Lowry to join Rory and GMac at Valero Texas Open

Bernie McGuire
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Shane Lowry Valero

Shane Lowry will join fellow Irishmen and Major winners Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in teeing-up at this year’s Valero Texas Open to be held April 2-5 in San Antonio.

Lowry will be returning to the Valero Texas Open for the first time since 2015 and third time overall having been afforded a sponsor’s exemption in both 2013 and 2015 when he finished tied for 15th and tied for 58th respectively on the Greg Norman designed TPC San Antonio course.

“I am excited to return to San Antonio and once again test my game at the TPC Oaks Course,” said Lowry, currently ranked 18th in the world in a statement released by organisers.

“Valero gave me playing opportunities early in my career, so to be able to come back and show my support for this long-standing tournament as the Open Champion is very satisfying.”

On Lowry’s 2015 visit to San Antonio, this journalist walked with both he and Scotland’s Marc Warren, who had also been afforded an invitation, during a pre-tournament practice round.

There was plenty of conversation between the duo but then in typing this article, it’s very interesting how the careers of both have since panned out with Warren struggling in recent years to retain automatic European Tour membership – now ranked a lowly No. 1148 in the world -whereas Lowry, in capturing a first Major, is now a honorary Life Member of the Tour.

Of course, the 148th Open Champion is exempt on the PGA Tour and can play where he likes and is now a drawcard for any tournament.

“Shane is not only a world-class golfer and the reigning Open Champ, he’s also a great guy with an infectious smile and a warm personality,” said Larson Segerdahl, Executive Director of the Valero Texas Open.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Shane headed back to San Antonio this April.”

With Lowry’s commitment, and with six weeks still remaining till the player commitment deadline, there are now five players among the top 30 in the world scheduled to play. Earlier, tournament officials announced World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, No. 26 Rickie Fowler, No. 29 Abraham Ancer and No. 30 Lee Westwood.

Lowry is also one of six major championship winners scheduled to play. He joins McIlroy (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, 2014 PGA Championship), Jason Dufner (2013 PGA Championship), Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open), Jimmy Walker (2016 PGA Championship), and Zach Johnson (2007 Masters, 2015 Open Championship).

The 2020 edition of the Valero Texas Open returns to TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course for the 11th year. This will be the second year of a 10-year contract extension between the PGA Tour and Valero Energy Corporation; a deal which positions the tournament in a coveted slot on the Tour schedule – the week preceding the Masters Tournament.

Corey Conners, who last year held on for a two-stroke win over 2016 VTO champion Charley Hoffman, will return to defend his title. Conners is one of eight (8) tournament champions currently committed to the third oldest PGA Tour event on the schedule.

Among them are Andrew Landry (2018), Kevin Chappell (2017), Hoffman (2016), local star and major champion Walker (2015), Martin Laird (2013), Brendan Steele (2011) and two-time major champion and two-time Valero Texas Open winner Johnson (2008 & 2009).

Players have until Friday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time to commit to the Valero Texas Open. They can withdraw from the tournament at any time.

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