• World No.6 Jordan Spieth returns after Valspar Championship win
• Marc Warren needs to finish T18 or better to qualify for Augusta
VALERO TEXAS OPEN
Following last week’s drama at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which saw Matt Every deny Henrik Stenson victory, the PGA Tour exits Florida for the Valero Texas Open.
Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson will be among those looking to make an impression at TPC San Antonio as he looks to find form heading into Augusta.
World No.21 Mickelson, who hasn’t played since the WGC-Cadillac Championship, is currently at his lowest ranking for more than two years, and has never been below No.22 since January 1996.
Another player who hasn’t featured since Doral is Jimmy Walker, and he is hoping for a strong performance in his home competition after an enjoyable couple of weeks off.
"The golf course is in great shape and I think the guys will be real happy" - Jimmy Walker
He said: “It's definitely nice to be home. This will be three weeks at home which is rare if you're trying to play golf, so it was nice that the schedule worked out that way.
“I was able to come out and practice a little bit the last week and a half, two weeks. The golf course is in great shape and I think the guys will be real happy.
The highest ranked player in the field for the Valero Texas Open is also one of the youngest as Jordan Spieth plays his first event following his play-off victory at the Valspar Championship two weeks ago.
Another front-runner this week is 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who will be desperate to capitalise on his blistering final round of 66 at Bay Hill last week, which included an albatross.
He heads into the event as a two-time winner, albeit on a different course, and has won a total of four times in Texas.
Staying on the subject of previous winners, Scotland’s Martin Laird, winner in 2013, will looking to recapture his form of two months ago and it’s also a massive tournament for current world No.51 Marc Warren, who needs a finish of T18 or better to qualify for the Masters.
Selected groups (local times)
8.00 – Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk
Since reappearing at the Farmers Insurance Open early last month following a six-month absence from the PGA Tour, Johnson has had three top five finishes including his victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, but he’s also missed two cuts. He tees off with McDowell, who has missed two cuts in his three PGA Tour events in 2015, and Furyk, whose only top ten finish so far was at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
12.50 – Jordan Spieth, James Hahn, Jimmy Walker
This group features three players who have all won on the PGA Tour this season. Spieth clinched his second career tour win at the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, while Hahn is playing his first tournament since winning the Northern Trust Open last month. Walker is the current FedExCup leader and won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January.
1.00 – Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson
All eyes will be on Mickelson, who has failed to place in the top ten in five events this year. Following his final round at Doral, Mickelson said it was ‘hard to say’ where he was at with his game after finishing T31, with this week’s event a good indicator heading into Augusta. He tees off with two-time Valero Texas Open winner Johnson and last year’s FedExCup champion Horschel.
The Valero Texas Open :: Your thoughts
Can Scotland's Marc Warren achieve at T18 or better finish to book his place at Augusta? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below