Texas Open To Have Deepest Field In Nearly Two Decades With Commitment From McIlroy
The addition of golfer Rory McIlroy and Geoff Ogilvy to the Valero Texas Open roster "means that 11 of the top 50 players in the world golf rankings" as of last week will "compete at TPC San Antonio, making the field arguably one of the deepest since the Nabisco Championship was held at Oak Hills Country Club in 1987," according to Richard Oliver of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Tournament Exec Dir Larson Segerdahl said, "We went from being excited with what we had to being over the moon. ... [McIlroy] made the decision on the golf course today, after a back-and-forth discussion with his manager. It's a big win for all of us." Segerdahl added, "We've been quietly working with him and his manager for the last several weeks" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/30). Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders called the pairing of McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth “star-studded.” Golf Channel’s John Cook said it was “nice grouping,” but with Spieth being only 19-years-old, “you've got to earn that spot.” Cook: “I know now that the Tour can fix some pairings for television for Thursdays and Fridays, but you got cut your teeth and earn that spot.” Golf Channel’s Steve Flesch said it “won’t backfire” because the PGA Tour does it to “increase the allure of a couple groupings on Thursday and Friday” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 4/3).
TIGHT SQUEEZE: In Philadelphia, Brian McCrone noted packing 25,000 spectators onto the "tight confines" of the 126-acre Merion Golf Club in Ardmore for the U.S. Open on June 13-16 will "prove to be a test for USGA officials and Merion organizers." Merion U.S. Open Committee Chair Richard Ill said, "There’ll be grandstands for 16,000. The idea is for the limited space the course has, we’ll want fans to be situated in grandstands. The grandstands will be situated so fans can see more than one hole" (PHILLY.com, 4/1).
THAT'S THE TICKET: GOLF.com's Coleman McDowell reported a four-day pass for The Masters "currently stands at $4,486." An individual day pass "runs from as low as $1,215 for Friday's round to as expensive as $1,786 for Thursday's opening round." By comparison, last year's BCS National Championship game "checked in at $1,450 for one ticket, followed by the Super Bowl ($1,210), World Series ($850) and NBA Finals ($315)" (GOLF.com, 3/29).