The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Crowne Plaza Invitational tournament at Colonial Country Club. David Toms is the defending champion.
With one of the largest prize funds of any regular PGA Tour event, this tournament always attracts a strong field. Last week’s winner and current FedEx Cup leader Jason Dufner will tee it up, as will the man just behind him in the standings, Hunter Mahan. Recent Tour winners Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar will also play.
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 2011 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 claimed the title.
Last season David Toms secured a memorable victory, finishing one clear of Charlie Wi.
The tournament is an invitational with just 120 places available on the start list. The winner of the event is famously presented with a garish tartan jacket and a simply enormous trophy, as this picture of David Toms confirms.
Venue: Colonial Country Club, Forth Worth, Texas
Date: May 24-27
Course stats: par 70, 7,054 yards
Purse: $6,400,000 Winner: $1,152,000
Defending Champion: David Toms (-15)
Thursday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm
Friday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Saturday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Sunday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Zach Johnson – The 2010 champion holds the tournament scoring record at Colonial: 21-under. He was tied second at the recent Players Championship and was also second in the RBC Heritage.
Rickie Fowler – He’s made a step-up after his first victory at Quail Hollow. He was tied second at the Players and has produced good golf at Colonial in the past.
Jason Dufner – The PGA Tour’s form player with two victories in the last four weeks. He’s enjoying a new-found confidence in his game and should continue to play well this week.
Key hole: 5th. This has played as the toughest hole on the course since stats began to be recorded 25 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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