Texas Open – the cross of the century on the PGA Tour

On March 30, the Texas Open opened at TPC San Antonio golf complex, reaching the 101-year milestone and closing the top 3 oldest tournaments included in the US first-class golf arena.

In the regular PGA Tour events, the top 3 seniors from the top include the Western Open, Canadian Open and Texas Open. The Western Open was launched in 1899 and dissolved in 2006, while the Canadian Open from 1904 and the Texas Open 1922 are still active. All three tournaments were launched before the PGA Tour was formed under the management of the American Professional Golf Association – an organization founded in 1929 and then operating independently since 1968.

TPC San Antonio is ready for golfers to compete at the Texas Open 2023 from tomorrow March 30. Photo: Texas Open
TPC San Antonio is ready for golfers to compete at the Texas Open 2023 from tomorrow March 30. Photo: Texas Open

The Texas Open was born from the idea of ​​​​sports editor Jack O’Brien at the San Antonio Evening News. In the early 1920s, O’Brien thought of organizing a local golf tournament in a warm climate to attract visitors from the Northeast and Midwest in the winter.

He convinced the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and sponsors. They agreed to spend $5,000 on the prize fund, the equivalent of $75,000 today.

The first Texas Open opened on February 3, 1922 at Brackenridge Park with 60 of the world’s top players. In the end, Bob MacDonald took the cup and $ 1,633 – the highest prize in golf at that time.

The Texas Open gradually asserted its prestige by attracting stars over the next 10 years. However, PGA Tour history records that the Texas Open was not smooth in the journey to surpass the centennial milestone.

The Great Depression and World War II caused the postponement of six tournaments between 1933-1943. But when it comes back, it continues to bring together legendary faces such as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino.

And despite its high position, the tournament was not stable, when it had to move through eight courts from 1922 to 1999. In 2010, the Texas Open settled in TPC San Antonio.

During development, the Texas Open had to change many title sponsors. In 1993, HEB company terminated the contract after four years of attachment. Then it was La Cantera Golf Club’s turn to leave. Westin Hotels & Resorts in 1998 but did not continue when it expired in 2000. In 2001, the Texas Open had to ask $ 1.3 million from the PGA Tour to launch the tournament without title sponsorship. After that time, the tournament found a few short-term sponsors and the future became brighter thanks to the gentleman – CEO William Greehey of Valero Energy Group. He decided to spend $ 15.3 million to attach the business name to the Texas Open for five years and then renew it and will expire in 2027.

Texas Open 2020 is not taking place because of Covid-19.

In 2021, the Texas Open raised $ 16 million for charity and recognized former world number one Jordan Spieth as the champion right in his home state, thereby ending 1,351 days of thirst for cups on the PGA Tour.

This year’s prize budget is 8.9 million USD, of which the winner is 1.6 million USD. The cup holder, in addition to a full-time slot on the PGA Tour for the next two seasons, also has a ticket to the major Masters 2023 next week.

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