Through the years, many of the most vivid memories at Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop have involved Ben Hogan.
The late golf legend from Fort Worth won the inaugural event at Colonial Country Club and, 70 years later, has a roundabout connection with this year’s defending champion at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Chris Kirk, the golfer seeking to become Colonial’s first repeat winner since Hogan in 1952-53, is the only recipient of the Ben Hogan Award to place his name in granite on the club’s Wall of Champions.
The Hogan Award, given annually to the nation’s top college golfer, has been presented in Fort Worth as part of tournament week activities since 2002. It ranks among the endearing and enduring images of tournament week. So do dozens of memories and moments that do not involve Hogan.
Among them: “Mickelson’s Miracle” in 2008, Ian Baker-Finch’s “Bogey in Boxer Shorts” in 1993 and Zach Johnson’s historic assault on the Colonial tournament scoring record in 2010.
For seven decades, indelible snapshots of people and events have given the Colonial tournament a unique flavor. It’s hard to thin the list to 70 to coincide with this year’s 70th anniversary for the tournament. But we’ve done it, with input from lots of longtime Colonial observers:
1. Hogan’s last hurrah
Ben Hogan earned the final PGA Tour triumph of his Hall of Fame career in dramatic fashion in front of an emotional, hometown crowd in 1959. Hogan, 46, erased a three-stroke, final-round deficit to force an 18-hole playoff. Then, he posted a 69 to defeat Fred Hawkins by four strokes. Hogan’s fifth Colonial title came in the tournament’s first playoff and made him the tournament’s oldest champion until the mark was broken in 1998 by Tom Watson.
2. Mickelson’s Miracle
Phil Mickelson’s errant drive into the left rough on the 72nd hole in 2008 appeared to place his title hopes in danger. Then, Lefty pulled a 51-degree sand wedge from his bag and unleashed a 141-yard shot that went under one tree, over another, cut around a giant scoreboard and stopped 9 feet from the pin. Mickelson sank the ensuing birdie putt to secure a one-stroke victory over Tim Clark and Rod Pampling. He called the shot, dubbed “Mickelson’s Miracle,” among his top-5 recovery shots in a career filled with them. “It wasn’t an easy shot, but it came off,” Mickelson said after unleashing the most celebrated shot in tournament history.
3. Power of plaid
It took until 1952, the year of Ben Hogan’s third Colonial title, for him to receive his first plaid jacket. That’s because the Colonial jacket, made from a 12-color custom plaid called “Royal Tartan,” did not exist until that year. It was created in 1952 by tournament chairman S.M. “Bing” Bingham, who sought an identifying garment for champions and club officials that would “shine with the same brilliance as our field for the tournament.” Sunday’s winner will receive a custom jacket cut from the same cloth that has swaddled Colonial champs for 64 years.
4. Tracking Tiger
Tiger Woods’ lone Colonial visit in 1997 included a fence-mending lunch with Fuzzy Zoeller, a final-group Sunday pairing and the tournament’s first announced sellout (180,000 tickets). Before the Sunday round, playing partner David Ogrin declared himself a “Tiger Tamer” and predicted Woods would not beat him. He didn’t, but David Frost passed both golfers to take the title. Woods’ title hopes disappeared with Sunday double bogeys at No. 9 and No. 17.
5. Staggering Swede
To lighten the mood in a pressure-packed setting, Annika Sorenstam feigned a stagger after finding the fairway with her initial drive in 2003. Eventually, she posted rounds of 71-74 and impressed male peers with her poise and skill while becoming the first female in 58 years to compete in a PGA Tour event. Sorenstam missed the cut, but her gate appeal proved staggering: a tournament-record 200,000 fans attended the 2003 Colonial.
6. Record-setting Zach attack
Zach Johnson took advantage of rain-softened greens and pristine scoring conditions in 2010 to post a 21-under-par total (259), the lowest in tournament history by two strokes. Johnson, the career leader in Colonial tournament earnings ($3,401,886), posted rounds of 65-66-64-64 to win his first of two titles in Fort Worth.
