Tournament: Dean & Deluca Invitational, May 25-28
Course: Colonial Country Club, 7,209 yards, par 70. In the Fort Worth, TX area.
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth. The hometown boy won his first Texas title here last year, holding off Bulldog Harris English for the win. It required a final day 65, and English couldn’t make a birdie down the stretch allowing Spieth to claim victory.
Fun Fact: The course is holding a tourney for the 72nd straight year on Tour, which is a streak beaten only by Augusta National (once again, Georgia was first).
Television: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Four): Chris Kirk, Brian Harman, Harris English, Kevin Kisner.
The Dawg Sports version of Dawgs on Tour took a break last week, but you didn’t miss much (a Gator, Billy Horschel, ultimately prevailed). The Byron Nelson Invitational, held at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, featured four former Bulldogs but only Brendon Todd made the cut. Incidentally, that makes Todd the 10th UGA program alum to cash a check this year on the PGA Tour (tied for 1st among college programs). Todd finished T70, which is almost last of those who played the weekend, but I’m just glad he made his first cut in like forever. Use that momentum, Brendon.
The Tour now moves to the other side of the Metroplex** and the Fort Worth area. This is the last stop (I think) in Texas, as tourneys in Houston and San Antonio occurred earlier this spring. And this is my favorite of that bunch - both for the course (Colonial) and the honoree of the tournament (Ben Hogan).
Colonial is an old-style traditional type course with lots of doglegs and not much room for error. It plays short, but still presents plenty of challenges. It is simply a wonderful course that has withstood the test of time.
The tournament made Ben Hogan the honorary host after he retired to this property in the 1970’s (he passed away in 1997). It was nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley”, though other courses also lay claim to that moniker. But this is the first and will be the only one for yours truly. If you don’t know who Ben Hogan is... well, I can point you to the short version but it is hard to describe how important and successful Mr. Hogan was and is to the game of golf.
Maybe what you need to know is that he is #4 in PGA Tour wins and major championships, still holds several records for wins in a season, and this considering his career (and life) was threatened midway from a horrific car accident. He won all four majors (Grand Slam) and wrote what many consider to be THE definitive book on how to swing a golf club (editors note: dawglink may or may not debate that).
But enough on the past, let’s look to the present. Four UGA program alums are teeing it up this week and all four have a good shot.
Chris Kirk won this tournament in 2011, his first of 4 PGA Tour victories.
Kevin Kisner had a top 15 here last year and has 2 runner up finishes already this season.
Aforementioned Harris English was runner-up here last year (though he’s coming off 3 missed cuts in a row).
And Brian Harman still has that Tournament Winner smell having captured the Wells Fargo Championship 3 weeks ago.
So there’s who to root for. If you want classic golf on a classic course with classic Jim Nantz lulling you to sleep, you’re in luck this weekend. Forget the NBA playoffs, hockey isn’t really a thing unless it’s club level and includes Ice Dawgs, so switch it on over for golf.
And as always...
**Apparently the term Metroplex is a real thing. Personally, I prefer DFW.