May 28 2010
For Corey Pavin, it was almost a no-brainer. He could make his 27th appearance at the Crowne Plaza Invitational -- which he has won twice -- or play in the Senior PGA Championship.
The 50-year-old chose Colonial, and Pavin made his presence felt on Friday with a 64 that left him among the leaders at 9 under. He finished with a flourish, too, making birdie on Nos. 17 and 18 to slip into a tie for fourth.
"This is the type of golf course that I feel comfortable on," Pavin said. "I can play my own game. It's not very far from home either. It's kind of nice."
Pavin, who will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in September, has made 11 birdies over the first two rounds while dropping just two shots to par. If the weather stays warm and the wind just a whisper through the trees, he wouldn't be surprised to see a tournament record.
"It's as easiest as Colonial is going to get," Pavin said. "It's certainly not an easy golf course. You have to execute out here. But with no wind you can definitely get it going out here. But you have to play very good golf to did so."
If Pavin should win on Sunday, he would not only become the seventh player over 50 to win on the PGA TOUR, he would have wins here in Fort Worth in three different decades. Pavin won at Colonial in 1985 and '96 and has five other top-10s, including two runners-up.
"I can play my own game here," Pavin explained his success. "I don't have to try to do things that are out of my comfort zone. It's just about positioning shots off the tee, keeping the ball in the fairway.
"It requires a lot of clean iron shots in here and smart shots. You don't have to birdie every hole, but there are certainly holes that you want to get after and try to birdie those and the other holes I kind of hang on and play smart. And if I do happen to make a birdie on that hole, that's a big bonus.
"And if I'm in a position where it's hard to hit the green, miss it in the right place, it's an easy up and down. I just try to play smart golf and hopefully I connect to it."
His Ryder Cup team should heed those words. Pavin, though, won't get ahead of himself this weekend as he seeks his 16th PGA TOUR win.
"Obviously it would be great," Pavin said. "It's been four years since I've won. I'm only halfway. ... It would be pretty cool to win here and make it 3. But, you know, I only played 36 holes so far. There is a ways to go."