Valero Texas Open 2024 Preview: McIlroy and a strong PGA cast set for Augusta dress rehearsal

The Masters countdown begins as a host of top stars head to San Antonio for a last competitive outing before the season’s first Major.

The last time Rory McIlroy lined up in a field a week before the Masters was a decade ago in 2014. The Northern Irishman went on to finish T8 in Augusta that year before going on to claim Major wins at the PGA and Open Championship.

In his quest to tie up that elusive career Grand Slam, McIlroy shakes things up and joins a strong field teeing it up at the PGA Tour’s longest-running tournament played in one city.

Indifferent form thus far in 2024 saw the World No.2 begin the year with a victory and runner-up finish in Dubai but since returning to PGA Tour action has only managed a T19 finish from five starts.

Rory McIlroy could only manage a T21 finish at The Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The Texas Open dates back 102 years to 1922 and is the third-oldest tournament on the PGA Tour circuit and sixth oldest professional golf event worldwide.

Jordan Spieth’s win in 2021 was perhaps the highest-profile win since Adam Scott’s 2010 victory when the tournament moved to its new home from La Cantera Golf Club.

Corey Conners is the defending champion, winning the second of his two PGA Tour titles at the site of his remarkable first in 2019 which saw the Canadian golfer prevail in a six-man play-off in Monday’s qualifying just to make the main field on Thursday.

In doing so he became the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour since 2010 and secured himself a place in the Masters where Tiger Woods picked up his fifth Green Jacket.

In winning again, Conners would sit alongside the great Arnold Palmer on three Texas Open titles who won consecutive editions from 1960.

Jordan Spieth returned to the winner's circle in April 2021 with victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Where is the Valero Texas Open played?

The Valero Texas Open is played on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio which unsurprisingly features narrow tree-lined fairways that can be less than forgiving for wayward drives, as discovered by Kevin Na in 2011, eventually holing out for a 16 on the ninth!

The par-72, 7,438-yard Greg Norman-designed track can prove challenging if the wind picks up and is unique in that all downhill holes play into it, while the uphill holes play downwind.

Who is in the field for the Valero Texas Open?

Eleven of the top 30 players in the underfire OGWRs will tee it up in San Antonio. Rory is joined by a host of fellow Major winners including Matt Fitzpatrick, Brian Harman, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, and Jordan Spieth.

Defending champion Corey Conners lines up once more as the Canadian targets a hat-trick of victories at the event, as does ‘generational talent’ Ludvig Aberg who targets his second victory on the PGA Tour.

Elsewhere, the multiple PGA Tour winners of Lucas Glover, Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Tom Kim, and Russell Henley are set to fine-tune their Masters preparation, as will Tommy Fleetwood, in search of a maiden victory on tour.

The full 156-man field for the tournament can be found here.

Who will win the Valero Texas Open?

Not too much can be read into performance off the tee with winners around the Oaks Course not needing to be especially long. Driving accuracy with some tight tee shots appears more important, but not as crucial as the ability to hit a high number of greens. Andrew Landry topped the GIR leaderboards en route to victory in 2018, as did Corey Conners for his two titles in 2019 and 2023.

Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters

How much will the Valero Texas Open winner receive?

The field in San Antonio will compete for a cut of the $9.2 million purse with the winner set to receive $1,656,000 and 500 FedExCup points.

How to watch the Valero Texas Open

US viewers can catch all the action on Golf Channel.

All times EDT

Saturday, April 06The Golf Channel, 12.00

Sunday, April 07: The Golf Channel, 13.00

UK viewers can catch all the action on Sky Sports Golf.

All times GMT

Saturday, April 06: Sky Sports Golf, 15.00

Sunday, April 07: Sky Sports Golf, 18.00

Valero Texas Open: Tee Times

Tee times and grouping for rounds 3 & 4 can be found here.

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About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

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