Who is Fit to Wear the Crowne at Colonial

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2007, 4:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Invitational at ColonialFT. WORTH, Texas -- There may be a new name this week, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, but everyone knows this week's event as the Colonial.
 
Once again the event will have an invitational-sized field, but just one of the top 13 players in the world will be in the field this week, No. 3 Jim Furyk.
 
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk is the highest ranked player in the field, but is he among the favorites? (WireImage)
Furyk has been a regular at Colonial, where he will make his 12th straight appearance. In his first 11 trips, he has two top-5 finishes and four top-10s.
 
Five more players ranked between 14 and 20 in the world -- Trevor Immelman, Rory Sabbatini, Stewart Cink, Steve Sticker and Nick O'Hern -- will join Furyk and defending champion Tim Herron at Colonial Country Club.
 
Richard S. Johnson birdied the final two holes last year to force a playoff with Herron. In the playoff, Herron birdied the second extra hole for his fourth tour win. The victory snapped a 204-event winless streak for the player affectionately known as 'Lumpy.'
 
Colonial is nicknamed Hogan's Alley for the legendary Ben Hogan's five wins between 1946 and 1959. Hogan won back-to-back titles twice during that time, including the first two playings of the event in 1946 and '47.
 
In that '46 season, Hogan also captured the title at the Byron Nelson Championship, making him the only player to win both titles in the same year.
 
In the past the two events were played back-to-back, but because of the new PGA TOUR schedule Scott Verplank won the Nelson four weeks ago. He could join Hogan as the only players to win both titles in the same year.
 
GOLF CHANNEL will broadcast action on the first two days before CBS takes over for the weekend. Next week, the PGA TOUR heads to Jack Nicklaus' place for the Memorial Tournament, where Carl Pettersson won last year.
 
But here are the favorites for this week:
 
Jim Furyk
Furyk has never won at Colonial but, predictably, he has had some top-10 success. He has four career top-10s in 11 years, including a runner-up finish in 1998. Furyk got off to a great start with three top-10s in his first four starts this season, but hasn't had one since the Nissan Open in February.
 
Peter Lonard
Lonard has had some excellent results the last couples of years at Colonial. He tied for third in 2005 and then tied for fourth a year ago. Hes shot par or better in each of his last 10 rounds on the par-70 venue. Lonard missed the cut last week in Atlanta, but did tie for sixth two weeks ago at THE PLAYERS Championship.
 
Kenny Perry
Perry has had a rough go of it ever since undergoing knee surgery in 2006. He hasnt recorded a top-10 since August of 05, the same year he notched his last victory on TOUR. That win came at this very event. Perry is a two-time winner at Colonial (2003) and also has a runner-up finish (2002) over the last five years. He hasnt finished better than 58th since the PODS Championship in March so a return to Ft. Worth will be a welcome trip.
 
Bo Van Pelt
Van Pelt has only played the Crowne Plaza on three occasions, but hes finished no worse than tied 17th. His best result came in his 2004 debut, when he tied for fifth. Van Pelt is still in search of his first TOUR title.
 
Stephen Ames
The 2006 PLAYERS Champion has a pair top-5s at Colonial over the last three years. He also has a few very low rounds. Ames closed in 64 in 2004 and had bookend rounds of 65-63 in 06.
 
Here are four other players to keep an eye on at Colonial:
 
Bernhard Langer
50-year-old Fred Funk has already won on the PGA TOUR this year. Why not Langer, a soon-to-be member of the senior set? Langer is a control player who can work his ball well, which is perfect for the Colonial layout. Amazingly, he has only played here three times. But in those three appearances, he has a tie for third (1986) and a tie for sixth (2005) 19 years apart.
 
Jeff Sluman
Like Langer, Sluman will also turn 50 this year. And as is the case for Langer, age wont keep him from being a factor this week. Sluman has played this tournament every year since 1987 and has six times finished inside the top 10. He has four top-3s over the last 11 years.
 
Scott Verplank
Verplank will try and accomplish the Texas Two-Step. The Dallas native already won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship a few weeks ago. He will now try and win just a few miles down the road. If he does so, however, he might even surprise himself. Verplank has played here 17 times, with his best finish a tie for 12th.
 
Rory Sabbatini
Well stick with him one more week. The Mouth from the South (Africa) tied for fifth in 2003 and tied for sixth in 2005. Its another odd year, so maybe its time for another good result.
 
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    Information from The Sports Network was used in this story.
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    Watch: Strong start, rough finish for Koepka

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

    U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

    Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.


    And here is the capper at the 14th

    Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.


    After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.


    A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead. That, however, sparked a wild ride to the finish line as he also bogeyed Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and birdied the sixth. It totaled to a second-nine, 2-over 37 and an overall score of 2-under 68.

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    Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

    Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

    ''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

    ''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

    Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

    Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

    He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

    Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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    Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

    SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

    The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

    The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

    Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.


    Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship


    Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

    McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

    David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

    Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


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    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”