Chris Kirk defends at Colonial

Chris Kirk defends the Dean & Deluca Invitational and Jordan Spieth starts

Chris Kirk defends at Colonial
Chris Kirk defends at Colonial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA Tour remains in Texas this week for the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth. Chris Kirk defends at Colonial County Club and Jordan Spieth starts.

There’s a new sponsor for this event. Dean & Deluca have taken over from Crowne Plaza and they’ve committed to supporting the tournament until 2021. It’s an invitational event with just 120 starting. World Number 2 Jordan Spieth is on the start sheet, so too Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Matt Kuchar.

Since it’s inception in 1946, this event has been played on the same course and, in terms of length, the layout has changed little over the years. When Texas native Ben Hogan won the first Colonial Invitational the course measured 7,035 yards. It can now be stretched to 7,204 yards, but it generally plays a touch shorter than that.

The course at Colonial was opened in 1936 and played host to the 1941 U.S. Open. Having welcomed the PGA Tour since 1946, this is the longest running host venue on the circuit.

Hogan dominated the early years of this event winning five times between 1946 and 1959, hence the course’s nickname of “Hogan’s Alley.” Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson have also lifted the title.

Last year Chris Kirk made a fantastic par save on the final hole to beat Jason Bohn, Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker by a single stroke. It was his fourth PGA Tour title.

Jordan Spieth will be hoping to claim his first PGA Tour win in his home state. He came close last year and might have had a shot last week at the Byron Nelson had it not been for a poor final round.

Watch a Jordan Spieth putting drill:

The winner of the event is famously presented with a garish tartan jacket and a simply enormous trophy – as you can see from the photo of Chris Kirk above.

The weather forecast is for some unsettled weather, particularly at the start of the week. It’s expected to get rather windy.

Venue: Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas Date: May 26-29 Course stats: par 70, 7,204 yards Purse: $6,700,000 Winner: $1,206,000 Defending Champion: Chris Kirk (-12)

TV Coverage: Thursday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 9pm Friday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 9pm Saturday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Sunday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player watch:

Matt Kuchar – The consistent Kuchar has been on great form with third place finishes in each of the last two weeks. He has made the cut in seven of eight tries at Colonial and was runner-up in the event back in 2013.

Chris Kirk – The defending champion has a great record on this course: he’s never missed the cut. He’s been showing some solid form in recent weeks. Although he withdrew at The Players he was top-five at the Zurich Classic and had four further top-25s in preceding weeks.

Charley Hoffman – A winner in San Antonio, he’s been showing good stuff so far this season. Another man who plays well at Colonial with no missed cuts from seven starts. Tied 10th last year.

Read the betsafe guide to strategic golf betting written by Fergus Bisset

Key hole: 5th. This has played as the toughest hole on the course since stats began to be recorded some 25 years ago. At 481 yards, it’s a long par 4 made more difficult by the ditch waiting to the left and a river on the right. The approach must be supremely accurate to a long, narrow target.

Skills required: Ball-striking. Solid and accurate iron shots will be the key to success at Colonial both for position from the tee and to the tightly guarded greens. Those who can shape their shots could go low this week.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?