FORT WORTH, Texas -- Franklin Corpening's 8-under 62 in Sunday's final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial ties for the third lowest final round ever shot in tournament history.
LOWEST FINAL ROUNDS AT COLONIAL
|63||Mike Hulbert||1990, 1993|
Well, that was a smashing PGA TOUR debut.
Franklin Corpening, a Texas Christian University grad in the field on a sponsor's invite, shot a 62 on Sunday to move up the leaderboard. He teed off in the seventh group of the day with Justin Hicks.
Corpening, who was born and raised just a few miles from Colonial Country Club, made the cut in his first career TOUR start.
"The feeling is unbelievable to have so many friends and family members out here and members," Corpening said. "To have nothing going the first three rounds and then really come out here and make some putts, hit it really well. It's just a blessing, the whole situation."
Corpening was tied for 10th when he finished, but he probably won't remain there as the leaders are set to tee off. Still, it's been a big two weeks for the 28-year-old Web.com Tour rookie, who is 35th on the Web.com Tour money list.
Corpening shot a 62 last week in the opening round of the BMW Charity Pro-Am and eventually tied for third for his best-ever Web.com Tour finish.
Corpening's matches the low round of the week at Colonial. Ryan Palmer shot 62 on Thursday.
Prior to the final round of the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, Tom Werme and Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio talk about how experience factors in to managing the conditions on the golf course.
Steve Flesch is bogey-free on the Horrible Horseshoe this week. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Steve Flesch has to know the odds. There's a couple dozen players within reasonable striking distance Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and he's two shots behind Matt Kuchar with several players in between. He's also 46, having not played a full four rounds on the PGA TOUR in nearly two years.
Then again, what if?
Flesch turned 46 on Thursday, and he's celebrated by shooting 68-64-69 to give him a shot at a second Colonial title. He won the first in 2004, giving him a spot in the field virtually as long as he wants it. Even though he's built a nice side career as an analyst on Golf Channel, Flesch would love to pull a shocker Sunday in Fort Worth.
That would do a number of things for him, most notably, provide (nearly) a clear path to the Champions Tour, which he will join in 2017.
There's only been two winners over the age of 40 on the PGA TOUR this year (Brian Gay, 41, and Phil Mickelson, 42). Other that those two, the oldest winner has been (gasp) 37-year-old Tiger Woods.
It's been nearly three years since a player 46 years or older has won on TOUR: Rocco Mediate was 47 when he won the Frys.com Open. Mediate used a two-year exemption to blaze his path to the Champions Tour, where he's already become one of the best players on the over-50 circuit.
Flesch hasn't been fully exempt since 2011, and he endured a 2012 season in which he didn't even break 70 in 25 tries.
"I didn't make a cut, and I played hurt," Flesch said earlier this week. "And after a year like last year, and missing the cut again last week, you just kind of never know.
"I know I have it in me. But until you actually do it and prove it to yourself, it's a tough hurdle. It's more mental than it is physical. You just have to trust what you're doing and keep working at it."
Flesch had to rally to break 70 Saturday. He birdied the last two holes to earn a tee time only 40 minutes ahead of the leaders on Sunday, which means this 46-year-old was able to sleep late in preparation for his biggest round in years.
In the big picture, a victory may not be needed. Flesch has to earn nearly $650,000 in only six events to get his card back -- he took a Major Medical Exemption for 2013 -- and a solo second-place finish would take care of that.
Tim Clark leads the field in strokes gained-putting at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Cololnial.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Kuchar showed his usual patience on the golf course and it paid off with a third-round score of 69 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Saturday.
Kuchar made back-to-back bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes but never panicked. On the par-3 13th hole, his tee shot sailed long into a back bunker. From a downhill, side-hill lie, Kuchar hit it 3 feet, right below the cup and made par. It was the shot of the day. Kuchar has so much confidence; he can afford to play with patience. When he hits a bad shot, he has the confidence he can reclaim that lost stroke. That takes both patience and ability, and Kuchar has both in abundance.
If someone needs to make a 21-foot putt on the final hole, I’m betting on John Rollins. He made a 21-footer on the 18th hole on Thursday and did it again on Saturday. Rollins also made a 29-footer on the 17th hole and had 99 feet worth of putts in the third round.
Forecast: PGA TOUR officials were not optimistic on Saturday morning. A line of storms was moving up from Austin and Fort Worth was in a direct path. The rain and lightning were due to arrive at noon with several smaller storms to follow. A couple brief showers were all that developed. The forecast for Sunday calls for high humidity, sunny skies and wind. Nothing separates a tightly bunched leaderboard like a windy day.
