May 21 2013
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Corey Pavin had to decide: Play one of his favorite courses or chase after his first major win on the Champions Tour.
The decision-making process was not a lengthy one. He'll be teeing it up for the 30th consecutive year at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial this week. The Senior PGA Championship will have to wait.
"I would rather be here than there," Pavin said. "It's as simple as that."
The 53-year-old Pavin is a Champions Tour regular and would love to win one of its majors, but he's won twice at Colonial and it continues to be one of the few courses on the PGA TOUR in which he feels he has a chance to win.
Pavin tied for 31st last year and three years ago, after turning 50, he tied for seventh, shooting 67 or lower in each round. In his 29 previous appearances at Colonial, he's missed the cut just four times.
"I feel like I can compete on this golf course," he said. "... I know it pretty well."
Short hitters can thrive at Colonial -- witness defending champ Zach Johnson, like Pavin a two-time Crowne Plaza winner.
When Pavin won for the first time in 1985, the course measured 7,096 yards. When he won again in 1996, the course was actually shorter -- 7,010 yards.
Even though Colonial was lengthened in 2009 to 7,204 yards, Pavin still feels confident in his chances. There isn't much that he doesn't know about the 18-hole layout.
"For the most part, it's the same golf course it's always been," Pavin said. "It's a fabulous testament to this golf course that it's held up over time with all of the equipment changes and things like that. It still can be quite a tough test out here.
"You don't have to build a course 7,600 yards to make it hard."