The Dean and DeLuca Invitational is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour with a list of champions including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Price, Tom Watson, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Lanny Wadkins and Mr. Ben Hogan.
This year’s deep field includes past champions in Garcia, Spieth, Mickelso, Johnson and Steve Sticker, newcomers to Colonial including Jon Rahm, 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson champion Billy Horschel and big names including Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar.
Players to Watch at Colonial
Jordan Spieth – The defending Colonial champion comes to Fort Worth in a rut as he has missed three of his last four cuts, but Hogan’s Alley may be just what he needs to turn things around as his game fits this short, tight, classic layout. The two-time major champion has finished in the top 14 in all four of his times to play the Dean and DeLuca Invitational.
Sergio Garcia – The reigning Masters champion captured his first PGA Tour victory at the 2001 Colonial and is making his first trip to Fort Worth since 2012. He was in contention last week at the Nelson until faltering o Sunday with a final round 74 to drop into a tie for 20th.
Zach Johnson – The two-time Colonial champion is playing in his 12th Dean and DeLuca Invitational and is the all-time money leader at the event. Johnson has never missed a cut at Colonial and openly talks about how much he likes the course.
“I love coming back to the places where I have fond memories,” Johnson said at Wednesday’s Colonial Pro-Am. “I love this facility. I love this membership. There are only so many tournaments where the membership takes ownership in the tournament. This is one of them.”
Phil Mickelson – Mickelson is also a two-time Colonial champion, but he does not speak of the course and club with the same affection as Johnson. This is his first time to play the Dean and DeLuca Invitational since 2010, when he missed the cut and was critical of the course’s renovation.
So why now of years for Mickelson’s return to Colonial?
“Nothing real specific,” Mickelson said following his morning Pro-Am round. “Just, you know, I’m excited to be back here and playing. No real specific reason.”