The PGA Tour heads to Texas this week for the Crowne Plaza Invitational tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Zach Johnson defends the title and 15 other Major champions are on the start sheet.
Since it’s inception in 1946 The Colonial has been played on the same course and, in terms of length, the layout has changed little over the years. When Texas native Ben Hogan won the first Colonial Invitational the course measured 7,035 yards. In 2010 the layout played just 19 yards more than that at 7,054 yards. Hogan dominated the early years of this event winning five times between 1946 and 1959. Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson have also lifted the title.
Last season Zach Johnson closed with two superb rounds of 64 to finish three clear of England’s Brian Davis. The 2007 Masters champion has shown solid form of late and will be among the favourites for this week’s event.
It’s a relatively easy course – the 11th most straightforward on last year’s PGA Tour and there should be plenty of scoring in the low 60s. The course record is 61 but this is a layout where a 59 could be possible.
Venue: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
Date: May 19-22
Course stats: par 70, 7,054 yards
Defending Champion: Zach Johnson (-21)
Thursday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9.30pm
Friday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sergio Garcia – The Spaniard won this event back in 2001. His struggle for form has been well documented of late but a 65 in the final round of the Players Championship hinted that he might be on the verge of returning to the top of the game.
Zach Johnson – Another man who finished strongly last week, carding a 66 in the final round at Sawgrass. He was tied sixth the previous week and will likely continue his solid run in a tournament he won last year.
Lucas Glover – Winner of the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, Glover looked to be on the brink of another good result at Sawgrass after opening rounds of 65 and 71. He faded over the weekend but displayed he is back to something like the form that won him the 2009 US Open.
Key hole: 5th. This has played as the toughest hole on the course since stats began to be recorded 24 years ago. At 481 yards it’s a long par 4 made more difficult by the ditch waiting to the left and a river on the right. The approach must be supremely accurate to a long, narrow target.
Skills required: Ball-striking. Solid and accurate iron shots will be the key to success at Colonial both for position from the tee and to the tightly guarded greens. Those who can shape their shots to seek out the pins will go low this week. Look for a winning total around the -20 mark.
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