The Tour drove all of 30 miles from Dallas to Fort Worth, Texas, to see what they can do with Colonial Country Club. Also known as Hogan’s Alley for his five wins there, it’s a course that has been so versatile over the years that it has hosted a U.S. Open (1941), a Players Championship (1975) and this annual PGA Tour event since 1946 (67 years).
The course is a par 70 that stretches to 7,204 yards and demands the same kind of shot execution as at Harbour Town at Hilton Head. The course is tree lined and demands the correct kind of tee shot to set up the approach shot to the green. Hogan would be the quintessential shot-maker, but other winners who could get it around the course have included the likes of Zach Johnson (Defending Champion), David Toms, Rory Sabbatini, Corey Pavin and Tom Lehman. These latter two players so enjoy Colonial that they decided to forgo this week’s Senior PGA Championship in St. Louis.
There’s a pretty good field here this week with 9 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and they seem to be “the right” 9: Louis Oosthuizen (No. 7), Matt Kuchar (No. 12), Charl Schwartzel (No. 17), Jason Dufner (No. 20), Hunter Mahan (No. 21), Bo Van Pelt (No. 26), Jim Furyk (No. 27), Zach Johnson (No. 29) and Rickie Fowler (No. 30).
Most of the elite European players are occupied this week at the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. It’s a very big deal on their tour.
Sang-Moon Bae, last week’s winner at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, is going for the Dallas/Fort Worth sweep. It will be interesting to see how someone so talented in the winds last week will do on this shot-maker’s course. Other winners in the field include: Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship), Brian Gay (Humana Challenge), Matt Kuchar (WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship), Martin Laird (Valero Texas Open), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), D.A. Points (Shell Houston Open), Kevin Streelman (Tampa Bay Championship), and Michael Thompson (Honda Classic).
And there are some terrific featured groups:
7:33 – 10th tee – Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Sang-Moon Bae
7:44 – 10th tee – Matt Kuchar, Martin Laird, Kevin Streelman
12:33 – 1st tee – Rickie Fowler, Charl Schwartzel, Davis Love III
12:44 – 1st tee – Hunter Mahan, Angel Cabrera, David Lingmerth (T2 at The Players Championship)
12:33 – 10th tee – Jim Furyk, Tim Clark, Derek Ernst
From a mastery point of view it will be interesting to watch Lingmerth. Before the T2 at the Players, he missed five cuts in a row. Which David Lingmerth will show up? Given his very solid accounting of himself in Ponte Vedra and the confidence that came with it, it ought to go his way. But we never know do we?
The other phenomenon that keeps coming up is players like Lingmerth coming out of nowhere. This is the kind of course where that could happen.
It will be sunny in the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon with a slight chance of stray showers or thunderstorms. The winds are forecast for 10 to 20 mph; but then this is Texas.