The shortest distance between successive PGA TOUR events juxtaposes with inversely relational golf courses, both in layout and age.
While wide-open Trinity Forest is the youngest host site of any on the circuit, the bike ride from Dallas to the classic and tree-lined Colonial Country Club, site of this week's Fort Worth Invitational, is a trip back in time. Scroll beneath the ranking for more on the course, its trend among winners, how it should play this week and the introduction of a new title sponsor in 2019.
AT&T Byron Nelson champion Aaron Wise, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Colonial Country Club member Ryan Palmer will be among the notables in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider.
Time will tell if course experience at Trinity Forest will be a predictor for success at the AT&T Byron Nelson, but there's zero doubt or argument that it matters at Colonial.
Kevin Kisner defends his title on the par 70 tipping at 7,209 yards. Prevailing in his fourth appearance and at the age of 33, he was nearly five years younger than the average age since Sergio Garcia broke through for his first PGA TOUR title here in 2001. Every winner but then-22-year-old Jordan Spieth in 2016 was at least 30 years old.
In connecting to another trend among champions at Colonial in the same time frame, Kisner had already recorded a pair of top 10s in the tournament before slipping on the plaid jacket. Only Steve Stricker (2009) and Adam Scott (2014) hadn't prefaced their victories with at least one top 10.
Not only is Garcia the last first-time winner at Colonial – the Fort Worth Invitational ranks third in terms of droughts for first-timers behind the Sentry Tournament of Champions and World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship – he's also the last tournament debutant to prevail. Every winner has competed at least twice before victory.
Isolating Kisner's performance in 2017 to project how Colonial will play this week is unnecessary due to the gusty winds that defended the course and inflated scoring. He managed just 10-under 270 for the week – second-highest among all winners of the last 18 editions – and the field average of 71.154 was the highest in the tournament since 2002.
This week's forecast is docile by comparison as the forecast calls for no worse than moderate winds. And despite hot and humid conditions throughout, the threat for inclement weather is minimal. Of course, in these parts at this time of year, it's still not a zero-percent chance.
As a result, Colonial should be there for the taking. Hitting greens in regulation and sinking putts is the default formula to contend. The bentgrass greens will have every opportunity to run the full 12 feet on the Stimpmeter for which they are prepared.
Beginning in 2019 and extending through 2022, Charles Schwab will assume title sponsorship. Architect Gil Hanse has also been retained to consider modifications for the 82-year-old track. The last renovation was overseen by Keith Foster in 2008.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton reviews and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Facebook Live, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done, Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.