Feature - Crowne Plaza Invitational At Colonial Preview

Feature

Colonial 1

 

Triple Threat

Defending champion Zach Johnson eyes a third Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial title and membership in elite category at the 2013 event

Zach Johnson will defend his Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial title on May 20-26, and will look to join Ben Hogan as the only player to have won this event more than two times.

To accomplish this rare feat, though, he must outplay a strong field highlighted by seven players who have won on Tour in 2013, a strong international contingent and some fast-rising and popular players.

“Currently we have 94 guys committed to the event,” said Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Tournament Director Michael Tothe. “Our field will be capped at 132 players. We’ve extended our field by 12 spots to accommodate the four-event Fall Series events at the end of the Tour season. We’re excited about who’s coming to Colonial.”

Those who have been crowned a champion in a PGA Tour event this year and committed to Colonial are Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Brian Gay (Humana Challenge), Matt Kuchar (World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship), Martin Laird (Valero Texas Open), D.A. Points (Shell Houston Open), Kevin Streelman (Tampa Bay Championship) and Michael Thompson (Honda Classic).

Even though the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial goes up against the BMW PGA Championship – considered a major event on the other side of the pond – Colonial has attracted some top international players including Y.E. Yang, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Plus, some of the Tour’s popular stars will also appear in Fort Worth during Memorial Day weekend including heartthrob Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk, John Daly, Camilo Villegas and past champions David Toms and Rory Sabbatini.

One notable player who received a sponsor’s exemption was former Dallas Jesuit and University of Texas star Jordan Spieth. The 19-year-old has excelled so far in his rookie year on Tour, as he has earned $662,398 in seven events. That success earned Spieth special temporary PGA Tour membership for the rest of the season. Should he fall short of finishing in the top-125 on the Tour’s final money list – highly unlikely since that number should be around $750,000 – Spieth can play in the season-ending Fall Series of four tournaments that will determine PGA Tour cards for next year.

“Part of our field criteria is we allow the past Colonial champions to vote on three players from a list of guys who have never played Colonial before,” Tothe said. “Jordan Spieth was on that list as was [Web.com Tour player] Franklin Corpening. We’re thrilled to have those young guys in the field.”

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