Earning his second top-10 finish of the season, former SMU and Pilot Point High School player Colt Knost said he’s learning to pace himself.
Knost shot a 4-under 66 Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, finishing tied for 10th and three shots back at 271. Before last week’s Wells Fargo tournament, where he tied for 66th, Knost had taken off four of the previous five PGA Tour events.
“I got off to such a great start this year, and then I think I burned myself out a little bit. Played too much,” Knost said. “You can’t win if you’re not there, but I’m learning I need to pick my spots. And when I do my game’s pretty good.”
Knost’s game was really good Sunday. He was 5 under at the turn, and just two strokes off the lead at the time. He bogeyed No. 10, then closed with eight pars.
“I was playing so good I just knew if I kept the pedal down, if I shot 3 under on the back I might have a chance,” Knost said. “And the way it looks now it probably would have been. But I’ll learn from it and it was a great week.”
Shortly after Shawn Stefani’s 38-foot birdie attempt on No. 18 just missed, playing partners Ben Martin and Graham DeLaet drained 32- and 24-foot birdies, respectively, along the same line as Stefani’s.
The putt was big for Martin, jumping him into a tie for 10th place.
“It always helps when you get an assist, and Shawn really showed us the line there,” said Martin, who finished in an eight-way tie for 10th. “For me, if feels like I’ve got momentum going in the right direction and helps build some confidence.”
For DeLaet it was too little, too late. He started the day at 5 under, but ballooned to a 74 Sunday and tie for 53rd.
“I hit it just enough to curl it in there,” DeLaet said. “Considering I didn’t make anything all day, it was a nice way to finish a tough day.”
Jerry Kelly, at 48, easily the oldest top-10 finisher this year, brought the crowd at No. 18 to its feet Sunday with an approach shot that stopped 13 inches from the pin.
Playing partner Jordan Spieth rolled in a 19-foot birdie, then Kelly wasted no time tapping in the gimme putt for a closing 3-under 67 and a tie for 10th.
“Jordan and I have a good time out there together,” Kelly said. “He’s a little more mature than I am. I’m not kidding, either. We really have a good time and I’m on the youthful level, so playing with him and Adam [Scott] today was a lot of fun.”
Former Mansfield High player Martin Flores closed with an even-par 70, good for a tie for 53rd but his worst Colonial finish since missing the cut in 2010.
Still, Flores cashed a check for a third straight week on the tour.
“I was just a little off off the tee, and then I put myself in some tough spots you know on the front nine,” Flores said. “Then I started to drive it a little better and miss it in the right spots. I gave myself a lot of opportunities on the back nine, but I just didn’t roll the putts. It was one of those days.”
Save the date
The Colonial tournament, which will have a new name next season once a new title sponsor is in place, has been given the week of May 23-29 on the 2016 PGA Tour calendar.
Michael Tothe, Colonial tournament director, confirmed the dates Sunday and said Fort Worth’s annual tour stop will revert to its traditional spot in the Dallas-Fort Worth events order.
Colonial will be played the week after the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving, which is scheduled for May 16-22, 2016. This year’s Nelson begins Thursdayat the Four Seasons Resort in Irving.
Tothe said talks with potential replacements for Crowne Plaza as the Colonial title sponsor are ongoing with multiple suitors, with a possible announcement by mid-summer.
Staff writer Jimmy Burch contributed to this report.
Eric Zarate, 817-390-7237