This week the PGA Tour hits Fort Worth Texas for the Crowne Plaza Invitational, held at the stunning Colonial Country Club. The history of CCC is quite interesting as it came about through one man’s crusade to bring bent grass greens to Texas.
That man was Mr Marvin Leonard, who was so intent on bringing bent grass greens to his then golf club, the River Crest GC, that he offered to pay for two or three greens to be dug up and reseeded with bent grass. If the experiment did not work, he would then pay for them to be dug up again and reseeded back to Bermuda grass!
The president of River Crest GC at the time grew so weary of Marvin’s insistence about the greens that he told him "Marvin, if you're so sold on Bentgrass, why don't you go build your own golf course and put them in?" That became Marvin Leonard’s Eureka moment and the idea of the Colonial Golf Club was born.
Mr Leonard then commissioned John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma to both submit five alternative course designs but after looking at the designs he asked them to submit five more. From the initial designs Marvin Leonard put together a composite course from which sprang the Colonial Country Club.
By 1935 the golf course and the first clubhouse neared completion and less than 10 years later the Colonial Country Club held its first US Open Championship in 1941. By 1946 the Colonial had its own tournament, ‘The Colonial Invitational’ with the inaugural event being won by none other than Ben Hogan, who retained the title the following year and won the event five times in his career.
Phil Mickelson who won this event in 2000 and 2008 stated, "This golf course is one of the best tests that we have in the game of golf. To have won this tournament is an amazing feeling. I can't explain how good it feels to have won this championship."
My tips to win:
What more can we say about Matt Kuchar 12/1 The man is a machine at the moment and I think we have tipped him nearly every week, and another Top 10 at the weekend - his eighth of the year from twelve starts is a fantastic record. The fact that he should have won more than the one tournament he has to his name is the only black mark you can put next to the big Floridians record, but I expect Matt to be challenging again this week in an event that he was runner-up in last year.
When we talk about horses-for-courses this has to be Zach Johnson’s 14/1 favourite track to tee it up on. The Iowan has won this event twice in the last three years and also had another Top 5 finish here last year. Zach won earlier in the year at the Tournament of Champions, which made it two in a row after taking the limited field World Challenge title. Johnson will have been disappointed with his finish at The Players but will no doubt be looking forward to getting back out on the Colonial Country Club’s fairways.
Dustin Johnson 22/1 finished in great form at last week’s Byron Nelson Championship and will be looking to challenge here this week. It’s not been the greatest of years for Dustin after starting the year with two runners-up finishes, another Top 10 and a missed cut at the Masters after a withdrawal the week before, and a fifty-ninth place finish at The Players, but it was good to see him back to his best at the weekend and that final round not only saw him move up the leaderboard eleven places but should help restore some of that missing confidence.
My each-way tips:
This week’s defending champion Boo Weekley 55/1 should be another player who turns up this week in buoyant mood after his Top 5 finish at last week’s Byron Nelson Championship. It’s not been the greatest of years for the Floridian with three missed cuts, in fact last week’s Top 5 was the first time Boo has been inside the top twenty-five this year, but with last week’s finish and positive memories from last year, I think he will do well here this week.
Ryan Palmer 40/1 has had a couple of runners-up finishes this year and two other Top 10s from his ten starts, and although he had a solid if unspectacular week at the Byron Nelson Championship, it was good enough for a Top 25 place. Ryan has had two Top 15 finishes here over the last two years, one of those a Top 5 in 2011 so obviously enjoys playing at the Colonial, and I think he will do well here this week.
I did tip Brian Davis 125/1 last week and the American based Cockney had a steady tournament. The reason he is my outside tip this week is because he has had a runners-up finish in this event, firing a pair of 65s and an opening round of 64 along the way. And with that Top 15 finish in The Players a couple of weeks ago, I think that new found confidence on a track he has played well on, may just see him in the thick of it come Sunday.
As always good luck