FORT WORTH, Texas Watching Jordan Spieth you do have to remind yourself this guy is just a kid, and how lucky we in greater FW/d are to be able to call him “ours.”
The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial begins this week, and the 2015 Master’s champion is playing both the tournament in Fort Worth, and is scheduled to appear at The Nelson next week in Las Colinas.
For a tournament not named The Master’s, a major or have ties to Arnie or Jack, landing Spieth is an absolute coup these days, and a borderline must to have shot to be noticed.
Not that Spieth is appearing at either event as an act of charity, but ... thank you for showing up and making our two North Texas PGA stops relevant. Golf has only but a select few names, and right now Jordan is as big as anybody not named Tiger.
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PGA events this year routinely are left begging for the sport’s biggest names - Tiger, Phil, Rory, Bubba and Rickie - to play their stops. Since a player with a tour card only has to play 15 events to maintain their status, a guy’s schedule fills up quickly.
With so much cash to be made at PGA events, and international stops that pay well, too, it has left tournaments at Colonial, The Nelson and countless other places scrambling in an effort to land names. Most player’s especially the good ones, simply don’t have to go where they don’t want to play.
These players tend to like to play the spots near their home, and their alma maters. With Spieth from Dallas and a graduate of Dallas Jesuit, it should help both the Colonial and the The Nelson keep him as a regular at both tournaments for as long as he plays. All the tournaments can do is hope he remains near the top of the rankings.
Tournament pros all like to praise Colonial for its course and its history, but that does not mean anything in terms of landing names. Tiger will never come back here, and despite the fact Mickelson has won this tournament he can’t be expected to return, either.
Last year, Colonial landed the then top-ranked player in the world, Adam Scott, who went on to win the event in a playoff. He is back this year to defend his God-awful ugly plaid jacket.
Expect Spieth’s gallery to be huge, and his support system to be the biggest over the four days. He is a name, and names move the needle in this era.
He is only 21, and the PGA name who will figures to make Colonial and The Nelson a priority as long as he plays.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760