Els looks to rebound in Texas
Texas -South Africa's Ernie Els, who has won twice this season, headlines the Texas Open which begins Thursday on the Oaks Course.
PGA earnings and FedEx Cup points leader Els is trying to rebound from missing the cut at last week's Players Championship. He is the lone top-10 ranked player in the field.
"I felt like I needed to play soon, especially feeling that my game came around Friday afternoon at TPC," said Els. "I'm glad we have a fairly tough challenge here this week.
"Hopefully with Vijay (Singh) and Adam Scott and Sergio (Garcia) here -some of the top players - that changes the view of other players and you'll probably start seeing a lot stronger fields, and especially with this date. The date plays a big part. It fits in very well."
Els and Singh, another first-time Texas Open participant, will be in the same pairing the first two rounds.
The field also includes 11 competitors who have won a total of 17 majors but there are just 13 players ranked in the top-100 compared to 15 last year when American Zach Johnson captured his second consecutive crown.
The event shifted this year to TPC San Antonio after 15 years at the Resort at La Cantera. The par-72 course will play at 7,522 yards.
Garcia last played at the Texas Open seven years ago.
"I think the golf course has come out great, probably just a little bit tougher than we expected at the beginning," said Garcia.
"La Cantera was a fun golf course to play, but I think overall this is a much better golf course. This is a better test of golf.
Two-time defending champ Johnson's advantage has been nullified by the move.
"Focusing on last year's win isn't going to help me make the cut or help me win this golf tournament," Johnson said. "I certainly like looking at shots and the way I executed shots during those wins, but all in all it's a new week on a new golf course at a new facility."
Three other players who have won PGA Tour events this season are in the field, comprising Ryan Palmer, Ben Crane and Cameron Beckman.
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