Scottie Scheffler, who won last week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship at Austin Country Club, will not be playing in the 100th edition of the Valero Texas Open as announced earlier.

Scheffler probably needs to catch his breath one week before he heads to the Masters in Augusta for the first major of 2022. The win in Austin was his third title in his last five starts, and came six short weeks after his first PGA Tour victory at the raucous Phoenix Open on Super Bowl weekend, followed by a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month.

The win in Austin vaulted Scheffler to first in the FedExCup rankings by a wide margin, and No. 1 in the world.

With golf’s hottest player at home, that leaves a field of several other world Top 25 players, led by Rory McIlroy (9), who has not played here since finishing second in 2013. Joining him will be 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (12), defending Texas Open champion Jordan Spieth (17), Bryson DeChambeau (14) and hometown favorite Abraham Ancer (16).

They are among the 23 players in the Texas Open field with their tickets punched for the Masters. That leaves 121 other players vying to secure a last-chance spot in Augusta by winning at TPC San Antonio on Sunday, a field of hopefuls led by fan favorite Rickie Fowler, who has slipped in recent years from his former Top 10 ranking out of the Top 125. Another hopeful, tour veteran Matt Kuchar, is making his 500th start on the PGA Tour this week.

This year’s total Texas Open purse is $8.5 million with $1,548,000 going to the winner along with 500 FedEx Cup points.

Spieth, 28, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour with three victories in major tournaments and like Scheffler a former Longhorn, will look to defend his title and build momentum going into the Masters. He tied for second in his first Masters in 2014, won in 2015, tied for second in 2016 and was third in 2018.

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is co-founder and columnist at the San Antonio Report.