Zach Johnson will chase a third title at historic Colonial Country Club. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
• FULL FIELD: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
• COURSE: Colonial Country Club, 7,204 yards, par 70. Designed by Perry Maxwell and John Bredemus, Colonial’s combination of tight fairways and doglegs has been acclaimed since its 1936 opening. The U.S. Open arrived just five years later, marking the first time the event went south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and PGA TOUR has made an annual stop since 1946. Colonial also hosted the second edition of THE PLAYERS in 1975, as well as the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open. Ten years ago, Annika Sorenstam made Colonial the site of her historic foray as the first woman to play a PGA TOUR event since 1945.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Cook Children’s Medical Center, supporting programs to ensure no child in need of medical attention is left untreated. More than 100 other Tarrant County charities receive donations from the event, with total contributions last year reaching more than $7 million.
• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Zach Johnson and runner-up Jason Dufner are among eight entrants ranked among the top 30 in this week’s world rankings. With Europe’s top talent overseas for that tour’s flagship event, No.12 Matt Kuchar holds the highest ranking in the field. … Davis Love III, runner-up in both 1987 and 2000, makes his 24th appearance at Colonial and second since coming back from February neck surgery. Love tied for 48th at THE PLAYERS. … U.S. Amateur champ Steven Fox will play on a sponsor exemption for the fourth time this year. He missed the cut in his first three tries, including the Masters. … 1987 champion Keith Clearwater is back to tee it up at Colonial for the 26th time.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Zach Johnson (2010).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Keith Clearwater (2nd round, 1993), Lee Janzen (4th round, 1993), Greg Kraft (3rd round, 1999), Kenny Perry (3rd round, 2003), Justin Leonard (4th round, 2003), Chad Campbell (3rd round, 2004).
• LAST YEAR: An absentminded Johnson had just enough cushion to absorb a two-stroke penalty after his final putt, winning in far stranger fashion than two years earlier. Johnson had moved his mark on the 18th green to get it out of Dufner’s line, then forgot to replace it before going through his own putting routine. It was CBS course reporter Peter Kostis who pointed out the error, which was relayed to Johnson before he signed his scorecard. Otherwise, Johnson could have been disqualified for signing off on a wrong score. Johnson may have been lost in the emotion of the victory, which came 10 days after caddie Damon Green’s father passed away.
• STORYLINES: After two wins and finishing sixth in last year’s FedExCup race, Johnson has been unable to match that form in 2013. A tie for 19th at THE PLAYERS was his best finish since the season opener, as he tries to straighten out some wayward driving. … Only one player has managed to sweep both the Byron Nelson and Colonial titles in the same year. Ben Hogan did it in 1946, though the events were separated by four months then. Dufner’s runner-up finish last year was the closest to a sweep in back-to-back weeks.
• SHORT CHIPS: Each of the past four Colonial champions have come from behind on the final day, with Johnson overcoming a one-shot deficit to Dufner last year. Before that was a seven-year run in which the 54-hole leader always closed the door. … Kuchar has yet to miss a cut in six visits to Colonial, topped by a ninth-place finish in 2008. ... Tournament officials will honor late CBS broadcaster Pat Summerall during Saturday’s telecast, including a $30,000 gift to The First Tee of Fort Worth. Summerall, who died last month, lived in nearby Southlake.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. EDT (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).