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Valero Texas Open: Greg Norman’s Legacy Still Shines Bright Despite Unfavourable PIF-PGA Tour Situations

Published 04/02/2024, 7:00 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Valero Texas Open marks the 3rd oldest event after the BMW Championship, which was originally known as the Western Open and the RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour, steeped in tradition and boasting a rich history. Ever since its commencement in 1922, it is one of the very few golf tournaments that has been hosted in the same city throughout its tenure.

Marking its 100th anniversary in 2022, it is held at the Oaks Course. Surprisingly, the very same course links this historic event to LIV Golf. Well, it looks like LIV Golf and the PGA Tour have deep connections despite their rivalries as well. All thanks to the Great White Shark — Greg Norman!

Greg Norman designed the Oaks

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The CEO of LIV Golf, Greg Norman, designed the Oaks course, where the Valero Texas Open is held every year at TPC San Antonio. He shaped the idea with the help of El Nino—Sergio Garcia, The Spaniard chose to jump ship when the disruptive league came into existence and now is the Skipper of Fireballs GC, one of the 13 teams on the LIV Golf circuit.

The course is a par 72 and runs for 7,435 yards, consisting of forced carries on only two of its holes. The name is derived because of the narrow corridors that Norman had decided to carve using oak trees, giving it a traditional design with wider fairways that give course to multiple routes to the greens.

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It is because of the Great White Shark that LIV Golf has been associated with the PGA Tour for a long time now, despite their rift. The players who joined LIV were forced to withdraw themselves from the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour under the threat of suspension. To add to the bitterness, the PGA Tour and PIF came up with the idea of a $3 billion merger to unify the game, where all the pending litigation would mutually come to an end, practically calling a truce.

The verdict regarding the merger was promised last year in December but as we all know, the deadline was pushed further. It was speculated that the heads of the leagues would come to a conclusion by the end of March. Well, we are well into April, the Masters are already here, and the final verdict only seems to be floating in the air!

It looks like it is only Norman’s legacy of craftsmanship that keeps the PGA Tour indebted to the breakaway league for their courses. And well, the Oaks is not the only course used in the Tour that has been designed by an exceptional golf course architect.

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Greg Norman: The architect of the El Camaleon

The legendary LIV Golfer Greg Norman was also the architect behind the El Camaleon Golf Club located at the Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carman, Mexico. It served as the home of the OHL Classic at the Mayakoba in 2007. That was the first-ever PGA Tour event that was held outside the United States and Canada.

The course is located as part of a luxury hotel community, and its winds are bisected by huge limestone canals. The Shark even used a cenote in the middle of the fairway, making it a classic Norman design. Greg Norman truly is responsible for often linking the PGA Tour and LIV Golf together, and his creation only helps in giving testimony to the stated comment!

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Written by:

Aheli Chakraborty

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Aheli Chakraborty is a bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature, Aheli has actively covered major bodybuilding events like Mr. Olympia.
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Edited by:

Tushhita Barua

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