A Friendly Battle at the Alamo


As the Red, White and Blue does battle across the pond at the Belfry for control of the Ryder Cup, an old Texas shootout will take place in San Antonio, Texas, home of the Alamo and this week's Valero Texas Open.
And as gunslingers go, few are better than the current two-time defending champion Justin Leonard, who will try to achieve a Tiger-like three-peat at a PGA Tour event.
The University of Texas alum, currently 7th on the money list, usually plays well in his home state. Besides the back-to-back wins at the Texas Open, Leonard also had three top-10s last year playing in the Lone Star state and has had similar success again this year.
So far in 2002, Leonard has amassed over $260,000 in Texas at the Houston Open (T-6), Byron Nelson (T-15), and the Colonial (T-19). He is presently 15th in the world golf rankings and will be the highest ranked player in the field.
K.J. Choi will look to become the PGA Tour's only three-time winner of 2002, not counting the otherworldly Tiger Woods, who has five titles.
Following his seven-stroke win at the Tampa Bay Classic, the year's largest margin of victory, Choi jumped from 31st to 17th on the money list, almost assuring him a spot in the Tour Championship.
Also in the field is recent PGA champion Rich Beem who will surely be a crowd favorite in his home state of Texas. The loveable Beem has been in a whirlwind since he stared down Tiger to claim the year's last major, and is hoping there is still some gas left in the tank.
This purse for the Valero Texas Open is $3,500,000 with an eye-popping $630,000 going to the winner.
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