7. Christening Crampton’s Lake
A pair of errant approach shots in 1962 turned an anonymous water hazard into Crampton’s Lake. Bruce Crampton walked up the 18th fairway with the lead on Saturday and Sunday but found the greenside pond each day on his way to debilitating double bogeys. Crampton finished a stroke behind eventual winner Arnold Palmer, christening the hazard as “Crampton’s Lake” and giving Colonial a defining landmark.
8. Bogey in boxer shorts
Ian Baker-Finch’s creative but unsuccessful attempt to save par from a water hazard in 1993 remains a flashpoint in tournament history. Faced with a shot from the shoreline at the 13th hole, Baker-Finch did not want to splatter mud on his pants and had no rain suit in his bag. So he removed his trousers, waded into the water and chipped on to the green while wearing blue boxer shorts.
After toweling off, he replaced his pants and two-putted for bogey. The whole ordeal was captured by network television cameras, making Baker-Finch a popular figure for ribbing by peers.
Nick Price, his playing partner, suggested Baker-Finch “just turned golf into a PG-13 sport.” After the round, Baker-Finch said: “It’s lucky I had my good ones on.”
Duke Butler, the PGA Tour tournament director, fought back a smirk when announcing no disciplinary action would be taken despite a tour rule prohibiting golfers from competing in shorts.
“Fine him? For what? Lack of a tan?” Butler said.
9. Chuckles with champions
One of Colonial’s enduring traditions is its champions dinner on Wednesday night of tournament week. Typically, past winners exchange good-natured barbs and gag gifts. Example: Ian Baker-Finch, the 1989 champ, received a pair of plaid boxer shorts from tournament officials that matched the champion’s jacket at the 1994 champions dinner to commemorate his memorable bogey from the 1993 event. One of the best lines came in 1990 from Lanny Wadkins, the 1989 champ, as he donned the plaid jacket he won the previous year.
“What happens if I win again?” Wadkins asked. “Do I get a pair of pants to match? That’s a scary thought.”
10. Heroic Hogan
Trailing by three strokes heading into the final round of the inaugural Colonial in 1946, Fort Worth resident Ben Hogan rallied in record-setting fashion. Hogan closed with a 65, setting a course record that would stand for 24 years. His Sunday charge carried Hogan to a one-stroke victory over Dallas’ Harry Todd and gave Colonial its first defining moment in its debut as a PGA Tour event. During his victory speech, Hogan told fans he would “rather win this tournament than the U.S. Open.”
11. No. 1 in world is No. 1 in Fort Worth
Adam Scott, the 2014 Colonial champ, arrived in Fort Worth after taking over the top spot in the world golf rankings for the first time in his career on Monday of tournament week. Scott held off Jason Dufner, the reigning PGA champion, with a birdie on the third hole of their sudden-death playoff (No. 18) to validate his status and extend his stay at No. 1. It remains the only time the world’s top-ranked golfer during Colonial week has slipped into a Colonial plaid jacket.
12. Texas Slam completed here
Scott’s victory at the 2014 Colonial allowed the Aussie to carve out a unique spot in PGA Tour lore. Scott became the first professional golfer to complete a “Texas Slam” by claiming titles at all four of Texas’ traditional tour stops: Colonial, Byron Nelson, Houston Open and Texas Open. Officials from all four events joined forces and presented Scott with a framed Texas flag to mark the milestone later that season.
13. Purtzer’s putt
Tom Purtzer fired one of the signature shots in tournament history from a greenside bunker in 1991. What made it memorable is that Purtzer used a putter. Even more incredible: his 35-footer climbed out of the bunker, rolled on to the green and dropped for a final-round birdie at No. 13, helping Purtzer clinch a victory. As he reflected on the pivotal putt in his three-stroke triumph, Purtzer said he “couldn’t have done that again if you’d put down another 1,000 balls.”
But he proved himself wrong on his next trip to the course. Asked to try to recreate the shot while in town for the 1992 Colonial kickoff dinner, Purtzer returned to the bunker at No. 13. He rolled home another putt on his eighth attempt while wearing dress shoes.
