Golf

Can Kevin Kisner join Ben Hogan and break this 65-year Colonial drought?

2017 Colonial winner Kevin Kisner ready for upcoming Colonial

Kevin Kisner, who won the 2017 Colonial, was at the course for the annual Colonial luncheon, photo ops and media interviews.
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Kevin Kisner, who won the 2017 Colonial, was at the course for the annual Colonial luncheon, photo ops and media interviews.

Ben Hogan is the only a repeat winner at Colonial. The golf icon did it twice.

Kevin Kisner sees no reason why he can’t become the second player and snap what’s become a 65-year drought this weekend at the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club.

"[Hogan] obviously was pretty good around this place; I have a pretty decent track record around here, too," said Kisner, who made three consecutive birdies on Nos. 10-12 in the final round a year ago and hung on for a one-shot victory.

"I think it just suits a lot of guys’ games that come to play here. I think a lot of the same guys are up there near the lead every year, and it’s all about who can get the job done coming down the stretch."

Kisner got the job done down the stretch, and prevented Jordan Spieth from winning a second straight plaid jacket. Spieth, the 2016 champion, finished in a three-way tie for second along with Jon Rahm and Sean O’Hair.

PGA Tour player Kevin Kisner returns to the Fort Worth Invitational with a chance to become the first repeat winner in 65 years. The last -- and only -- to accomplish that feat is golf icon Ben Hogan.

Spieth, the No. 3 player in the world, has been closest to accomplish the feat in recent years. Sandwiched between his 2016 victory is finishing a stroke back last year and a stroke back in 2015.

Zach Johnson is another player who has flirted with consecutive victories recently at Colonial. He won in 2010 and then finished fourth, six shots off the lead, in 2011. He won again in 2012 and then finished third, two strokes back, in 2013.

"The first thing that stands out is there's so many good players, there's so much talent," said Johnson, who has made more money ($3.51 million in 12 tournaments) than any other player at Colonial.

"You're talking about 365 days prior, a year from the previous one. This is different. Things change and the talent is so deep. I can't obviously speak on the [older] generations. I didn't participate then and I don't know what the talent was like from top to bottom."

This year it comes down to Kisner, the 27th player in the world. Hogan won consecutive tournaments in 1946-46 and again in 1952-53.

Will Kinser follow suit? The 34-year-old from South Carolina has a solid track record at the course the past three seasons. He’s won, tied for 10th and tied for fifth.

The course fits Kisner’s game, too. He’s not a big bomber like some on the PGA Tour, ranking 182nd in driving distance. But he thrives on a shot-makers course such as Colonial.

"It’s one of my favorite golf courses on tour, so I love coming back here," Kisner said. "It’s tight, so off the tee it’s very advantageous to be in the fairway. Not overly long, which is the new trend on tour. It’s more of a position golf course – get in the fairway and then you don’t have very much club into a lot of greens.

"There are about three or four holes that you really just need to make par and move on, and then you can attack the rest."

That formula worked a year ago. Maybe it’ll do so again.

Welcome back, Rickie

Rickie Fowler is one of the most popular golfers on tour, so it was no surprise fans gravitated toward him on Tuesday.

Fowler, the 29-year-old Oklahoma State product, is in the field for the first time since 2014.

When one fan said it’s great to have him return, Fowler agreed.

"The schedule finally worked out," he said.

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