Big hitter: Just looking at Graham DeLaet, you would never guess he is a long hitter. The Canadian measures 5-foot-11 and is a slim 165 pounds. It is all muscle. DeLaet cranked a 347-yard drive on the 11th hole and then reached the par 5 in two with a second from 266 yards leading to birdie. Those numbers are not flukes. DeLaet leads the tournament in driving distance at 311 yards and is ranked eighth on TOUR this year with a 301-yard average.
Texans: The leaderboard is full of Texans. From Chris Stroud to Martin Flores to Rollins, there are several local players with a chance to win. Ryan Palmer and Jordan Spieth got the early attention but Flores was born in Fort Worth and still lives in the area. You could easily tell where he was located on the golf course from the size of the gallery and the roar of his fans. Flores’ fans have had plenty to cheer. He has missed 19 greens and saved par 16 times.
Inconsistent: Spieth is so scary good, he is slated for superstardom, but we also tend to forget he is just 19. The teenager shows flashes of brilliance and then fails to maintain the momentum. His round on Saturday included five birdies but was offset with four bogeys and a double. Spieth is in the process of learning to channel his emotions in order to play with a level of calmness. He has so much talent, it will be a very quick learning curve and Spieth might win this year as a teenager.
Putting: Tim Clark is having a good week on and around the greens. He has putting rounds of 27-28-23 and is No. 1 in strokes gained putting this week. Clark’s short game has also sparkled. He is 6-for-7 in bunker saves and is ranked third in scrambling. Clark has missed 21 greens this week but has saved par on 17 of those misses.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Matt Kuchar ended a long Saturday by maintaining his lead atop a crowded leaderboard at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Kuchar shot a 1-under 69 and is at 11 under through 54 holes. He leads by one shot over Boo Weekley, Graham DeLaet, Matt Every and Chris Stroud. Four more players are two shots back: Tim Clark, John Rollins, Steve Flesch and Martin Flores. Ten more players are within another two shots of the lead including defending champion Zach Johnson, who is at 8 under, and 19-year-old Jordan Spieth of Dallas, who is at 7 under.
"It's going to be a shootout," Weekley said.
Kuchar will be joined by Every in the final pairing on Sunday; their tee time is set for 2:05 p.m. ET (1:05 p.m. local). Stroud and Weekley are in the next-to-last group.
Kuchar and 53 other players had to get up early to complete their second rounds before completing their third rounds in the afternoon. Kuchar led by one over DeLaet after the completion of that round.
"This morning feels like a day ago," Kuchar said when his third round finally ended more than 12 hours after he woke up.
"It would've been nice to extend my lead. Tomorrow will be an exciting day."
Once the third round began, Kuchar birdied the opening hole and maintained at least a share of the lead until he suffered consecutive bogeys at the seventh and eighth holes. DeLaet then vaulted into the lead with a birdie at the seventh.
But the Canadian struggled down the stretch, bogeying three of his final six holes. He managed to birdie the 18th to shoot 69 and jump into a tie for second.
Spieth had a share of the lead when he birdied the par-4 fifth -- his third birdie of the round -- to go to 11 under. But he bogeyed the next hole and dropped four more shots in the next nine holes to fall off the pace.
"I just made some mental errors -- just rookie mistakes that cost me about four shots," said Spieth, who shot a 71.
Clark and Martin Flores shot the low rounds of the day, 5-under 65s.
Jordan Spieth had a share of the lead early on Saturday but faded as his round continued. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jordan Spieth birdied three of his first five holes in Saturday's third round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. That last birdie gave him a share of the lead.
It vanished quickly. Spieth posted four bogeys and a double bogey during a 10-hole stretch in the middle of his round and went from co-leader to chaser, four shots behind leader Matt Kuchar going into Sunday's final round.
For the 19-year-old Dallas native, it was a frustrating turn of events.
"I can't focus too much on today," Spieth said. "I'm really happy with the way I putted. I just made some mental errors -- just rookie mistakes that cost me about four shots. Otherwise, I'd be tied for the lead."
Spieth said he was pushing to get a few more birdies after he went to 11 under and a share of the lead with Matt Kuchar early in his round. But he suffered bogeys at the sixth and ninth holes.
After a birdie at the par-4 11th, Spieth saw his approach shot into the par-4 12th plug into the greenside bunker to set up a bogey.
Then he picked the wrong club at the par-3 13th and found the water with his tee shot. "It was a decision that obviously looks bad afterward," he said.
Spieth said he "just got fooled big-time by the wind on four or five holes," including his approach at the 15th when he found the water for the second time in his round and made bogey.
"I just guessed incorrectly twice in a row," he said. "If I guess it right on both 13 and 15, I maybe save three shots. So it's just tough luck.
"I'm happy to close with a birdie and carry it into tomorrow only four back."