May 16, 2014

Colonial lands three of world’s top eight golfers, including imminent No. 1

Five past major winners join Fort Worth field on final day before deadline.

Officials at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial capped a strong closing push Friday with some last-minute commitments from past major champions to finalize next week’s field that will be highlighted by Adam Scott, soon-to-be the world’s No. 1 golfer.

Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, added his name Thursday to secure commitments from three of the world’s top eight golfers for Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop.

Scott, who will pass Tiger Woods for the top spot in the world rankings at the conclusion of Sunday’s professional tournaments, currently is No. 2 on the elite list. Among top-10 competitors heading to Fort Worth, he is joined by Matt Kuchar (No. 5) and Dallas resident Jordan Spieth (No. 8).

Friday’s deadline passed with Colonial officials holding commitments from 10 of the world’s top 25 golfers, as well as 10 of the top 11 in the FedEx Cup standings. Jimmy Walker, a former Baylor golfer and Boerne resident who leads the PGA Tour in victories (3) and FedEx points (2,141), will be in the Colonial field.

Other top-25 golfers from the world rankings to join Scott, Kuchar, Spieth and Walker (No. 17) in the Colonial field are Jim Furyk (No. 12), Zach Johnson (No. 13), Dustin Johnson (No. 14), Jason Dufner (No. 20), Patrick Reed (No. 24) and Hideki Matsuyama (No. 25).

Michael Tothe, Colonial tournament director, called it “pretty special” for organizers to assemble a field that will feature the world’s top-ranked golfer for the first time since 1995, when then-No. 1 Nick Price was the defending champion in Fort Worth.

Colonial’s collection of notable names grew Friday when five golfers with past major championships were last-minute additions to the field: Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, Geoff Ogilvy and Y.E. Yang, a Southlake resident.

Rod Curl, the 1974 Colonial champ, also joined the confirmed list of competitors. The 71-year-old Curl will be in the same field as his son, Jeff, 35, one of two Champions’ Choice invitees for this year’s event. Other late additions to the commitment list included Aaron Baddeley, Ricky Barnes, Bill Haas, Nick Watney, Rod Pampling and Greg Chalmers, a Colleyville resident. Among the last-minute withdrawals were Stewart Cink, K.J. Choi and Sang-Moon Bae.

In other Colonial news, officials announced that KISS guitar player Tommy Thayer will not compete in Wednesday’s pro-am as originally planned because the band will be making a guest appearance on American Idol.

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