our tiny newsroom a surprise visit. It was an honor to be in his presence. One could only imagine how I felt when he put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I hope you believe in this place as much as I do.”

“Yes, Arnold, I did.”

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Tilghman’s departure in the forums.


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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational



GolfWRX is live from Bay Hill Club & Lodge (par 72; 7,419 yards) in Orlando, Florida for the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The tournament, in the namesake of the late Arnold Palmer, has been played at Bay Hill aka “Arnie’s Place” since 1979. Tiger Woods, who’s in the field this week, has won eight of those events — the last time Woods played in the event was in 2013, where he picked up his eighth victory at Bay Hill.


Joining Woods in the field this week are notables Justin Rose, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, honorary co-host Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, and Hideki Matsuyama, who’s back from being sidelined with wrist problems.

Last year, Marc Leishman shot a final-round 69 to beat out Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman by one stroke to capture the tournament title.

Check out our photos from this week at Bay Hill below!

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole