That’s what players will have to deal with this week when they visit Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, a favorite haunt of Ben Hogan both as a player and in his post-career days.
Colonial has always been known as a shotmaker’s golf course, dating back to its opening in 1936. It’s been an annual PGA Tour stop since 1946, a streak bettered only by Augusta National.
Hogan won this event five times, and more often than not, the winner seems to be a player known for his skill in crafting shots instead of pounding tee shots – although last year’s winner Justin Rose is a hybrid of both power and finesse.
The 38-year old Englishman claimed last season’s title by finishing first in greens-hit, and 17th in driving distance. A fairly stout field will be headlining alongside Rose, including eight additional world top-20 ranked players.
Here are some more details to get ready for this week’s PGA Tour stop in Texas.
Tournament: Charles Schwab Challenge
Dates: May 23-26, 2019
Where: Fort Worth, Texas
Course: Colonial Country Club
Distance: Par 70, 7,209 yards
Architect: John Bredemus/Perry Maxwell (1936)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,314,000
Defending Champion: Justin Rose
Top-10 Betting Favorites: Rose, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Paul Casey, and Louis Oosthuizen.
TV and Online
Rd 1: Th 04:00-7:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 2: Fr 04:00-7:00 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sa 01:00-2:45 pm (GOLF)
Rd 3: Sa 03:00-6:00 pm (CBS)
Rd 4: Su 01:00-2:45 pm (GOLF)
Rd 4: Su 03:00-6:00 pm (CBS)
Colonial Country Club is permanently tied to this event, but interestingly enough, the course got its professional start as the 1941 U.S. Open venue. The course showed its teeth right away, as the U.S. Open field was outright beat down. The winner of the tournament, Craig Wood, finished at +4. The tournament was so difficult that those at +15 finished in a tie for 10th.
At just over 7,200 yards, Colonial was considered lengthy at the time. Today, it plays as one of the shorter tracks on tour.
In the 1946 inaugural event, known initially by the name of the Colonial National Invitation, Ben Hogan stepped right up and claimed the first title, and then repeated again the next year. He scored five victories overall in this event, including the only back-to-back victories (1952-53). As a result of that success, Colonial is often referred to as “Hogan’s Alley.”
In addition to Hogan, event winners have included legends such as Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Spieth.
Nobody has won more than twice, with the exception of Hogan’s five. Ten players own a pair of titles, with Zach Johnson (2010, 2012) accomplishing it most recently.
As an “invitational,” the Fort Worth event has a more exclusive field than most tournaments (121 golfers this year), and is given more freedom with its invites. The tournament famously has a “Champion’s Choice” invitation, where the previous year’s champion gets to grant two spots to players of their choice who otherwise did not qualify.
A Champion’s Choice has won on just a single occasion, when Dave Stockton took the 1967 title, finishing as the only man in the field under par (-2).
History: Tournament Titles
2019-19: Charles Schwab Challenge
2018-18: Fort Worth Invitational
2016-17: Dean & DeLuca Invitational
2007-15: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
2003-06: Bank of America Colonial
1996-02: MasterCard Colonial
1995-95: Colonial National Invitation
1989-94: Southwestern Bell Colonial
1946-88: Colonial National Invitation
History: Recent Winners
2018: Justin Rose (-20)
2017: Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016: Jordan Spieth (-17)
2015: Chris Kirk (-12)
2014: Adam Scott (-9)
2013: Boo Weekley (-14)
2012: Zach Johnson (-12)
2011: David Toms (-15)
259 (-21) Zach Johnson (2010)
5 – Ben Hogan (1946-47, 1952-53, 1959)
2 – Zach Johnson (2010, 2012)
2 – Phil Mickelson (2000, 2008)
2 – Nick Price (1994, 2002)
2 – Corey Pavin (1985, 1996)
2 – Bruce Lietzke (1980, 1992)
2 – Ben Crenshaw (1977, 1990)
2 – Lee Trevino (1976, 1978)
2 – Billy Casper (1964, 1968)
2 – Julius Boros (1960, 1963)
Justin Rose shot a final-round 6-under par 64 to capture the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational.
Rose’s final day at Colonial Country Club included eight birdies against two bogeys to finish at 20-under par, three strokes clear of runner-up Brooks Koepka, who posted an impressive fourth-round 63.
A last-hole bogey cost Rose the tournament scoring record by a single stroke, but it was one of the event’s more dominating performances in recent memory.
FINAL TOP 5
1. Justin Rose -20
2. Brooks Koepka -17
3. Emiliano Grillo -16
4. Kevin Na -14
5. Kevin Tway -10
5. Louis Oosthuizen -10
5. Jon Rahm -10
With two of the seasons majors in the books, the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge is setting up to be a pivotal event for a number of prominent players.
There’s star power at the top of the field, with half the world’s top-10 ranked players teeing it up at the historic track, including defending champion, and world No. 3, Justin Rose, who enters off a mediocre T29 at the PGA, but owns three top-10s in his four previous starts.
World No. 7 Francesco Molinari, No. 8 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 9 Xander Schauffele, and No. 10 Rickie Fowler are the other top-10 names. All four top-ranked players will be looking to rebound after less than sterling performances on Long Island, especially DeChambeau who has been terrible since posting four-straight top-15s, including a win, to start the season.
Another player looking to rebound will be No. 11 Jon Rahm, who – like DeChambeau, missed the cut at Bethpage Black, and simply hasn’t progressed as many envisioned.
Paul Casey (13),Tony Finau (16), and Louis Oosthuizen (20) are the other top-20 ranked names in the field.
Including Rose, 11 former Colonial winners will be in the field this week, headlined by 2016 winner, Jordan Spieth, who enters off his first top-10 (T3) of the season at last week’s PGA Championship. Colonial is still the 25-year old Texan’s only PGA Tour victory in the Lonestar State.
Also, keep an eye on 2017 winner, Kevin Kisner, who scored a win in Austin, Texas at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this year. The South Carolina native will enter, though, not having posted a single top-10 in a stroke play event this year.
FULL FIELD & ODDS
A look at the full field in Texas, ordered by book rank.
Place your bets on the Fort Worth Invitational at Fanduel.
Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview/post. | Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images