FORT WORTH, Texas – Ryan Palmer wasn’t able to win a tournament that he covets like few others, but he still left the Dean & DeLuca Invitational with head held high after an inspired performance in front of his home crowd.
Palmer is a member at Colonial Country Club, and his caddie James Edmonson is a former club champion. He relished the opportunity to play in Sunday’s final group alongside Jordan Spieth, but after taking a brief lead to begin the round he was unable to keep pace. Palmer ended the week in a tie for third, four shots behind Spieth.
After putting the finishing touches on a 2-under 68, he knew exactly where his round went awry.
“I just didn’t have it, putting-wise,” Palmer said. “The ball-striking was there, I drove it great, just didn’t have the putts. It’s something to build on.”
Despite struggling on the greens, Palmer was still able to register his best-ever finish at Colonial, and this marks the third time in the last five years that he has finished T-5 or better in his hometown event.
Palmer birdied the final hole to draw even with Webb Simpson, and it was a putt that he knew had plenty of world ranking implications. Palmer entered the week at No. 75 in the world, but he is now projected to move to No. 63. The top 60 in the world on June 13 will earn automatic exemptions into the U.S. Open.
While he won’t see his name added to the Wall of Champions that lines the first tee box, Palmer gave all the credit to Spieth after watching the 22-year old birdie each of the final three holes to pull away for the win.
“I’ve seen it on TV, I’ve watched it on replays, but I’ve never been inside that, on the same green, so it was pretty spectacular to watch,” he said. “What a winner to have on that wall at Colonial as a member. I’m proud of that, and I’m proud of him as well. So maybe one day I’ll have another chance.”