“I may have to rethink the odds on this,” Purtzer said, smiling broadly.
14. Wall of Champions
This Colonial landmark made its debut beside the first tee in 1975. As it stands, 71 names are etched into its granite: the first 69 Colonial champs, plus winners of the 1941 U.S. Open (Craig Wood) and 1991 U.S. Women’s Open (Meg Mallon). Both of those events were held at Colonial.
15. Golden Bear reigns
Jack Nicklaus, who holds the record for major championships won by a professional golfer (18), added his lone Colonial title to his Hall of Fame résumé in 1982. Nicklaus, 42, reeled in 54-hole leader Andy North with a closing 67 to win by three strokes. Nicklaus’ leader board presence throughout tournament week helped Colonial experience its first million-dollar gate in 1982, including a then-Friday record crowd of 35,313.
16. Fresh landmark
Colonial’s original wooden clubhouse, painted white, burned in a three-alarm fire in 1953. To minimize the danger of a repeat, club officials built its replacement out of fire-retardant red bricks. The current structure, opened in 1955, has been a memorable tournament backdrop, as well as a club logo, for decades.
17. Perry’s Place
Two-time Colonial champ Kenny Perry rewrote Colonial’s scoring records en route to lopsided victories in 2003 and 2005. Perry became the first player in tournament history to reach 21 under par during competition in 2005 before a double bogey on the 71st hole dropped him back to 19 under to match the tournament record he set in 2003. Perry still holds a share of the Colonial course record (61) as well as the tournament scoring record for 54 holes (18 under par, 192), set in 2005.
18. Charitable milestone set
Colonial officials donated a tournament-record $9.1 million to local charities from funds raised at the 2015 event.
19. Margaritaville established
Colonial’s signature libation made its debut in the late 1970s (club officials aren’t sure which year), when margarita machines were brought to the course. Originally stationed behind the 18th green, the machines were moved to their current location (adjacent to the 10th fairway) to expedite traffic flow and minimize noise at No. 18 during rounds.
20. Hogan Award winner prevails at ‘Hogan’s Alley’
Chris Kirk, who won the 2007 Ben Hogan Award while competing for Georgia, became the first person honored in Fort Worth as the nation’s top college golfer to return and claim a Colonial title as a professional at “Hogan’s Alley.” Kirk, the defending champion, sank a 7-foot par putt on the 72nd hole last year to edge Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Bohn by one shot.
21. Hogan Award moves to Colonial
Clemson’s D.J. Trahan, the 2002 recipient, became the first college golfer to receive the Ben Hogan Award as part of tournament week festivities at Fort Worth’s PGA Tour event. Given annually to the nation’s top college golfer, the list of honorees recognized in Fort Worth comprises Kirk, Ricky Barnes, Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, Ryan Moore, Matt Every, Rickie Fowler, Kyle Stanley, Nick Taylor, Peter Uihlein, Patrick Cantlay, Chris Williams, Patrick Rodgers and Jon Rahm.
22. Record-setting Sunday
Phil Mickelson claimed the 2000 Colonial title with a record-setting 63 in the final round. It marked the lowest Sunday score posted by a Colonial champion and allowed Mickelson to erase a six-stroke deficit against Stewart Cink, the 54-hole leader.
23. Sergio’s surge
In 2001, Sergio Garcia followed Mickelson’s blueprint for Sunday success but added a unique twist. Garcia’s closing 63 matched Mickelson’s mark for lowest final round by a Colonial champ. It also allowed Garcia to reel in Mickelson, the 54-hole leader, for the title. In turn, Garcia (21) became the youngest champion in tournament history.
24. Together again
Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, co-workers as teenage caddies at Glen Garden Country Club in Fort Worth, were paired for the first time at Colonial in the third round of the 1948 tournament. Hogan, who tied for second, fired a 65. Nelson, who finished sixth, posted a 73.
25. Leadoff hitter
Byron Nelson, the late golf legend from Roanoke, became Colonial’s official leadoff man in 1948. Nelson, who grew up in Fort Worth, struck the first tee shot to begin each tournament from 1948-1966, the last year that Nelson competed.
26. Flood of ’49
Heavy rains submerged the course beneath 20 feet of water before the 1949 event, which was canceled. The 1949 Colonial and 1996 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am are the only PGA Tour events canceled by severe weather.
27. Win for the aged
In his 22nd attempt, Tom Watson won his lone Colonial title in 1998. Watson, 48, became the oldest champion in tournament history. The World Golf Hall of Famer punctuated the victory with a closing 66, highlighted by an 8-iron approach from an off-balance lie in a fairway bunker that set up a birdie at No. 9. Watson said the triumph, his last in a PGA Tour event, will always remain “nostalgic” because he “wasn’t sure if I’d ever win another tournament.”
28. Famous photo
Always renowned for people watching, Colonial became the backdrop for a famous photo in 1976. It showed Fort Worth socialite Priscilla Davis, clad in leather shorts and a halter top, holding hands with lover Stan Farr while watching the tournament. The photograph became one of the most famous ever published of the couple after Farr was murdered at Davis’ mansion on Aug. 2, 1976 … less than three months after their visit to Colonial.
29. Lehman’s victory lap
Tom Lehman needed more than a fist pump to punctuate his birdie-birdie finish that clinched the 1995 Colonial title. So he circled the 18th green, slapping hands with fans, after dropping a 24-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clip Craig Parry by one stroke.
“When you’re a kid, you always dream of birdieing the last couple of holes to win,” said Lehman, whose 18-foot birdie putt at No. 17 put him in position to win with a closing birdie. “To see that last ball go in the hole, it was exhilaration plus. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. It may have looked a little stupid. But that was complete, total excitement.”
30. Dream debut
Competing in his first Colonial, Dave Stockton became the only Champions’ Choice invitee to win the event in 1967. The unique exemption is given to promising Colonial newcomers based on balloting by past champions. Stockton won in wire-to-wire fashion, propelled by rounds of 65-66 in his first two trips around Hogan’s Alley.
31. Pretty in pink
Colonial officials sponsored “pink out” promotions during Saturday rounds at the 2009 and 2010 events to honor Amy Mickelson, wife of two-time Colonial champ Phil Mickelson, in her fight against breast cancer. Mickelson, the 2008 champ, withdrew from the 2009 event shortly before it began following his wife’s diagnosis. Colonial officials responded to Mickelson’s absence with the initial “pink out” session in 2009 and repeated it a year later with Mickelson as part of the 2010 field.
32. Hitting the roof
After striking a tree with his tee shot at No. 18, George Bayer airmailed the green with a 4-wood approach during his opening round in 1956. The ball landed on the clubhouse roof and came to rest in a rain gutter. A rules official permitted Bayer a free drop near the green despite the protests of playing partner Bob Rosburg. Bayer took bogey and wound up finishing fourth in the tournament, six strokes behind winner Mike Souchak.
33. Rosy outlook
Al Besselink never cracked the top 10 as a Colonial competitor. But he made his mark as an unforgettable character in 1965. At the 15th tee during his third round, Besselink plucked a red rose growing along a fence that bordered the course. Playing the final four holes with the rose between his teeth, he posted a 77. Besselink said his rosy stroll was meant as a tribute to the “loveliness of Texas women in general and Fort Worth women in particular.”
By the time Besselink completed his final round the next day, locker room attendants collected 50 roses sent to him by female fans.
34. Clearly Clearwater
In one 36-hole day, Keith Clearwater went from winless tour rookie to Colonial legend. Clearwater posted matching 64s on the final day of the rain-plagued 1987 tournament, mounting a Sunday charge that stunned tournament officials at a time when the course record was 62 and only four scores of 63 or better had been posted in the first 41 years of tournament history. Clearwater won by three strokes over Davis Love III.
35. Last-minute Lietzke
By draining a 25-foot putt at No. 18 to avoid a playoff in 1980, Bruce Lietzke became the first Colonial champion to win with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Lietzke’s laser closed out Ben Crenshaw by one stroke.
36. Heafner takes charge
Clayton Heafner, Colonial’s first wire-to-wire winner, strung together four consecutive sub-par rounds to earn the 1948 title. A winner by six strokes, Heafner would remain the only Colonial champion to post four consecutive sub-par rounds until 1970, when Homero Blancas matched the feat.
37. Working overtime
Jim Colbert, the 1983 Colonial champ, subdued Fuzzy Zoeller with a 6-foot par putt on the sixth playoff hole to end the longest sudden-death playoff in tournament history. After the time-consuming triumph, Colbert said: “I’m proud to have my name on the wall at Hogan’s Alley. I know [Hogan’s] name is up there five times. But for me, one is good enough.”
38. First ace dealt
It took until 1961, but Kel Nagle finally recorded the first hole-in-one in tournament history. Nagle holed a 2-iron shot from 195 yards at No. 13, the first of 30 aces recorded during tournament play. Appropriately, he did so while paired with Ben Hogan. Hogan’s response?
“Good shot,” he said in deadpan fashion before breaking into a smile.
39. Double eagle soars
Only one swing at Colonial has produced the rarest of golfing feats: a double eagle at a par-5 hole. George Burns did the honors in 1978, holing a 1-iron shot from 200 yards for a “2” at the first hole, a 563-yard par-5.
40. Pair of aces
Kermit Zarley never won a plaid jacket. But he’s the only Colonial competitor to record multiple holes-in-one during competition. Zarley’s first ace came in 1968 at No. 16, using a 5-iron from 197 yards. Four years later, Zarley holed a 4-iron from 209 yards at No. 8. He made two of the first four aces in Colonial history.
41. Douglass sets mark
Dale Douglass’ course-record 63 in the third round of the 1970 tournament broke the 24-year-old mark of Ben Hogan (65), set in the inaugural Colonial. Douglass held the record for 15 years, before Joey Sindelar shot a 62 in 1985.
42. Enduring standard
Keith Clearwater plundered a rain-softened course in 1993 to establish the current Colonial course record with a 61 in the second round. Five others have matched that figure, including Lee Janzen in the final round of 1993 and Kenny Perry during his victory in 2003. Others to share the Colonial course record are Chad Campbell (2004), Justin Leonard (2003) and Greg Kraft (1999).
43. Sing along with ...
More than once, Colonial galleries have serenaded champions who won the event on or near their birthdays. Steve Flesch, the 2004 champ, prevailed on his 37th birthday and heard the strains of Happy Birthday during the trophy presentation. Sam Snead, the 1950 champ, received a surprise birthday cake and a choral rendition from gallery members after posting a third-round 66 to take a five-stroke lead on his 38th birthday.
Snead won the next day by three strokes. But the singing did not stop. During the trophy presentation, Jimmy Demaret grabbed the microphone and offered an a cappella version of Some Enchanted Evening.
44. Humbled ‘King’
Long before he was nicknamed the “King,” Arnold Palmer was a PGA Tour rookie in 1955. In his first round at Colonial, Palmer soared to an 81 that would remain his highest career score in Fort Worth. But the worst part, said Palmer, was overhearing Ben Hogan’s conversation with tournament officials about their young invitee.
“He wanted to know how I got in the tournament,” said Palmer, who would win the event in 1962 but shot 30 over par in his Colonial debut.
45. Palmer’s redemption
Arnold Palmer made up for his rookie struggles at Colonial by hoisting the Leonard Trophy in 1962. Despite a closing 76, Palmer squeezed into a playoff with Johnny Pott when Bruce Crampton’s closing double bogey dropped him out of the picture. Palmer shot a 69 in the 18-hole Monday playoff to secure his lone Colonial title by four strokes.
46. Damper by the dozen
Dennis Paulson took the highest score on any hole in Colonial history, a 12 at the par-4 ninth, in 2001. Paulson’s tee shot found a fairway bunker and his ensuing approach was the first of four consecutive swings to send a ball into a green-front pond. Counting penalty strokes, Paulson’s 10th shot finally cleared the water. He raised his arms in mock triumph, then doffed his cap and bowed toward a cheering gallery. Two putts later, he’d taken a dozen strokes and taken himself out of the tournament by missing the cut.
47. Off-the-wall par
Fulton Allem edged Greg Norman by one stroke to win the 1993 title. A key moment in the final round came at No. 9, when Allem’s ball crossed the water three times on his way to a unique par. Allem’s initial approach cleared a green-front pond but struck a rock wall in front of the green. The ball caromed back across the hazard, landing on dry ground. His next approach cleared the pond a third time, setting up an 8-foot par putt.
48. Another Ben breaks through
Ben Crenshaw, a crowd favorite who holds the Colonial record for tournament appearances (33), closed with a back-nine 31 in Sunday’s final round to claim his first plaid jacket in 1977. Crenshaw, an Austin resident who also won the 1990 Colonial title, edged John Schroeder by one stroke. His triumph included 11 one-putt greens during an opening-round 65 by one of the game’s greatest putters.
“I played kind of sporadic that week, but my short game was really good,” Crenshaw said. “I remember that well.”
49. Key compromise
An ongoing feud with PGA Tour officials about Colonial’s invitational format led to the tournament being stripped of its official status two weeks before the opening round in 1963. Both sides reached a compromise, with Colonial agreeing to expand future fields to remain an official tour stop.
50. Crossroads moments
Because of strong attendance during sunny weekend rounds in 1958, Colonial officials avoided a potential financial dilemma. Early rounds in 1958 were rain-soaked, as they were throughout the 1957 event. Colonial officials said poor weekend attendance in 1958 could have put them so deeply in debt that it would have meant the end of the tournament.
In 1991, Colonial officials — who already had other minority members on their rolls — added their first African-American members to assure compliance with new PGA Tour guidelines mandating evidence of diverse membership at courses used as host sites for tour events.
51. Curl’s conquest
Rod Curl won only one PGA Tour event. But he felled a legend, Jack Nicklaus, by one stroke to win the 1974 Colonial. During the tournament, Curl used a scorer’s pencil as a tee for extra loft on his drives. He closed out the Golden Bear by one stroke with a final-round 68.
52. Price’s birdie barrage
Nick Price bagged five consecutive birdies during a back-nine surge in 1994 to play his way into a sudden-death playoff against Scott Simpson. When his 10-footer for birdie dropped on the first playoff hole, Price had a victory and a spot in the Colonial record book. His comeback from a seven-stroke deficit in the final round marked the largest Sunday comeback in tournament history.
53. Beware the Bogey Man
Johnny Palmer, the 1954 Colonial champ, played like a double-digit handicapper in 1964. Palmer failed to post a score lower than 81 in any round and his opening 87 — roughly a bogey per hole on the par-70 course — remains the highest round in tournament history.
54. Worth the wait
Bruce Crampton, a frequent Colonial contender, secured his lone victory in 1965. It came three years after his heartbreak at “Crampton’s Lake.” It also came two days later than expected. Because of rain delays, Crampton posted his closing 66 on Tuesday, the latest finish in tournament history.
55. Trevino’s take
Lee Trevino, a two-time champion, became the first golfer to reach $100,000 in Colonial earnings with his $40,000 winner’s check in 1978.
56. Million-dollar man
Phil Mickelson, the 2000 champion, became the first golfer to pass the $1 million mark in Colonial earnings in 2001. During that event, Mickelson finished second to Sergio Garcia and pocketed $352,000.
57. Million-dollar event
Colonial offered its first $1 million purse in 1989, with Ian Baker-Finch claiming the winner’s check of $180,000. To put that in perspective, this year’s purse will be $6.7 million with a winner’s check of $1,206,000.
58. Lapping the field
Chandler Harper, the 1955 champion, enjoyed the most lopsided victory margin in tournament history. A wire-to-wire winner by eight strokes, Harper separated himself from the field with a second-round 65 and finished with the only sub-par total (4-under) among the 47 players.
59. TV darlings
One of the pioneers in the era of televised golf, Colonial’s first live broadcast occurred during weekend rounds in 1950. NBC affiliate WBAP (now KXAS) aired the tournament locally. Colonial’s debut as a national telecast came during weekend rounds in 1964 (ABC). The tournament moved to CBS in 1974.
60. International intrigue
Roberto De Vicenzo, a native of Argentina, became Colonial’s first international winner in 1957. In subsequent years, the list has grown to include four Australians (Bruce Crampton, Bruce Devlin, Ian Baker-Finch, Adam Scott), four South Africans (Fulton Allem, Nick Price, David Frost, Rory Sabbatini) and one Spaniard (Sergio Garcia).
61. Deuces wild
Rocco Mediate carded a Colonial rarity during a second-round 62 in 2001. Mediate took birdies on all four of the course’s par-3 holes in the same round, converting putts of 35, 15, 15 and 15 feet.
Afterward, Mediate said: “I don’t remember when I’ve ever done that before, not on 3s like this. These are really nasty.”
62. Driving on the greens
Tony Lema did not contend at the 1958 Colonial. But he uncorked two of the most unique putts in tournament history. After breaking his putter on the 12th hole in his second round, Lema pulled out a driver and buried putts of 27 and 40 feet on the back nine.
63. Feeling his Payne
The late Payne Stewart, a two-time U.S. Open champion, is the only Colonial competitor to lose multiple playoffs in Fort Worth. Stewart fell in sudden-death playoffs to Peter Jacobsen in 1984 and to Dan Pohl in 1986. In both instances, Stewart’s opponent made birdie on the first playoff hole.
64. Watching like a Hawk
The bronze statue of Ben Hogan (aka “the Hawk”) that overlooks the 18th green was completed in 1995. The detail work includes an extra cleat in Hogan’s golf shoe, which Hogan always requested for additional traction.
65. Pohl position
Although multiple Colonials have been impacted by rain, only the 1986 event was shortened to 54 holes because of inclement weather. Eventually, Dan Pohl needed 55 holes to win that one. Pohl edged Payne Stewart with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
66. Seconding that motion
In 1963, Julius Boros became the first golfer other than Ben Hogan to win a second Colonial title. Hogan finished with five. But Colonial’s other multiple winners all have two victories. The list: Boros, Billy Casper, Al Geiberger, Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke, Lee Trevino, Corey Pavin, Nick Price, Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson.
67. Low-cost blunder
Zach Johnson’s second Colonial title included a huge blunder on the 72nd hole in 2012. Johnson, who led by three strokes, forgot to replace a moved ball mark before his final putt. The oversight triggered a two-stoke penalty that reduced his winning margin over Jason Dufner to one stroke. But Johnson was able to laugh at his mistake. Later that summer, organizers of Johnson’s annual charity event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, presented him with an oversized ball marker emblazoned with the name of his foundation on one side and the phrase “Remember Colonial” on the other.
“The ball marker was the size of a hubcap,” Johnson said. “Those were passed out to every contestant. It was pretty memorable.”
68. Amateur hour
Harvie Ward Jr. finished in a tie for third at the 1954 Colonial, the closest brush with victory by an amateur in Fort Worth. In last year’s event, Gunn Yang became the first amateur in 21 years to make the cut at Colonial on his way to finishing in a tie for 65th.
69. Close but no trophy
In 1978, Tom Watson became the first Colonial competitor to post four consecutive sub-par rounds and not win the tournament. Since then, it’s happened on multiple occasions, including three times to Jeff Sluman (1987, 1998, 2003).
70. Leonard Trophy surfaces
Colonial’s 5-foot permanent trophy, named after club founder Marvin Leonard, made its debut at the 1950 Colonial. Sam Snead, the PGA Tour record holder for career victories (82), was the first recipient.