Mickelson, Stricker highlight Colonial
IRVING, Texas -- The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial set its field for next week's event Friday. A total of 121 players will tee it up in Fort Worth starting Thursday.
The field includes four of the world's top six players, headlined by Phil Mickelson, a two-time champion of the event. Defending champion Steve Stricker (No. 4), Jim Furyk (No. 5) and Ian Poulter (No. 6) have committed to play.
"We feel blessed to have this field and it's a testimony to the golf course," said Colonial tournament director Peter Ripa. "The top-ranked players are usually in the mix come Sunday. We view it as a near major as far as the quality of the field."
There are plenty of local players, including Colleyville's Hunter Mahan, Southlake's Y.E. Yang, Dallas' Corey Pavin and Fort Worth's Rory Sabbatini, who has won both the HP Byron Nelson Championship and the Colonial.
The field boasts 17 of the top 20 players in terms of Ryder Cup points as well.
Fans won't see 16-year-old Jordan Spieth, no matter how well he does this weekend. The Colonial has already given out its exemptions. But tournament officials were impressed with his first two rounds at the Nelson.
"The kids that play at the junior level, they can tee it up," said Ripa, who worked for the AJGA for 16 years. "What's impressive is that mentally he was able to be competitive in his skin for 36 holes in that theater."
Ripa is confident that his course is in great condition for next week's event.
"There might not be better greens out there," Ripa said. "The cool temperatures we had in the spring were a challenge for growing the Bermuda, but the Bent grass greens loved it, and the Bermuda has started to pop."