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The urban legend of TPC San Antonio’s ‘Sergio tees’ (and will they ever be used again?)

SAN ANTONIO — The sixteenth tee field at TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course sits perched with a shocking view of the inexperienced and the huge JW Marriott resort behind it.

The vista is so good, in reality, it’s the spot they’ve chosen to position a white Lexus — one ready for any participant on the Valero Texas Open to take it residence with an ace on the 183-yard par 3. The space is a hub of exercise because of a quantity of cabanas, a close-by fan store and its proximity to the primary entrance.

And when smaller-than-normal crowds comply with names like Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler on this Central Texas course this week, they’ll shuffle previous a small path simply off the sixteenth tee that leads down behind a shocking, gnarled stay oak.

For these with little information of the course, it’s insignificant.

But ask any of the members concerning the space and a smile immediately involves their faces.

“You mean the Sergio tees?” one member stated on Thursday. “Trust me, we all know about the Sergio tees.”

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A pair of programs sit in Cibolo Canyon, about 20 miles north of the well-known Riverwalk. The Canyons Course — residence of the PGA Tour Champions AT&T Championship from 2011 to 2015 — was designed by Pete Dye, who used Bruce Lietzke as his participant advisor.

But the Oaks Course was designed by Greg Norman, in session with Sergio Garcia. At the time Norman was working by way of the undertaking, Garcia was relationship his daughter, Morgan-Leigh Norman. The two break up up, nonetheless, earlier than TPC San Antonio formally opened in 2010.

According to the urban legend advised by members, Garcia was not extensively concerned because the undertaking neared completion, however one of his main contributions to the course was an alternate tee field on 16, which remains to be rudimentarily maintained, however by no means arrange for stay play.

A view from the alternate ‘Sergio tees’ off the sixteenth tee at TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course. Sergio Garcia is claimed to have give you the thought for the field, though it’s not used throughout the Valero Texas Open. (Photo by Tim Schmitt/Golfweek)

For those that play the course often, the Sergio tees usually present an added degree of pleasure.

“I’d say we only play over there one in every 20 times,” stated member Aaron Imler of San Antonio, who has been a member of TPC San Antonio for eight years. “But if it’s a big-money game and we want to mix it up, we’ll use it. And it makes things interesting.”

The Sergio tees play over a pond (immaterial for Tour gamers) and a sequence of bunkers. It makes the outlet significantly tougher, even when it shortens issues a bit.

“If the pin is on the left side of that green, the angle is really difficult,” Imler stated. “There’s no way to get to it. You almost have to play right, take your medicine and try to make par.”

The Sergio tees have solely been used as soon as on the Valero Texas Open, throughout a single spherical of the 2010 occasion — the yr the event ended a 15-year run at La Cantera Golf Club and moved to TPC San Antonio. Adam Scott gained that yr, holding off Fredrik Jacobson for the victory.

According to quite a few folks requested on Thursday, there aren’t any plans to incorporate the Sergio tees in any future occasion.

Imler, for one, thinks that’s a disgrace.

“They really should use them,” he stated, whereas taking within the first spherical on Thursday. “The members would sure get a kick out of it, but it would also make things interesting for the players. They wouldn’t know where it’s going to be each day.”

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