The PGA Championship was everything we wanted it to be and more. We had surprises, adversity, tragedy, triumph, and an underdog story. I mean Phil Mickelson isn’t necessarily an underdog being a five time major winner but at the age of 50, he was. How could you not pull for Phil on Sunday? The old veteran battling with one of the young faces of the PGA Tour. Phil never gave him an inch and let Brooks bury himself on the back nine. He became the oldest player in history to ever win a major championship in golf.
The other reason that weekend was so special were the crowds. It was so fun to see the crowds back out on the course rooting on Phil. Seeing those swarms of people follow behind him throughout the day made me feel like we’re finally getting back to normal. You could tell that he was feeding off the energy of the crowd. I saw someone tweet that Phil Mickelson ended the pandemic with that win, and I kind of felt the same way. While we all come down off the high of last weekend, it’s time to look forward to one of our oldest courses in the regular rotation on the PGA Tour, Colonial.
Last year the Charles Schwab Challenge was the first event after a 90 hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak around the country. Here’s what you need to know about what used to be known as the Colonial. It is the longest running non-major event held at the same site, since 1946. We’ve got a field of 121 invitees but only about 65 players have a legitimate chance of winning this weekend and the Top 65 plus ties will make the cut. If you remember close to 20 years ago, this is the tournament that invited the first woman to participate in a PGA Tour event, Annika Sorenstam.
Colonial Golf & Country Club is a relatively short Par 70 measuring out 7,204 yards. It is a real test with very tight fairways and small bentgrass greens. The short hitters are in play on this course and you’ll notice that throughout my playbook. We’re looking for accurate fairway drivers, good ball strikers with the ability to get the ball in tight to the pin (better known as proximity), and always a solid putting stroke. I'm also going to look closely at Par 4 scoring because that there are two more than a typical course. Jordan Spieth knows this course like the back of his hand being the local boy and will be extremely popular this weekend.
You really need to have a combination of course experience and success before reaching the top of the leaderboard at the Charles Schwab. Experience is huge for me on this course is because of those Texas winds. We’ve spoken about them many times this season and you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in my playbook. Also, the winners of this event with a few exceptions had had Top 20 finishes previously at this tournament. The average age of the winners of this even over the last 20 years is over 34 years old. Daniel Berger is 28 years old and when he won the tournament last year, he lowered the average.
ONE & DONE PLAY: COREY CONNERS
Good luck everyone!