A brutal test of golf


SAN ANTONIO – The introduction of the new course for the Valero Texas Open could reshape the look of its future fields. The Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio can be a brutal test.

For fear of players shooting high numbers, the tournament staff moved the tees up in Round 1 and the field still averaged two strokes over par. Even Sergio Garcia, who consulted on this design with architect Greg Norman, told me after shooting a first-round 73 that it's tougher than he thought it would be.

Shorter hitters like two-time Valero winner Zach Johnson might not feel as warm and fuzzy about the event as he once did.

Nevertheless, the Texas spirit is very much alive at this age old tournament which has taken a huge step toward strengthening its stance on the PGA TOUR.