TPC San Antonio will provide a stern test at the Valero Texas Open.
The first round of the Valero Texas Open in the books. Read below for updates from throughout Thursday’s opening round.
7:50 p.m. — Currently, there are 33 players in red numbers at TPC San Antonio. None of those are former champions. Bob Estes (E) and Brendan Steele (+1) are in the best position of the six former champions in the field this week. Justin Leonard (+2) and Tim Herron (+2) aren’t far off the pace while Duffy Waldorf (+4) and Eric Axley (+9) have a lot of work to do Friday if they want to make it through to the weekend.
7:15 p.m. – Ben Curtis has completed his round with a par on No. 18. His 5-under 67 is the best round of the afternoon thus far and puts him in the clubhouse alone in third, one behind Hunter Haas and four back of Matt Every.
6:52 p.m. — Kevin Na left his mark on No. 9 for the second consecutive year on a Thursday, but today was the end of his week. Na withdrew from the Valero Texas Open following his opening-round 79.
6:29 p.m. –Ben Curtis has made another birdie. He’s now 5 under and owns sole possession of third.
6:07 p.m. — Stuart Appleby has only played in one previous Valero Texas Open, and that one was held at La Cantera not TPC San Antonio. “It’s testing,” the Aussie said. “… It’s my first year here so I’m learning the little nuances of where to be and where not to be, where to miss and so on. I’m still trying to develop my relationship with it.” The 71 he shot was a pretty good start.
5:46 p.m. – Playing partners Troy Mattesson and David Mathis have moved to 3 under with one hole remaining. Miguel Angel Carballo is also at that number but he has eight holes left.
5:19 p.m. – While he said his irons kept him in the game, Hunter Haas saved his best drive, a 332-yarder that split the fairway for the final hole. “The caddy today told me we’re down there this far, you better go for it,” Haas recalled. He hit a cut 3-wood from 217 yards to 5 feet for a closing eagle in a round of 66. “It’s nice to finish off a round like that,” he said in understatement.
4:50 p.m. – Ben Curtis had never played in the Valero Texas Open prior to this week. He only has past champion status on TOUR this year, though, so he’s got to take advantage of the opportunities presented – and Thursday marked just his fourth start of 2012. Curtis is playing well, too, after making the turn in 4 under.
4:35 p.m. — Cameron Beckman, who made seven birdies and three bogeys in shooting a first-round 68, lives in San Antonio and knows how challenging the course can be. “You can see by the scores,” he said. “You really have to be paying attention to where you’re putting the ball on the greens. If you miss it just a little bit, it will go down quite a ways off the green. Fortunately, I hit a lot of greens today and putted great and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
4:12 p.m. – Matt Kuchar, who tied for third at the Masters, flirted with the top of the leaderboard much of the morning and ended up shooting a solid 70 in his first competitive round at TPC San Antonio. “Not only (are) the greens tough, the driving is tough, the slopes around the greens,” he said. “If you miss a green it’s really just a tough up and down. Yeah, I’m very pleased.”
3:47 p.m. – Troy Mattesson is off to the best start of the players in the afternoon wave. He just made a 19-footer at the 10th hole to move to 4 under for the day.
3:25 p.m. — UT freshman Jordan Spieth, the top-ranked collegian in the country, struggled in the first round, shooting a 75. At least he ended on a positive note — making birdie on the 18th hole. The Valero Texas Open is the fifth PGA TOUR event of his career.
3:02 p.m. — Jason Gore has two top-15 finishes in four starts on the Nationwide Tour but is 0 for 3 in cuts made on the PGA TOUR to date. He’s off to a good start Thursday, though, as he tries to buck the latter trend after shooting a solid 68 that left him in a tie for third when he finished his round at TPC San Antonio.
2:50 p.m. — Matt Every has just set the course record at TPC San Antonio with a 63 that included nine birdies. The score matched his career low on TOUR, shot two times previously, most recently in the first round of the 2010 Waste Management Phoenix Open where Every went on to tie for eighth.
2:35 p.m. — Hunter Haas made a 5-footer for eagle on the 18th hole to post a 66 and put some pressure on Matt Every. The Oklahoma grad, who is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory, didn’t make a bogey on Thursday.
2:27 p.m. – Fredrik Jacobson has finished second and fifth the two previous times the Valero Texas Open was played at TPC San Antonio. As comfortable as he feels, though, Jacobson says he can’t let his mind wander. “Lot of times you want to win the tournament on a Thursday but it just doesn’t work that way. You got to do it moment for moment and allow yourself to stay free out there.”
2:05 p.m. — His eighth birdie of the day has put Matt Every well into course record pace. The current mark is a 64 shot by Ryan Palmer and Scott Piercy in 2010. Every has three holes remaining, including a par 5.
1:44 p.m. — Fredrik Jacobsen made birdie putts of 8 and 13 feet on his last two holes to polish off a 68 while Cameron Beckman rolled in a 2-footer at No. 18 to join him at 4 under. They’re two strokes off the current lead held by Matt Every at 7 under.
1:20 p.m. – Rich Beem is the leader in the clubhouse after posting a 3-under 69. But Matt Every continues to pad his lead with a 45-footer at the par-5 second to move to 6 under and two clear of Hunter Haas.
1:01 p.m. – Anthony Kim has withdrawn from the Valero Texas Open with a wrist injury. He had played 14 holes and was 8 over after four bogeys and a quadruple bogey. Erik Compton withdrew with illness when he made the turn. He was 7 over after three bogeys and two double bogeys.
12:48 p.m. – It’s no surprise to see Fredrik Jacobson near the top of the leaderboard. After all, the Swede has finished fifth or better in the last three Valero Texas Opens, two of which were played at TPC San Antonio. Jacobson is 2 under through 16 holes and three strokes off the lead held by Matt Every.
12:27 p.m. – Matt Every, who played collegiately at Florida, has just broken out of the tie at the top with a birdie at the 18th hole, his ninth of the day, to move to 5 under. He opened with consecutive birdie putts of 4, 9 and 5 feet, then made a 6-footer at No. 17 and a 17-footer at the 18th.
12:10 p.m. – Charley Hoffman has bounced back from a double-bogey at the first hole, his 10th of the day, with a 14-footer for birdie at No. 2. He’s back to 2 under, as a result, and trails Matt Kuchar, Matt Every and Hunter Haas by two strokes.
11:47 a.m. – Cameron Beckman, who earned a degree in art from nearby Texas Wesleyan, has more birdies than pars on his scorecard. He’s played 11 holes and made five birdies, while dropping two shots to par and making four pars. The three-time TOUR winner is among four tied for the lead at 3 under.
11:23 a.m. — Matt Kuchar said he watched the Valero Texas Open on TV last year and thought TPC San Antonio might suit his game. So he decided to return to the tournament for the first time since 2008 — and it’s a decision well-made. He’s just made the turn at 3 under, tied with Charley Hoffman, playing one group behind, and Matt Every, who has completed five holes.
11:14 a.m. – Looks like the biggest challenge in the first round – other than a course ranked the seventh toughest on the PGA TOUR last year – will be the wind. It’s forecast to to increase to the 10-20 mph range as the day progresses. Friday’s outlook isn’t nearly as good with the possibility of strong storms and even gustier winds in the picture during the afternoon.