AGOSTINI: Open is first tournament of new PGA season

October 8, 2013 

There is no truth to therumor that Open spectators will serenade players Thursday with a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne."

So don't include confetti and noisemakers with your sunscreen, lip balm and hats.

It must be said, however, the PGA Tour will celebrate its own New Year's Day at the, the first tournament of the 2013-14 season. CordeValle, the appealing and out-of-the-way golf destination in San Martin — south of San Jose — will serve more than a few varieties of fine wine.

But champagne and a countdown to midnight? No, patrons must wait a few more months.

This is the first time the tour has opted for a wraparound season, as the fall events toggle from the old year-ending "fall series" to kicking off the new schedule with six tournaments before 2014. Not lost on the pros is the fact that these tournaments will offer FedEx Cup points for the first time.

The field at the is not stellar, though there's nothing wrong with pairings featuring Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel — both coming off victories for the U.S. last week in the Presidents Cup — and defending champion Jonas Blixt.

Another threesome worth watching includes 50-year-old Rocco Mediate, the 2010 winner who's already claimed two victories this year as a rookie on the Champions Tour. He's joined by Sean O'Hair and former Masters champion Trevor Immelman.

Will the field upgrade in the near future? Sounds likely.

Last year, eight tour members played in an exhibition in Turkey called the World Golf Finals, staged the same week as the The players agreed that, in exchange for the outing in Turkey, they would agree to compete at the at least once over the next three years.

The players, you ask? The Associated Press' Doug Ferguson listed Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar.

The top-tier names soon will find their way to the South Bay. It just won't be this week.

Tickets cost $35 Thursday and Friday and $45 on the weekend. Parking is free and children 14 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult.

For ticket information, call (408) 487-4653 or visit

• THE SHAG BAG — Beyer High graduate Matt Bettencourt, who regained exempt status on the tour this season, was listed as an alternate for the ... The 21st Andy Silva Memorial Tournament, set for Saturday, Oct. 26 at Diablo Grande's Legends course, has announced its finalists for Junior Player of the Year. For the boys, the finalists are Teo Chiesa (Turlock High), Landon Azevedo (Hilmar) and Anthony Bonales (Central Valley). The girls finalists are Mabel Wong (Oakdale), Taylor Beckwith (Pitman) and Brooke Riley (East Union). The deadline for tournament entry is Friday. Call Greg Silva, 667-7272. ...

Modesto's Daniel Pena shot 77 and 76 and placed sixth, seven strokes behind winner Derek Ackerman of Half Moon Bay, during the Junior Tour of Northern California tournament last weekend at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp. Tyler Griggs of Manteca (83-85) placed fifth in the first flight.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

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