This Week in Golf — April 4 through April 7

Updated: April 2, 2013

VALERO TEXAS OPEN, TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas – With The Masters being played a week later than it was last year, the Valero Texas Open moves up two weeks on the schedule and will be the final tune-up for the year’s first major.

Despite going just 1-over par for the final two rounds last year, Ben Curtis earned his fourth PGA Tour title as he held off Matt Every and John Huh.

Curtis opened the event with back-to-back 67s to reach 10-under par. He hung on to earn his first victory since the 2006 84 Lumber Classic.

Prior to the win, Curtis had missed the cut in two of his three PGA Tour starts on the season, and he didn’t post a single top-10 finish the year before. Curtis has missed the cut in every other start he has made this season, including last week at the Houston Open.

The event got a boost last Friday as Rory McIlroy committed to play. Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel will join McIlroy at the TPC San Antonio.

That gives the field four of the top 15 ranked players in the field. Toss in Curtis, Darren Clarke and David Duval, and there will be 12 former major champions in the field as well.

This marks the first time that the Texas Open will serve as the final Masters tune-up. The winner of the event will get into this year’s Masters if not already qualified.

Golf Channel will have coverage all four days. Their coverage on Saturday and Sunday will be early, before they hand off to NBC for the rest of the round.

Next week is the season’s first men’s major, The Masters. Bubba Watson beat Louis Oosthuizen with a par on the second playoff hole last year to win his first major.


KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP, Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Course), Rancho Mirage, CA – The year’s first major for the LPGA Tour is this week in California as Sun Young Yoo defends her title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Yoo may have won the title, but everyone will remember the championship as the one that I.K. Kim lost. On the final hole of regulation, Kim rolled her birdie putt within a foot of the hole.

Rather than marking and letting her playing partner putt, Kim went to tap in her par putt. But, her ball did a complete horse-shoe around the hole and spun back at Kim.

A stunned Kim kicked in her bogey effort, which dropped her into a tie for the lead with Yoo, who was already in the clubhouse.

In the playoff, both players reached the green at the par-5 18th in three. Kim left her birdie effort short, but Yoo did not. Yoo rolled in her 12-footer for birdie and the win. The victory was Yoo’s second on the LPGA Tour, but it was her first major.

The field this week will include 18 of the top 20, and 40 of the top 50, players in the world.

Golf Channel will have coverage all four days. They will air early and late action on Thursday and Friday, before airing coverage from 5-9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday and Sunday.

After a week off, the tour heads to Hawaii for the LPGA LOTTE Championship. Ai Miyazato won that title last year, and the tournament will again run from Wednesday to Saturday.


BRASIL CLASSIC, Sao Paulo Golf Club, Sao Paulo, Brazil – The Tour heads to Brazil this week for a new event, the Brasil Classic.

Kevin Foley, Skip Kendall and Hudson Swafford won either this year or last on the Tour to gain a spot in the field this week. That was one way to earn a spot in the field at Sao Paulo Golf Club.

There will be at least 12 other past Tour winners in the field for this inaugural event.

There is no television coverage this week.

The tour heads to Texas next week for the WNB Golf Classic, where Luke Guthrie won last year.