Jason Bohn rides birdie streak into second place at Colonial

Jason Bohn, hitting a chip shot on No. 13 en route to a par, had eight birdies Sunday, including six in a row on the front nine.
Jason Bohn, hitting a chip shot on No. 13 en route to a par, had eight birdies Sunday, including six in a row on the front nine. Star-Telegram

Jason Bohn’s credentials as a would-be champion in Fort Worth were as good as anybody remaining in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Consider: A wildcatter type, who as a college student, and despite an alcohol-induced hangover, struck golfing crude by scoring big with a long-shot chance. And then in chasing his PGA dreams, he cast aside conventional wisdom for risk while following the intuition of his gut.

That’s Bohn, who leapfrogged 22 positions Sunday in finishing with Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker in second at 11-under par 269 after firing a tournament-low 7-under 63 on Sunday.

Bohn started the day as an also-ran at 4 under, but a 6-under 29 on the front —matching the second-lowest total on the front nine in 69 years of tournament play at Colonial — made him an immediate contender.

Perhaps only a weekend-warrior mistake in a fairway sand trap on No. 15, leading to bogey, kept the 42-year-old from his third career victory.

Bohn’s attempt out of the sand on his second shot hit the lip of the bunker and rolled back toward his feet. The extra shot led to his only bogey of the day.

He rebounded with a birdie on 16, and a 27-foot birdie attempt on 18 lipped out.

“Honestly, I choked,” Bohn said of his shot out of the trap. “It was not a difficult golf shot. I was trying to play a fairly aggressive line and I hit it a little thin.

“I was like, ‘Ooh, you can’t do that,’ you know, because that’s like hitting it 2 feet and that’s really about all it went.”

Bohn’s six consecutive birdies were a career best on the PGA Tour. The Pennsylvania native once had nine consecutive birdies during a round of 59 at a tournament on the Canadian Tour.

Canada was merely one of Bohn’s many stops on an excellent adventure to the PGA Tour that started one night in 1992 with a Halloween party when he was a 19-year-old college student at Alabama, where he was a walk-on redshirt freshman.

Bohn had borrowed $10 to get 10 shots in a closest-to-the pin tournament that started the week prior. One of the balls qualified for the semifinals, which were set for the day after the Halloween party.

All he wanted to do was sleep that morning, said Bohn, who admitted that he had had too much to drink the night before. But a friend pestered him to get out of bed.

Bohn advanced to the final and struck it bigger than big, winning $1 million with a hole-in-one with a 9-iron from 135 yards. Accepting anything more than $500 would have cost him his college eligibility.

But Bohn took the money, banking that it would lead him to the tour.

He put the money in an annuity and drew $50,000 a year for 20 years and struck out on his own, working at a country club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he could practice and supplement his income while playing on golf’s mini-tours while also finishing his degree.

He had about reached his end when in 2004 he strung together a string of top 25 finishes, plus a runner-up and a victory. A ninth-place finish in season earnings earned him a spot on the big tour.

Even with only two wins, he has won more than $13 million, allowing him to donate the last $50,000 received in 2012 to charity.

“I actually played really well all week, believe it or not, for me,” said Bohn. “I was just making putts [on Sunday]. I rolled my ball really well. I felt very comfortable.”

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