Fact Pack: Valero Texas Open

By Will GrayApril 2, 2013, 10:12 pm

This week the PGA Tour stays in Texas for the second straight week, heading down the road to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. Players will tackle the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio in hopes of earning the final berth in the Masters next week. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• In the midst of a comeback season, Justin Leonard heads back to an event where he has had a remarkable level of success. Playing this year on a one-time exemption based on career earnings, Leonard has made the cut in eight of nine starts this season, highlighted by a tie for fourth at the Tampa Bay Championship. With more than $2.6 million, he is the career money leader in this event, having won it in 2000, 2001 and 2007 at LaCantera. The Texan has made the cut in each of three starts since the move to TPC San Antonio, with his best finish a tie for 30th in 2011.

• With 137 of 156 players in this week's field not already exempt for the season's first major, there is a strong possibility that the winner Sunday will take home a ticket to The Masters along with the trophy. This marks the first time this event has been played prior to the season's first major; it was typically held in the fall prior to a move to May in 2009-2010, while the last two years saw the event contested in late April.

• Still in search of his first career PGA Tour victory, Charlie Wi may be a player to consider as a possible sleeper pick at TPC San Antonio. He tied for fourth last year in addition to a T-17 finish in 2010, while in his last appearance at LaCantera he tied for second in 2008. Though he missed the cut in his last start at Bay Hill, it was the first cut the Cal alum has missed in eight starts so far this season.

• While the greens at the AT&T Oaks Course can be difficult to reach in regulation, doing so is a key to overall success if last year is any indication. In 2012, each of the three players atop the final leaderboard were in the top 10 for the week in GIR percentage; winner Ben Curtis led the field with 49/72 greens in regulation, while co-runner-ups John Huh (47/72) and Matt Every (46/72) were close behind.

• Though James Hahn made the cut last week in Houston, he may need the Tour to add a few more West Coast events to help resurrect his rookie season. The California native netted a pair of top-five finishes in his first five events, including a tie for third at Pebble Beach, making the cut in each of six starts in the Pacific Time Zone. When the Tour shifted east, though, Hahn missed four straight cuts before his T-56 showing in Houston, at one point enduring a stretch of 12 straight rounds without breaking 70.

Getty Images

Watch: Tiger's drive startles strolling duck

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 7:21 pm

Tiger Woods split the eighth fairway with a 287-yard, 3-wood on Sunday and startled a duck (goose?) who was merely out and about for a stroll at PGA National.

The duck (goose?) walked away under its own power, and Woods followed up with a wedge to inside 9 feet and his third birdie of the front nine.

Getty Images

Watch: Tiger's Sunday birdies at the Honda

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 25, 2018, 6:40 pm

One day after he left a barrage of birdie opportunities out on the golf course, Tiger Woods worked his way into red figures early on Sunday.

Seven off the pace to start the day, Woods found the first fairway, hit the first green and rolled in a 20-footer for his firist birdie of the day.

After narrowly missing a 10-footer for what would have been another circle at the par-5 third, Woods came right back at the fourth, flying an approach from 148 yards to 9 feet and finishing the job.

Getty Images

New-look Korda wins after serious jaw surgery

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 6:31 pm

If the pictures of Jessica Korda from the Honda LPGA Thailand cause you to do a double-take, you're not alone.

Korda's world-class talent was on full display this week in Asia, where she won by four shots, but so too was her new-look face. The 24-year-old underwent serious jaw surgery in December, a final attempt to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

The procedure was intense. Doctors first broke her nose, then broke her jaw in five different places - three on the top, and two on the bottom. She now has 27 screws in her face, and the physical result still requires some adjustment for a woman who now has five career LPGA wins.

"I look at pictures of myself and I don't feel like I look like that person," Korda told Golfweek. "I don't know who that is. And then I look at pictures of my old self and that doesn't look like me either."

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

The Dec. 7 surgery left Korda unable to eat, with her mother reportedly feeding her through a syringe for "weeks." Korda's facial structure before the surgery was such that she was only using 20 percent of her teeth when chewing food.

But despite returning to practice only six weeks ago and still dealing with lingering numbness in her face, Korda promptly dusted a world-class field in her first start back. She shot 25 under for the week, highlighted by a second-round 62, leaving the likes of Lexi Thompson and Ariya Jutanugarn in her wake.

After a difficult winter, Korda's look may have changed but her game clearly remains unaffected.

"Coming in after surgery, I didn't know what to expect," Korda told reporters. "Obviously when I look at myself, I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly."

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.