On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem finally gave the tour's official announcement of that move:
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has announced that the Valero Texas Open will be moving to the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio once the facility is completed and ready for play, likely in 2010.
Finchem spoke of the tournament's future move during a Founder Membership launch yesterday evening in San Antonio. The confirmation of a site change follows an announcement in June that the Valero Texas Open is moving from the PGA TOUR Fall Series to May in 2009 to become part of the FedExCup competition.
TPC San Antonio is a 36-hole golf facility adjacent to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa that currently is under construction. The resort complex is scheduled to open by early 2010. Greg Norman has designed the AT&T Oaks Course, with input from Sergio Garcia as the player consultant. Pete Dye is designing the AT&T Canyons Course with the assistance of Champions Tour member Bruce Lietzke.
"I'm very pleased to confirm what long has been speculated, that the Valero Texas Open will be moving to TPC San Antonio, with a target date of 2010," Finchem said. "We are very excited about the prospect of the AT&T Oaks Course serving as the host course and the JW Marriott Resort as the new home for the tournament. Combined with the shift to May as part of the FedExCup schedule, we believe the Valero Texas Open is well positioned for the future in terms of growth and continued strong charitable contributions."
It should be interesting to gauge player reaction to this move. For years, the La Cantera course has been one of the most unpopular on tour because of its steep up-and-down terrain. On the other hand, La Cantera is an easy course (for the pros, anyway), with rounds in the low 60s common.
So while the new site will be a much easier walk, it will also be a longer course, with real hazards, perhaps even rough that can be grown up for the Tour players. Following the 2008 Texas Open a couple weeks ago, several players were quoted saying they had mixed feelings about the move. After years of the course being one of the least-liked, some PGA Tour guys are apparently starting to feel nostalgic for drive-and-pitch holes and low 60s scores.