Golf

Garcia could join Spieth as Colonial officials look to add stars to field, pro-am

Garcia motivated to match Ballesteros' record for PGA Tour wins by Spaniard

Byron Nelson champion Sergio Garcia won for the ninth time on the PGA Tour in Irving. The total allowed Garcia to match Seve Ballesteros' mark for most tour wins by a Spanish golfer. Video by Jimmy Burch
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Byron Nelson champion Sergio Garcia won for the ninth time on the PGA Tour in Irving. The total allowed Garcia to match Seve Ballesteros' mark for most tour wins by a Spanish golfer. Video by Jimmy Burch

Officials at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational announced some field additions Monday that back defending champion Jordan Spieth with more star power for this year’s annual PGA Tour stop in Fort Worth.

Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedker, two players who rank among the top 25 in the world golf rankings, are among the latest additions for the May 22-28 event at Colonial Country Club. Tournament officials are holding pledges from 55 players to participate in this year’s event. The list includes six golfers already featured on Colonial’s Wall of Champions, including Spieth.

In addition, Colonial tournament director Michael Tothe said tournament officials have been in contact with Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the 2001 Colonial champ, and are “optimistic” that Garcia will play in Fort Worth for the first time since 2012.

Garcia, who recently relocated to Austin to be closer to his fiancée, Angela Akins, will defend his title at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving the week before the Colonial tournament.

“We talked to him. We don’t have an official commitment,” Tothe said. “But with him playing (at the Nelson), we think it could line up pretty good. He’s almost a Texan now.”

They saw how fun it was to have Bill Murray around. I think their intent is to have him back again and they’re working on that … That’s the kind of stuff that you want your title sponsor to pour energy into. If we could snap our fingers, you’d have Tony Romo play. We’ll see.

Michael Tothe, tournament director for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, on the likelihood of more celebrity golfers during pro-am rounds at this year’s PGA Tour stop in Fort Worth

More star power for this year’s event is expected to surface in pro-am rounds. Dean & DeLuca officials brought in actor Bill Murray to participate in last year’s Wednesday pro-am and liked the experience well enough that they envision expanding the celebrity golfer involvement this year.

“That is their plan,” Tothe said, citing the potential for pro-am spots extended to celebrity chefs, reality TV stars and, perhaps, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-CBS-broadcaster Tony Romo. “They saw how fun it was to have Bill Murray around. I think their intent is to have him back again and they’re working on that right now. That’s what I’ve been told … That’s the kind of stuff that you want your title sponsor to pour energy into. If we could snap our fingers, you’d have Tony Romo play. We’ll see.”

Sergio Garcia, one of only 15 professional golfers to win titles at both Colonial and the Byron Nelson in his career, explains his comfort level competing in the Lone Star State after Thursday's opening 63 in Irving. Video by Jimmy Burch

Spieth, a Dallas resident and two-time major champion, remains the Colonial headliner. He won last year’s event by three strokes over runner-up Harris English and finished four shots ahead of Ryan Palmer, a Colleyville resident and Colonial member who tied for third. Spieth, 23, climbed to No. 5 in Monday’s updated world golf rankings after finishing 11th Sunday at the Masters Tournament.

Palmer, 40, is among a group of confirmed Colonial compeitors with Tarrant County connections that includes Chad Campbell, Greg Chalmers and Martin Flores. Martin Piller, a Flower Mound resident and former Texas A&M golfer who tied for sixth in his Colonial debut last year, also will return.

Ticket information is available at the tournament website, DeanandDeLucaInvitational.com, or by calling 817-927-4280.

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