Aussies looking for three in a row
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2010 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial | Preview | 26 May 2010
The final leg of a three tournament Texas swing takes place this week in Fort Worth in Texas when the Crowne Plaza Colonial Invitational is played at the Colonial Country Club.
The time honoured event has been held at this almost iconic Perry Maxell & John Bredemus designed layout which was opened in 1943 and just three years later, in 1946, Ben Hogan won this first of his five Colonial Invitational events.
The names Ben Hogan and Colonial Country Club became synonymous, the game’s great a Fort Worth resident and a member and a regular at the golf course during his outstanding career.
As has been the case in other recent tournaments in Texas, the Colonial Country Club has been the venue for Australian success in the past. Bruce Crampton, Bruce Devlin and Ian Baker-Finch all having won the event and Greg Norman and Rod Pampling a runner up over the years. Several current Australian stars have chances this week.
Jason Day arrives this week as not only a winner last Sunday but as a player who finished one shot behind the playoff last year. Now living in the Fort Worth area the Colonial Country Club is almost a home club for Day and in terms of developing a golfer’s all round game there are few layouts that would be better. His biggest challenge is to overcome the let down factor this week but if he can then his chances look good.
Steve Stricker is the defending champion after defeating Steve Marino and Tim Clark in 2009. Stricker has not played since the Masters due to a clavicle injury so it might be a bit much to expect for him to successfully defend.
Clark bogeyed the final hole last year and that elusive first PGA Tour victory was still just that. He has of course put that to rest this season with his win at the and as a player who has finished runner-up here in each of the last two years he stands a very good chance.
Phil Mickelson could likely become the world number one with a victory this week. He won this event two years ago and has hardly put a foot wrong of late. Mickelson has won the event twice and been runner up once in this event suggesting a good tournament is almost assured.
Steve Marino and Colonial Country Club get along just fine and he has played well enough in 2010 for that relationship to continue. Nine of his twelve rounds at the Colonial Country Club have been in the 60’s so clearly it fits his eye. Marino has recorded four top twenties in his last six starts this season.
Ian Poulter was a huge disappointment last week at Wentworth when he missed the cut at the BMW PGA but he and Wentworth have never seen eye to eye and so that may be an excuse for his dismal display. He has played this course well in his two visits although his most recent form is a concern.
Sean O’Hair gives every indication that a big week is not far away. He has played this event very well in the two times he has been involved and it would be no surprise if he improved even further this week.
Kenny Perry has been a two time winner of the Colonial and once runner up. There is enough to like about the manner in which his game is coming around to suggest a win is not beyond him even at the age of 49. If he was to win he would become the 7th oldest golfer to win on the PGA Tour.
Jeff Overton has been twice runner up in his last four PGA Tour starts and in his only time to play this event last year he finished 13th. Overton has yet to win on the PGA Tour but if he was to join the long list of first time winners this week then there would be few surprised.
Jason Day will be joined by the improving and now fit Michael Sim, James Nitties, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, Nathan Green, Greg Chalmers, Stuart Appleby, John Senden, Rod Pampling and Steve Elkington. Six of those players live in the Dallas Fort Worth area.