Crowne Plaza Colonial Invitational History and Winner’s List
History and Past Winners Past Results of the Colonial Invitational
Unlike Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson, there’s no tournament named for Ben Hogan. But if there was one, it would be The Colonial. Hogan won here at the Colonial Invitational five times (1946, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1959) and considered the Colonial Country Club his home course.
The genesis and inspiration for the Colonial Invitational was the 1941 US Open, which was held at Colonial Country Club. It was the first US Open held south of the Mason-Dixon line, and was thought a huge success. Local organizers hoped to capitalize on that goodwill, and in 1946 launched The Colonial Invitational.
Much of the appeal of the Colonial is that it has been played on the same classic course since its inception. Indeed, it’s impossible to imagine the tournament not being held there. The club, which dates to 1936, was designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell and has among its memorable vistas holes that extend along the length of the Trinity River.
The Colonial National Invitational had no title sponsor until 1988, when it became the MasterCard Colonial Invitational. In 2003, it was picked up by Bank of America. In 2007, it became the Crown Plaza Invitational At Colonial. The current purse is $6,200,000, with $1,116,000 going to the winner.
The Colonial winners’ list looks like a Hall of Fame roster. In addition to Hogan, there’s Palmer, Snead, Casper, Bolt, De Vicenzo, Stockton, Crenshaw, Nicklaus, Price, Watson and Mickelson (Tiger is curiously absent). The strength of the winners’ roster is in part due to the strength of field: The Colonial is an Invitational, with only the top 80 players on the previous year’s money list guaranteed a spot.
A unique tradition at the Colonial is the “Champion’s Choice.” Each year, former Colonial Invitational Champions select two young players to join the field who otherwise would be ineligible. Among the Champions Choices were Al Greiberger, Tom Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Mark O’Meara, Paul Azinger and Davis Love. Dave Stockton won the tournament in the year he was selected.
While the Masters has the Green Jacket, the Colonial offers a Scottish tartan plaid jacket for its champions and committee chairmen. The tournament and Colonial Golf club also is marked by the engraved marble Wall of Champions near the first tee, which features the name and score of each of the tournament’s winners.
A random note: In 2003, Annika Sorenstam played the Colonial Invitational, becoming the first women to play a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias entered the Los Angeles Open.A list of the winners of the Colonial Invitational follows:
|Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial|
|Bank of America Colonial|
|Colonial National Invitation|
|Southwestern Bell Colonial|
|Colonial National Invitation|
|1957||Roberto De Vicenzo|
|1949||Cancelled due to flooding of the course|
Golf Blog Category:
History, PGA Tour, The Crowne Plaza Invitational