As in under construction: the Greg Norman- and Pete Dye-designed golf courses have been under way for a few months. On Thursday, ground was broken on the 1,000-room JW Marriott resort hotel, with various bigwigs, including PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, in attendance.
The plan is for the resort to open to guests some time in the early part of 2010. The PGA Tour Texas Open would move to the Norman-designed course that year. The Champions Tour's AT&T Championship would move to the Dye-designed course soon after.
The AT&T Championship is in San Antonio this week, teeing off today, and the senior circuit players absolutely adore the tournament's current home, Oak Hills Country Club. Richard Oliver, writing in the San Antonio Express-News this morning, quoted some players sounding none-to-excited about that probably move to the TPC course:
"I would be really saddened by that," said Fred Funk, who tees off this morning as defending champion of the AT&T. "This is truly one of the greatest venues we play, and we should stay here, in my opinion."
Added Loren Roberts, the tour's current points leader: "Unless they build an unbelievable thing out there, it would be tough. A.W. Tillinghast is not coming back from the grave to do it."
Dallas-based senior competitor Bruce Lietzke, serving as player consultant on Dye's design, admits that affection for the legendary Tillinghast-designed layout presents a unique challenge.
"It's big shoes to fill, so it's going to be a tough sell," he said. "Oak Hills has a great reputation among PGA Tour players, and now Champions Tour players. That's OK; I'm happy. It'll just keep us working hard."