Amanda Balionis previews the first round of the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, including featured groups on Golf Channel, an update from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and Rob Bolton's Power Rankings.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Spencer Levin will play in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on June 3.
It will be the first time Levin has played competitively this year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligmanet in his left thumb last fall.
Levin, who spent Tuesday racing around Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 2013 Indianapolis 500 qualifier and IZOD teammate A.J. Allmendinger, said he also plans to play some Web.com Tour events beginning in late August.
The U.S. Open will take place June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club.
Last season, Levin had a half-dozen top 25s in 26 starts and finished 45th in the FedExCup standings. He made just under $1.3 million.
Prior to the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Rickie Fowler talks about matching fan donations to benefit the tornado victims, and his strategy for the tournament.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- After his PGA TOUR win Sunday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Sang-Moon couldn't sleep that night. Then he rested for a couple of days, responded to 100 phone calls and 200 text messages, had a celebratory dinner with other Korean-born players on TOUR, contemplated his move from Los Angeles to Dallas, and now wants to regain his competitive focus for another important week.
He's hoping to play well enough at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial to qualify for next month's U.S. Open at Merion.
Bae needs to be ranked in the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking next Monday. He enters Thursday's first round at Colonial ranked 64th, having moved up from 106th thanks to last week's win at TPC Four Seasons.
"I have to play well this week," Bae said Wednesday.
The Korean is registered for a U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on June 3.
"But I don't want to play," he said. "I have to play hard (this week) to get in."
Bae played in his first Crowne Plaza last year. He played the first three rounds but shot 77 in the third round and didn't make the second cut prior to the final round. He said he didn't have much energy that week.
He likes the course, though, and he obviously has momentum and confidence.
"I will try my best," he said.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Brad Fritsch's back injury has opened up a spot for Fort Worth-area resident Brandt Jobe in this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Fritsch withdrew on Wednesday, with Jobe moving up from the first alternate position.
This will be the 11th appearance and third straight for Jobe at Colonial. His best finish is a fourth in 2003. He has made the cut in nine of his 10 previous starts.
Gina LaBarre, second from right, spoke at Tuesday's Astellas Presents Executive Women's Day.
By John Bush, PGA TOUR
FORT WORTH, Texas -- More than 200 female business leaders gathered this week at the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial for the Astellas Presents Executive Women's Day. The first-year event was a sellout at the Colonial Country Club.
The event included a breakfast and luncheon, with CBS Sports reporter Lesley Visser serving as the keynote speaker. Following lunch, the program shifted to the “Wine Down-Network Up” portion of the day where the local, regional and national businesswomen enjoyed a unique networking opportunity.
"It was a pleasure to be a part of the Executive Women's Day panel at this year's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial,” said Gina LaBarre, Vice President, Americas Brand Management, Upscale Brands, IHG. “It was a fun and engaging forum to discuss topics that are important to so many women in business, and I'm very proud that I could share what I've learned as I've progressed in my career."
The PGA TOUR and Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (“Astellas”) recently entered a three-year agreement in which Tokyo-based Astellas will champion the TOUR’s commitment to its new Women’s Initiative, designed to provide women with information that promotes their overall well-being, including informing women about important health and wellness issues, encouraging discussion on those topics and creating opportunities to talk and learn about them.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
The summer of Guan Tianlang continues.
The 14-year-old Chinese amateur has accepted a sponsor exemption into the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the tournament announced on Wednesday.
"Guan's invitation was a no-brainer," said tournament director Phil Cannon. “He certainly has made a big splash in the sports world. And we are excited our fans will get to witness history. It's remarkable that he did not have a three-putt green in 72 holes at Augusta."
Guan, who was the youngest player to participate in the Masters before finishing as the low amateur at Augusta National, is also in the field for next week's Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
The FedEx St. Jude Classic will be his fourth event on a sponsor exemption. As a non-member of the PGA TOUR, he is allowed to accept up to seven sponsor exemptions.
Guan earned his spot in the Masters by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
In his two starts since the Masters, Guan finished 71st in New Orleans and missed the cut last week in Dallas.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A year ago, on the 72nd hole, Zach Johnson suffered a penalty for improperly marking his ball before his final putt. It cost him two strokes. It did not cost him the tournament.
It did cost him good-natured ribbing for the next 365 days.
"You can say that," he said.
Johnson won the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial thanks to having a three-shot lead over Jason Dufner going to the final hole on Sunday. On the putting surface, Johnson's ball was in the line of Dufner's putt, so Johnson moved his ball marker ... then forgot to move it back when it came time to putt out.
Johnson's margin of victory went from three shots to one. He took full responsibility for the miscue, making fun of himself and smiling whenever anybody brought up the incident.
"I probably wouldn't be laughing as much if it influenced the outcome," he said. "Once again, I made a mistake. Live and learn."
During a charity event back in Johnson's hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ben Crane and Stewart Cink addressed the crowd about "Golf 101." Of course, they brought up how to properly mark the ball, then proceeded to bring out a marker the size of a hubcap, with the slogan, "Remember Colonial."
"I had some peers of mine that poked fun at me at pretty good length," Johnson said. "It was pretty good."
Johnson would love to go to the 72nd hole this week with a similar advantage. He'll be sure to properly mark his ball this time. And then perhaps the ribbing will finally go away.