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Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Tournament Preview

Membership has its privileges.

Thirtysix-year-old American Ryan Palmer, a native Texan and club member at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, used his familiarity of the course to fire an 8-under 62 to take a one-stroke lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Palmer hit his birdies in bunches, notching three between Nos. 6 and 8, and four straight between 14 and 17.

Palmer was born in Amarillo, Texas, about five hours northwest of Dallas, and went to school at Texas A&M University, about 2-1/2 hours south of the club.

He has a one-stroke lead over American John Rollins, who would have been tied for the lead if he hadn't hit a bogey on No. 12 to slightly offset his eight birdies.

Two Americans - Morgan Hoffmann and John Peterson -- and a pair of Canadians -- David Hearn and Graham Delaet -- are tie for third at 6-under.

Six other players, including Matt Kuchar, who has four Top 10 finishes this year, including taking eighth at the Masters last month.

Korean Sang-Moon Bae, fresh off his first PGA career win last week at the Byron Nelson Championship, fired a 1-under and is tied for 50th. Bae was 3-under through eight before shooting a double bogey on No. 9 and adding two more bogeys on 12 and 15.


05/24/13, Friday

There's an old adage in Texas that if you don't like the weather at the moment, just wait 10 minutes and it'll change.

Matt Kuchar was liking the weather just fine as he reached 10-under through the first 15 holes of the second round on Friday, but a massive storm system drove him and every other player off the course as play was suspended.

Sitting at 5-under after the first day of play, Kuchar birdied four of the first seven holes and was primed for another on No. 16 before play was suspended.

Kuchar leads the tournament by one stroke over Canada's Graham DeLaet, who shot a 3-under 67 on Friday to reach 9-under midway through the tournament.

DeLaet's round was as wild as the Texas weather on Friday. He started the round with two birdies, then hit three straight bogeys before notching two more birdies to end the front nine.

After bogeying No. 11, he finished the round with birdies on 12, 14 and 18.

Behind DeLaet, a trio of Americans - Josh Teater, Jordan Spieth and Steve Flesch - are tied for third at 8-under, along with Ryan Palmer, at 8-under through 12 holes on Friday.

Teater looked completely out of it through the front nine as he hit three bogeys to sit 2-over. He caught fire late, notching birdies on 12, 14, 15, 17 and 18.

Palmer double bogeyed No. 5 and bogeyed No. 6, but added three birdies to his scorebard before the delay.
 

05/25/13, Saturday

It was a long Saturday for local favorite Matt Kuchar at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. He was up at 4:45 a.m. to finish the last three holes of his second round, then notched a 1-under 69 in his third round to hold onto a one-stroke lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

Kuchar, the Amarillo native and Texas A&M graduate, is at 11-under, one stroke ahead of a four-way tie between Americans Matt Every, Boo Weekley and Chris Stroud and Canadian Graham Delaet.

Every and Weekley were tied for ninth to start the day, but each fired a 4-under 66 on Saturday. Every started hot, firing three birdies on his first six holes, while Weekley overcame bogeys on 14 and 16 by notching six birdies on the day.

Stroud shot a 3-under 67, while Delaet, one of only two non-Americans in the Top 10 currently, hit a 1-under 69. Delaet was sitting pretty at 3-under through the first 11 holes, but hit back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14, and suffered another on 17 before righting his ship with a birdie on 18.

The best round of the day came from two players, American Martin Flores and South Africa's Tim Clark. Each man shot a 5-under 65 to climb the charts from 29th to tied for sixth at 9-under.

Like Kuchar, the 31-year-old Flores is a local favorite, born in Fort Worth ... and more than a bit of a long shot, entering the field ranked just 136th on the PGA's money list in 2013.

Clark hit five birdies on his first 12 holes before a bogey on 14 marred an otherwise flawless day.

It wasn't a fun day for everyone, however. Jordan Spieth and Josh Teater, who each entered the day tied for third, both shot 1-over 71s to tumble into a tie for 14th.

05/26/13, Sunday


After all the talk of hometown heroes, it was a man named Boo who scared up the title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Sunday.

Thirty-five-year old Florida native Boo Weekley fired a 4-under 66 to complete a 14-under 266, taking the tournament title by a single stroke over Matt Kuchar, who had led the field after Days Two and Three.

Weekley came from behind and overcame bogeys on No. 5 and 7, counteracting that hiccup with birdies on 8, 9, 10 and 13.

Kuchar, who started the tournament with back-to-back 65s, shot a 2-under 68 to finish 13-under for the weekend. The Amarillo, Texas, native was solid, not spectacular, recording just three birdies on the day.

In fact, the most exciting rounds of the day were fired by men who were nowhere near the top of the leaderboard.

Fort Worth native Franklin Corpening, a 2008 graduate of nearby Texas Christian University and so unknown he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, shot an 8-under 62, the low round of the tournament, by notching nine birdies, five in the first seven holes.

Corpening went from even par entering Sunday to 8-under for the tournament, tying him for 14th and earning him a cool $112,000.

Twenty-three-year-old American John Huh,a ho-hum 2-under through the first three rounds of the tournament, shot a 5-under 65 to jump to 9-under and a tie for 11th. Hugh parred the first five holes, then birdied six of the final 12.

Canada's Graham Delaet, who entered the day 10-under, shot a +4 74 to fall to 22nd.

Sang-Moon Bae, the Korean who won the Byron Nelson Championship a week ago, ended up finishing dead last among players who made the stroke, finishing 6-over with a miserable 77 on Sunday that culminated in a double-bogey 6 on No. 18.

Tournament Recap

Boo Weekley won't turn 40 for almost two months, but instead of the sports car or the sail boat, he opted for a different mid-life investment: Specifically, a check in his name for $1,152,000.

That was the big payout Sunday for Weekley, who rallied from a stroke back to overtake Matt Kuchar for the title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

Not a bad payday for a man who used to work cleaning ammonia tanks in Pensacola, Florida, after failing out of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The victory continued a feast or famine year for Weekley that has seen him finish int he top eight of four tournaments, finish outside the top 50 of four others and miss two cuts, including two weeks ago at the Byron Nelson Championships.

This is the first time Weekley has ever earned a paycheck of more than $1 million. He also picked up 500 Fedex points.

It was anyone's tournament down the stretch as nine players finished with four strokes of the lead.

Kuchar birdied 12 and 18 on Sunday, but it wasn't enough to force a playoff, while a lot of the wind went out of Zach Johnson's (12-under) sails when he bogeyed No. 15. Even birdies on 16 and 17 couldn't undue the damage. American players took the top eight spots on the leaderboard.

The talk of the tournament Sunday centered around TCU graduate Franklin Corpening, who tied the course's low for the year with his 8-under 62. He hit a 16-foot par putt to end the round
 



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