Sean O'Hair to Showcase Talents at the Valero Texas Open at La Cantera

PGA TOUR “Rookie of the Year” Candidate Headlines List of Early Commitments. Sean O’Hair, the PGA TOUR’s newest and perhaps brightest young star-in-the-making, will bring his tremendous talent back to his native Texas for the 2005 Valero Texas Open t La Cantera, scheduled for September 19–25.
O’Hair, currently 15th on the 2005 PGA TOUR Money List, is joined by two other members of the top-30 who also have strong Texas ties: defending Valero Texas Open champion Bart Bryant (currently ranked 20th and a native of Gatesville, Texas) and Joe Ogilvie (currently ranked 24th and a resident of Austin, Texas).


As a TOUR rookie who earned his playing privileges by surviving the 2004 PGA TOUR Qualifying School, O’Hair burst on the golf scene earlier this year with his gutsy performance at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas, where he battled Ted Purdy over the final nine holes before settling for a second place finish in just his 12th start on TOUR. Earning $669,600 and securing his playing privileges for 2006, the finish also gave him a dose of confidence that came in handy several weeks later when he battled PGA TOUR veteran and Texas resident J.L. Lewis at the John Deere Classic. This time, he came out on top, earning his first PGA TOUR victory just one day shy of his 23rd birthday. The win also qualified him for the 2005 British Open Championship at St. Andrews, where he continued his solid play by finishing T15 in his first major championship start.

This year, Bart Bryant also made his first career start at the British Open, where he too, found success, making his first cut in four major championship starts and finishing T23. He had missed the cut in his three previous major championship appearances, all at the U.S. Open. Bryant, who
earned his first PGA TOUR victory in 2004 at the Valero Texas Open after 187 career starts, is enjoying the best year of his career. He captured his second career victory and a career best payday of $990,000 at the Memorial Tournament against one of the strongest fields of the year. The victory pushed his earnings for the year over the $1 million mark for the first time, and propelled him to 20th on the money list. In the 18 starts since his win at the 2004 Valero Texas Open, he has made 67 percent of his career earnings. So far in 2005, he has also posted three other top-10 finishes.


Joe Ogilvie has posted five top-10 finishes in just 20 starts, including a solo second at the Honda Classic and a T2 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. His second place finish at the Honda Classic in March came when he fell just short in a three-man playoff battle with Vijay Singh and eventual champion Padraig Harrington. His last top-10 performance came in Texas at the Shell Houston Open where he finished sixth.


“With nearly two months left until tournament week, we’re excited to have three of the top-30 on the money list in our field,” noted Tony Piazzi, President and CEO of Golf San Antonio. “We expect to have another strong field and our fourth consecutive record-breaking year for charity. Spectators will see exciting golf, enjoy fun family activities like the Aquafina Family Fiesta and a variety of interactive golf games at the PGA TOUR Pavilion and much more.”

The field includes several other notable players, including Shigeki Maruyama, who is ranked 37th in the world; Austin resident Rich Beem, winner of the PGA Championship in 2002; and past Valero Texas Open champions Tommy Armour III (2003), Bob Estes (1994), David Ogrin (1996) and Duffy Waldorf (1995, 1999).


The 2005 Valero Texas Open at La Cantera is scheduled for September 19-25. The tournament, a San Antonio tradition since 1922, enjoyed its best year ever in 2004, ranking fifth out of 46 on the PGA TOUR in total charitable contributions with more than $4 million. Since Valero Energy Corporation became the title sponsor in 2002, the tournament and the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic have combined to generate more than $8.6 million in charitable contributions. This year, the Valero Texas Open and the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic are expected to surpass the $4.5 million mark. Corporate sponsorship packages and individual tickets are available through Golf San Antonio at (210) 345-3818 or by visiting the Golf San Antonio web site at www.golfsanantonio.org for more details.

 

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