History matters this week at Hogan’s Alley both on and off the course.
The name of the event has changed, again, but the track remains the same in Fort Worth, Texas. Colonial Country Club will host a PGA TOUR event for the 72nd consecutive year, the second-longest streak behind Augusta National Golf Club.
Stretching to just 7,209 yards (Par-70), “Hogan’s Alley” won’t be a push-over. Players will need to work the golf ball both ways off the tee and will require a steady hand putting A-4 Bentgrass greens that will max out around 12 feet.
Bombing and gouging will have its proponents again this week as the Bermuda has struggled to get going, so the penalty won’t be as severe. The fairways and greens are anything but generous in size, which is contrary to the angle that everything is bigger in Texas!
Scoring will be dictated by the velocity of the ever-present Texas wind. Last year, Justin Rose missed Zach Johnson’s tournament record of 259 by a shot as the fans really never turned on. This year, he’s back and looks to join Ben Hogan (twice) as the only players to defend their title. The winner in the field of 122 will take home $1.314 million of the $7.3 million purse plus 500 FedExCup Points.
For the first time in three weeks, gamers will have abundance of course history to help with their fantasy decisions. Colonial is an acquired taste, and the last player to win in their debut was Sergio Garcia in 2001. Hogan once implied that hitting it straight around Colonial is akin to hitting it crooked. This classic track is a shot-maker’s course that requires skill and patience over four days.
Justin Rose (2018, -20): The Englishman roasted CCC in the 90-degree heat as he led the field in GIR, Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes-Gained: Approach-the-Green, as well as finishing T1 in ball-striking and bogey avoidance. The weather will be similar this year, so this formula is going to translate again. Rose led by one after 36 and four after 54 and defeated Brooks Koepka by three to win.
Notables: Kevin Na opened with 62 and tied the course record with 61 on Sunday (T4). … Emiliano Grillo used bookended 64s to finish third. Jon Rahm played the weekend 64-68 for T5 to back up his T2 from 2017. Not bad for two trips! … There were only 16 rounds over par from the top 31 and 70 of the 78 players making the cut (+2) finished E or better.
Kevin Kisner (2017, -10): The cut (+4) was the highest since 1999 as the gusty winds affected scoring dramatically. The winds finally calmed down on Sunday and Kisner took advantage with 66. He made up a three-shot deficit as 54-hole leader Webb Simpson (5th) couldn’t get it in the house. Kisner’s ball-striking clinic included T1 fairways and second in GIR, plus he was third in Strokes-Gained: Putting.
Notables: Jon Rahm (66) and Jordan Spieth (65) missed a playoff by a shot. … Paul Casey (T10) and Danny Lee (6th) began the final round tied for second and neither broke 70. … Steve Stricker’s 63 on Sunday was the lowest of the week.
Jordan Spieth (2016, -17): The Dallas resident became just the fifth Texan to win and first since Ben Crenshaw in 1990. Plagued by thunderstorms, ball-in-hand was used in closely-mown areas and kept scoring at a premium. Only Spieth and Rose have converted the 54-hole lead in the last 10 events at Colonial. Spieth also led (or co-led) the field in bogey avoidance just like the other two winners highlighted above. They all finished in the top three in Par-3 scoring as well. It’s no secret that Spieth might be the best Bentgrass putter on TOUR. He gained over 10 strokes last week on the greens at Bethpage Black.
Notables: Member Ryan Palmer (T3) began the final round one back but his 68 was three worse than Spieth. … There were only nine rounds above par from the top 24. … First and only win for Spieth in Texas, so far. … Chad Campbell, co-course record holder, posted 63 on Sunday, the lowest round of the week.
Key stat leaders
Golfers around the top 25 in each statistic on the 2018-19 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week. This is the 31st event of the season.
* – Top 10 finish since 2010; noted finishes in parentheses
2 Talor Gooch
7 Jason Kokrak
10 *Corey Conners (T8, 2018)
11 *Emiliano Grillo (T3, 2018)
13 *Jim Furyk (4, 2012)
14 *Justin Rose
20 Nate Lashley (first appearance)
21 Russell Knox
23 *Paul Casey
24 Xander Schauffele
25 *Zach Johnson (2010, 2012 winner)
4 *Matt Every (T4, 2013)
5 Si Woo Kim
6 Bryson DeChambeau
9 Cameron Champ
10 *Rickie Fowler (T5, 2012)
11 *Justin Rose
14 Xander Schauffele
15 *Ryan Palmer
15 *Jon Rahm
18 Talor Gooch
19 Wyndham Clark
21 Dominic Bozzelli
23 *Jordan Spieth
27 *Scott Piercy (T7, 2017)
3 Talor Gooch
6 Nate Lashley
6 *Scott Piercy
6 *Jon Rahm
6 *Rickie Fowler
6 Aaron Baddeley
15 Si Woo Kim
15 Abraham Ancer
15 *Jim Furyk
15 *Ryan Palmer
15 Xander Schauffele
15 *Justin Rose
25 Dominic Bozzelli
25 *Louis Oosthuizen (T5, 2018)
30 *Jason Kokrak
30 Brian Stuard
30 *Chez Reavie (T5, 2011)
5 *Jim Furyk
7 Nate Lashley
8 Aaron Baddeley
10 Talor Gooch
12 *Scott Piercy
15 Xander Schauffele
18 *Jon Rahm
19 Matt Jones
19 Denny McCarthy
21 *Justin Rose
23 Vaughn Taylor
24 Si Woo Kim
25 Sungjae Im
Levels of Confidence
Jordan Spieth: Of his 24 rounds, 22 are 70 or better for a stroke average of 67.63 (57-under par). His streak of T2-WIN-T2 was busted with T32 last year, his worst finish from six weekends in six starts.
Jon Rahm: Almost won in his first try like his countryman Garcia, but settled for T2. Last year’s T5 proves that he’s a quick learner on certain tracks.
Kevin Na: With 10 checks from 12 weekends, Na is 23-under over his last three (T10, T42 and fourth). His scoring average is a tasty 68.52 over 42 rounds.
Kevin Kisner: His victory in 2017 ended a three-year run of T5-T10-WIN even though this is not his preferred Bermuda.
Rory Sabbatini: This will be his 19th edition with 12 cuts already made. The 2007 champ picked up his last top 10 (T10) in 2015 but did post a pair of 66s last year to finish T20.
Brandt Snedeker: He’s never missed in eight starts but he’s only pocketed one top 15, T2 in 2015.
Ben Crane: Wait, what? Yes, as six of his nine checks have gone for top 25 money and five, including T8 last year, have landed in the top 10.
Ryan Palmer: Much has been made about his membership here and it’s translated into 11 weekends from 15 starts. He has three top-five finishes and a 62 to his name.
Danny Lee: Sure he’s an Irving resident, but that’s close enough, as he’s never had to go home early in six starts. He’s 22-under over the last four years and has collected for T10, T22, sixth and T14.
Course Form Chart
|Justin Rose||5/5||1||2||Win (2018)||1st event since 2010!|
|Emiliano Grillo||3/3||1||2||3 (2018)||T24 2017|
|Kevin Na||10/12||4||7||4 (2018)||T10 2015|
|Jon Rahm||2/2||2||2||T5 (2018)||T2 2017|
|Louis Oosthuizen||4/5||1||2||T5 (2018)||64 Rd 3|
|Kevin Tway||2/3||1||2||T5 (2018)||T18 2017|
|Ben Crane||9/12||5||6||T8 (2018)||3 top 5s|
|Joaquin Niemann||1/1||1||1||T8 (2018)|
|Corey Conners||1/1||1||1||T8 (2018)|
|Keivn Kisner||4/5||3||3||Win (2017)||T10 2016, T5 2015|
|Jordan Spieth||6/6||4||5||T2 (2017)||2016 win, 2015 T2|
|Danny Lee||6/6||2||4||6 (2017)||T14 2018, T10 2015|
|Brian Harman||5/6||2||4||T7 (2017)||Never worse than T30|
|Scott Piercy||4/7||1||1||T7 (2017)|
|Paul Casey||4/5||2||3||T10 (2017)||Last appearance|
|Ryan Palmer||11/15||3||5||T3 (2016)||T5 2014, 2012|
|Anirban Lahiri||2/3||1||1||T6 (2016)|
|Jason Dufner||6/10||3||3||T6 (2016)||2nd 2012, 2014|
|Brandt Snedeker||8/8||1||3||T2 (2015)|
|Ian Poulter||4/5||2||3||T5 (2015)||8 2009|
|Pat Perez||9/13||4||4||T5 (2015)||all or nada|
|Rory Sabbatini||12/18||4||6||T10 (2015)||2007 champ|
|Charley Hoffman||10/10||1||4||T10 (2015)||opened 63 last year|
|Colt Knost||2/6||1||1||T10 (2015)||4 MC & T67|
|David Toms||14/19||6||9||T5 (2014)||2011 champ|
|Jimmy Walker||5/5||1||2||T10 (2014)||T20 2018|
|Michael Thompson||5/6||1||1||T10 (2014)||T32 2018|
|Boo Weekley||6/9||1||2||Win (2013)||9th 2010|
|Zach Johnson||12/13||5||8||3 (2013)||2010, 2012 champ; TRH|
|Scott Stallings||2/7||1||1||T4 (2013)||MC 5 others and T63|
|Matt Every||2/5||1||1||T4 (2013)||3 MC and T64|
|Chris Stroud||5/8||1||4||T7 (2013)||3 other top 15|
|Jim Furyk||16/21||7||9||4 (2012)|
|Rickie Fowler||5/6||1||3||T5 (2012)||T14 2018|
|Jonas Blixt||4/5||1||3||T10 (2012)|
|Chez Reavie||5/8||1||2||T5 (2011)||T11 2013|
|Bill Haas||8/9||1||5||T8 (2011)||T12 2018, T14 2017|
|Rod Pampling||8/14||4||5||T10 (2011)||3 other top 10’s last decade|
|Martin Laird||5/8||2||2||T10 (2011)||T10 2010; MC last 3|
|Kevin Streelman||5/9||1||2||T10 (2011)||T18 2017|