Corpening’s sizzling 62 caps memorable Colonial debut

Posted Sunday, May. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

An early birdie barrage by Franklin Corpening, a Fort Worth native and former TCU golfer, stirred the crowd in Sunday’s round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

But matters escalated to another level for friends and family members when the Paschal High School graduate and lifelong Colonial member saw his name go up on tournament leader boards while he played the 12th hole in the final round of his debut event as a PGA Tour competitor.

Corpening, who posted a closing 62 that matched the lowest score of tournament week, said it “felt weird” — but exciting — to see his name on a Colonial leader board. His father, Joey, saw it through a different set of eyes. And those eyes could not hold back the tears as he and his wife, DeDe, hugged their son following his round.

“I don’t think there’s enough words of joy to describe it,” Joey Corpening said. “I was standing on 12 when they started putting his name up and it just sent me to the clouds. I never imagined anything like that, especially here, could happen. It’s just a dream come true.”

After seeing his son’s name listed among the tournament leaders, Joey Corpening said he initially feared the milestone moment would make Franklin nervous.

Instead, Franklin Corpening, 28, continued draining birdie putts and saving pars during a nine-birdie, one-bogey effort that moved him to 8-under par and a tie for 14th for the tournament. The finish earned him an invitation to the 2014 Colonial.

But the bigger issue, to Franklin Corpening and the legions of Colonial members who followed him during the back nine, revolved around the potential launching pad that Sunday’s finish could be in the professional career of a player who is a rookie on the 2013 Tour.

“That kind of busted through my standards pretty good,” Franklin Corpening said, reflecting on his pre-tournament expectations. “I expected to make the cut. That was my No. 1 goal. I just wanted to experience this whole tournament for four rounds. To shoot 62, that was just so much fun.... It’s a dream come true, really, for my first year out. That was cool.”

It also proved to be an eye-opener for a player who finished third in last week’s event, his best career placement on the developmental circuit.

“I figured out last week I belong on the Tour. And today, I figured out I belong out there,” Corpening said.

Corpening’s collection of nine birdies, which included a chip-in at No. 4 and eight birdie putts ranging from 4 to 38 feet, will long be remembered by Colonial fans.

So will his spectacular par save at No. 18, when Corpening drove into the deep left rough and had to aim his approach shot over the giant scoreboard near the 18th green. He did not emerge with birdie, as Phil Mickelson did from a similar area on the 72nd hole in 2008, but he pulled off a memorable par after taking dead aim at a heroic birdie.

“The scoreboard was definitely in my way. It wasn’t in my line of sight of the pin, so I didn’t get relief,” Corpening said. “I had a little, bitty window and I told my caddie, ‘I didn’t come here to just chip out in the fairway.’ So I tried to hit a shot, didn’t pull it off and just got super, super lucky. It went through the tree and ended up down there by the bunker.”

A chip shot to 16 feet above the hole, followed by a downhill par putt, completed his memorable final round to a memorable Colonial debut.

“He’s making our champions look really smart,” said Colonial tournament chairman Bobby Patton, reflecting on Corpening’s status as a Champions’ Choice invitee for the 2013 event. “It’s great… You have wonderful feelings and you’re happy for Franklin on how he started his professional career [on the PGA Tour].

“On a personal level, and as a father, I can’t imagine how proud and excited it made Joey. And in the uncle category, Scott Corpening has got to be one of the proudest uncles in America. The whole family has been important to this tournament for decades. And the membership as a whole couldn’t be more pleased to have one of our members make such a good showing.”

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Toronto4Final | Box
Cleveland «6
LA Angels1Final | Box
Detroit «2
Seattle2Final | Box
Miami «3
Atlanta3Final(14) | Box
NY Mets «4
Milwaukee «3Final(14) | Box
St. Louis2Final | Box
Washington «3
NY Yankees «5Final(12) | Box
Tampa Bay1
Minnesota «8Final | Box
Kansas City3
Cincinnati «8Final | Box
Chicago Cubs2
Chicago WSox «16Final | Box
Houston1Final | Box
Oakland «4
Philadelphia8Bottom 7th | Box
Colorado6@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, ROOT-RM
Arizona1Final | Box
Los Angeles «4
San Francisco «4Final | Box
San Diego3
Baltimore3Top 1st | Box
Boston0@theBallpark | TV: ESPN, MASN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Dallas85Final | Box
San Antonio «90
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Antonio leads series, 1-0.
Charlotte88Final | Box
Miami «99
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Miami leads series, 1-0.
Washington81st Qtr 6:46 | Box
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Portland 4/20 9:30 PM ET
Houston TV: TNT, CSN-HOU
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay01st Prd 19:23 | Box
Montreal1TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS, Sun
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Los Angeles 4/20 10:00 PM ET
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard