For 70 years, professional golf at Colonial has been a rite of spring in Fort Worth. As the Dean & DeLuca Invitational (new sponsor) gets ready to tee it up for the 2016 edition, we’re reminded of all the great moments Colonial has created over the years. In fact, narrowing it down to five top moments was tougher than playing the Horrible Horseshoe. But we’ve done just that, and now we want you to vote for your all-time favorite Colonial moment. Or if you have one that’s not on our list, please leave it in the comments.
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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. Vote
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. Vote
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. Vote
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. Vote
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. Vote
Photos: Star-Telegram archives; Courtesy of Colonial Country Club (Hogan)