Underneath is a transcript of his remarks at the party. They are edited for clarity and brevity.
PGATOUR.COM: What are your reminiscences of your very first start out as a professional at the Valero Texas Open?
BEN CRENSHAW: I was participating in effectively at the time. There were being a few fellas that I had to get over. 1 of them was George Archer. And Orville Moody, who received the 1969 U.S. Open up at Champions (Golf Club in Houston), and Mike Hill, Dave Hill’s brother. It got fairly limited at the stop. As I recall, Woodlake had a par 5. The last hole experienced drinking water on both sides. I produced birdie on the gap and received. That was a definitely satisfied time. San Antonio, I have always regarded as my 2nd dwelling. The state junior was listed here, at Brackenridge Park. I first played it when I was 13 a long time aged. It was my initially introduction to gamers from all-around the point out, who seriously keyed for that event. It was a big deal. I beloved Brackenridge Park, and I nevertheless adore it to this day. It implies so significantly to the heritage of our condition.
PGATOUR.COM A single of the founders of the first Valero Texas Open was a newspaper editor named Jack O’Brien. He and the other organizers observed the VTO as a way to bring club specialists from the Midwest and Northeast to take pleasure in San Antonio in the heart of wintertime. The thought appeared to operate, did not it?
CRENSHAW: What he (O’Brien) was seeking to do was distribute tourism. He did a wonderful task with that. I like to say the Texas Open up is the initial forerunner for the full PGA TOUR alone. It was these types of a success. There was so much pleasure about it. And I feel it launched a way of acquiring the specialist tour vacation in the course of the state, and have a agenda. The execs played where ever they could. You know, most of the pros back then experienced two work opportunities. They have been gamers, but they were also club pros.
PGATOUR.COM: The VTO was played here at Oak Hills from 1961 to 1966, and from 1977 to 1994. What are your reminiscences of people years?
CRENSHAW: Some of my happiest reminiscences have been correct in this article at Oak Hills. I was 9 yrs outdated. My brother was 10. And my dad brought us out in this article and we watched the 1961 Texas Open up. We went out on the initially tee box, and (Crenshaw’s brother) Charlie and I ended up on the correct aspect, and listed here arrives this large, burly person named Mike Souchak (the winner of the 1955 Valero Texas Open). He pulled out this black-confronted Macgregor 1-iron, teed it up on the proper facet, and he buzzed this 1-iron correct past us. It was just the most remarkable thing I ever saw. That was our introduction to professional golfing. We followed Arnold Palmer (who gained that 12 months). Couldn’t get shut to him. My father knew Jimmy Demaret. So we adopted him a handful of holes.
PGATOUR.COM: In 1981, you and Invoice Rogers manufactured some of the best golfing in the historical past of the Valero Texas Open up. You shot 64 in the remaining round. Rogers shot 63. You tied, ensuing in a unexpected-loss of life playoff at Oak Hills. What do you keep in mind about that 12 months?
CRENSHAW: Invoice Rogers is one of my dear, pricey friends. It only took him one hole to knock me out. That 12 months was one particular of the most particular many years for a player. No person could defeat him that calendar year. He gained the British Open up. He gained the Australian Open up. He gained the earth match perform. (Rogers gained four periods that year on the PGA TOUR and concluded 2nd once, successful Participant of the 12 months honors. He built the minimize in 20 of 26 starts off.)
PGATOUR.COM: The Valero Texas Open has endured lots of difficulties in its 100 yrs, from a despair to a entire world war to revolving sponsorships. Now it has a stability in the kind of Valero. It’s a person of the foremost tournaments on the PGA TOUR in conditions of charitable supplying and civic guidance. What do those people say to you about the VTO and San Antonio?
CRENSHAW: That suggests rather a great deal. It’s incredibly crucial. And, believe me, the gamers know it too. If they know nearly anything about the record of this event, not way too numerous areas have had a solid romance with the group. And, as you know, the newspapers ended up quite significantly a element of the impetus to get the phrase out to occur to your town. We have to give thanks to businesses like Valero to sustain the interactions with the players and also the community. I form of think that San Antonio has served as a good product for the rest of the TOUR. I imagine of so numerous times. Instances the place I have experienced around misses, but periods I’ve triumphed much too. San Antonio was a specific area for me.