Valero Conspiracy Theories

In a week where Aussie Steven Bowditch has a 3 shot lead going into Sunday, a more curious situation has risen over the course of the first 3 days. With Phil Mickelson pulling out yesterday, there are now a total of 7 withdrawals. Doing a quick, nonscientific count of withdrawals from the past few weeks, the totals are 4 from the API, 2 from the Valspar, 1 from the WGC Cadillac, 1 from Puerto Rico (held the same week as the Cadillac) and 3 from the Honda Classic (that included Tiger).

Because of this relative oddity, we’re going to go through each of the players who withdrew to make sure that Valero hasn’t actually poisoned the water down in Texas.

Dudley Hart

At first search, not much came up about this 45 year old veteran. His twitter account comes up comically empty with no profile picture and with his last tweet just being a hashtag. Luckily, his wikipedia page had a little information about him having spinal fusion surgery in 2010 and mentions that he has been trying to get back on tour using medical exemptions. Taking a quick look at the handy PGA Tour exemption list, Mr. Hart is listed in the medical exemption list. So without knowing for sure, I’m pretty confident that Hart’s back just wasn’t holding up.

Ricky Barnes

Next on the list is Ricky “I swing like a barn door” Barnes. Luckily, he has a twitter account that he updates with actual information.


So no sleuthing here, but that does seem like a pretty awful week. Also, backs are currently 2-0 at forcing withdrawals.

Tommy Gainey

Every list is improved when Two Gloves is included. The original and seeming only success from the Big Break must be having other issues seeing as how he also pulled out from the PR Open a few weeks ago as well. Also, Gainey’s swing must really be awful if that comes up on Google as a suggested search before his twitter account. Anyway, Gainey’s twitter is a fountain of information about what happened.


So as it stands, it seems like the drinking water is potable, and humans just have faulty bodies.

Bryce Molder

Molder withdrew due to personal reasons! This is the first possibility of Valero doing something shady to get the unwanteds out of their event. Looking at his twitter, I can’t actually tell if that’s his twitter account. No picture, no description, but 68 followers! If only it were that easy. Ok really, who the hell follows an account that doesn’t really do anything. It’s kind of like GRRM’s twitter. 68k followers and zero tweets. I really hope that GRRM’s account actually isn’t him, and is just some random guy just biding his time to tweet out some false information and then watches the whole world goes crazy with undeserved excitement. Nothing like a good long con.

Anyway, back to Molder. With the trail cold, I’ll assume that Valero stuck some oil in his drinking water.

Eric Compton

At first google search, I find out that he withdrew from the Valero Texas Open with a bad wrist… in 2012.So this tournament might be out for him. Luckily, the article’s inclusion of Anthony Kim, who hasn’t done anything in the world of golf in recent years tipped me off. The man who has had three hearts in his lifetime apparently withdrew due to illness. Ignoring Occam’s Razor, Compton probably withdrew because of some oil in his drinking water, just like Molder.

Currently, the stats are 2 WD’s from back injury, 2 from drinking oil’d water, and 1 from rocks.

Phil Mickelson

Unlike the other players so far, Phil had snuck under the cut line and was poised to make some money that would have absolutely no impact on his bank account. Unfortunately for NBC and everyone who wants to watch players that they know (unlike Steven Bowditch) Phil pulled his love handles. According to Phil,

“My back’s feeling great, my body’s been feeling great,” Mickelson said. “I felt as good as I have all year. My speed is back, I was hitting the ball hard, driving it great. I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the second hole [his 11th]. It just killed and it wouldn’t subside for 10 or 12 seconds.

So he basically with drew from being fat. Or something like that, but least it wasn’t back issues.

Side note: Too bad all players don’t have to make a statement like this. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have to assume Valero was poisoning the water.

Morgan Hoffmann

Oh boy! Another feather in the cap of my conspiracy theory!


I consider this hard evidence that Valero is up to something.

Final Count

Oil in the Drinking Water: 3

Back: 2

Rock: 1

Being Fat: 1

Hopefully Shell doesn’t poison the water in Houston next week.

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