The First Look: Charles Schwab Challenge
May 17, 2019
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- May 17, 2019
Justin Rose wins by three strokes at Fort Worth
Reigning FedExCup champion Justin Rose defends a title that came rather unexpectedly last year as the PGA TOUR returns to Texas to finish up this year’s “DFW Double” with its 74th arrival at esteemed Colonial Country Club.
Current FedExCup No.2 Xander Schauffele and Open Championship titleholder Francesco Molinari also headline the roster, as Molinari takes his first look at Colonial. It’s also the first visit for England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, courtesy of revamped schedules both on TOUR and in Europe.
FIELD NOTES: Bryson DeChambeau, who played collegiately on the other side of the Metroplex at SMU, and Rickie Fowler help give the lineup 16 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings. … Kenny Perry, winner at Colonial in 2003 and ’05, tees it up there for the first time since 2015. It’s his eighth start of the season, using a one-year exemption for players among the top 50 in career earnings. … Dru Love and Tucker Wadkins, sons of World Golf Hall of Famers, will tee it up on “Champions’ Choice” invites. Wadkins is playing the Mackenzie Tour in Canada; Love makes his fourth TOUR start of 2019. … Former U.S. Amateur runner-up Doug Ghim, a Texas alum, also got an invite after tying for 12th at the AT&T Byron Nelson. … Barring a late WD, Jordan Spieth and Abraham Ancer will be the only men to play in all four Texas stops thus far.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
STORYLINES: Rose, who came to Colonial last year to fulfill a TOUR requisite to add an event he had not played in the previous four years, now seeks to join Ben Hogan as the only man to notch back-to-back wins in the event. Hogan did it twice – 1946-47 and 1952-53. ... Ryan Palmer, a Colonial member, makes his third start since returning to the winner’s circle at the Zurich Classic with partner Jon Rahm. He owns four top-15 finishes at Colonial in the past seven years, tying for third in 2016. … Former AT&T Byron Nelson champions Billy Horschel and Jason Dufner can become the 16th man to hit the “DFW Double” by winning both Dallas-Fort Worth stops in their career. Adam Scott was the last, winning Colonial in 2014. ... Rose was just the second player among the past 10 winners to close out a 54-hole lead. Spieth was the other, prevailing in 2016. … With the PGA Championship’s move to May, this marks the first time since 2008 that the AT&T Byron Nelson and Colonial aren’t back-to-back on the schedule.
COURSE: Colonial Country Club, 7,209 yards, par 70. A shotmaker’s paradise with tight fairways and several doglegs, the 1936 Perry Maxwell/John Bredemus design has been a mainstay on the PGA TOUR schedule since 1946. Only Augusta National has served a longer uninterrupted tenure as host. Colonial was the first course in the South to install bentgrass greens, a move that landed the U.S. Open in 1941 – the first Open held south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The TOUR made its first visit in 1946 and has returned annually ever since. Colonial also staged the second edition of THE PLAYERS in 1975, along with the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open.
For those visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area, must-play courses include The Club at Fossil Creek (Fort Worth) and The Golf Club at Champions Circle (Fort Worth). Book your reservations via TeeOff.com.
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), Kevin Na (4th round, 2018).
LAST YEAR: Rose ended an eight-year absence from Colonial in masterful fashion, with no round worse than 66 on the way to a three-shot romp over a hard-charging Brooks Koepka. The English pro closed with a 6-under-par 64, leaving himself plenty of breathing room after Koepka produced a closing 63. Rose hadn’t played Colonial since 2010. It became his second win of the season and ninth career, tying Nick Faldo for most on TOUR by an Englishman. Koepka was making just his third start following a wrist injury; Emiliano Grillo (64) was another shot back in third.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
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