Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of the Valero Texas Open

April 5, 2019

The final PGA Tour event preceding the first major of the year is finally upon us, and though it’s not the longtime Masters warmup that was the Houston Open, we’re still in the great state of Texas — this time, for the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

A solid showing of the world’s best players are in the field to prepare for next week’s challenge at Augusta National, including Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Matt Kuchar.

Here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s action at the TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course.

Si Woo Kim leads

What do eight birdies and two bogeys get you on the PGA Tour? A first-round lead.

Kim — a 23 year old with two PGA Tour victories on his resume, including the 2017 Players Championship — is six under par after one round, a shot ahead of his closest competitors — a logjam of four players at five under.

Kim had had a quietly good season thus far, with three top tens, including a third-place finish at the Genesis Open.

Rickie Fowler is seeking his sixth career Tour victory this week.
Rickie Fowler is seeking his sixth career Tour victory this week.
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Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are in the mix

Both Fowler and Spieth had solid opening rounds of 68 (four under par) on Thursday, and are two shots back of Kim’s lead.

For Fowler, the round was a continuation of his good form this season. He has three top tens, including a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

For Spieth, the round offers some hope of building momentum heading into Augusta, a place where he’s had much success. Spieth has yet to finish in the top ten in in nine events this season. He and Fowler are currently tied for sixth.

The scores are low

If you want to contend — or heck, just make the cut — at the Valero Texas Open, you’d better be marking some red numbers on your scorecard.

Through the first round, over 70 players — approximately half the field — are under par.

A win this week could become even more special

There is one spot left in the Masters field — and it could be filled by this week’s winner.

That is, if the winner isn’t already qualified to play at Augusta National next week. If a player wins who already happens qualified for the Masters, the current field at the year’s first major will remain as is.

Through the first round, contenders at the Valero Texas Open who are not already qualified for the Masters include all four of the players currently tied for second: J.T. Poston, Jhonattan Vegas, Abraham Ancer and Brian Stuard.