Captain Kirk at Colonial
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/26/15
The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial was not the biggest golf tournament of this Memorial Day weekend, but there was no shortage of drama — and a surprise winner at the end.
Rain was the star of the first round, shoving tee-times back as much as three hours. Most of the fans attending the tournament were hoping for a win by the current Masters champion, Texas native Jordan Spieth. And their hopes were buoyed when the 21-year-old fired an opening-round 64 to tie for the lead. But among those also at the top of the leaderboard were Kevin Na, Ryo Ishikawa, Boo WEekley, and Ian Poulter.
More rain hit Colonial Country Club on Friday, but the same players stayed at the top of the heap at the 36-hole cut. However, Weekley had to overcome a disastrous string of four bogeys in five holes. Meanwhile, Spieth skidded badly at the end of his round, playing the last six holes in five-over-par.
More rain forced the PGA Tour to schedule three-player groups with a dual-tee start on Saturday, but again, Na and Poulter hung tough with a 69 and 68, respectively. Charley Hoffman fired a 66 to surge up the leaderboard, but he was closely trailed by Brandt Snedeker and Chris Kirk.
More severe weather in the forecast forced Tour officials to adjust their usual patterns. Hoffman, Poulter, and Na couldn't recreate their magic. Jordan Spieth had a lovely chance to capture his first Tour win in his home state, but a bogey at 16 ended up dashing those plans.
Meanwhile, Chris Kirk was trying to score and play conservatively. And despite missing the 18th fairway and then missing the green with a 9-iron, Kirk closed the deal with a par-saver.
The million-dollar-plus paycheck and having his wife and two boys present is undoubtedly sweet, but perhaps more importantly, Kirk showed that you don't have to play perfectly to win a tournament — or lock up an all-important two-year PGA Tour exemption.
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