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PGA: Bank of America Colonial Preview


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By Everardo Keeme via TheSandTrap.com
Kenny Perry hopes to rebound well from his knee surgery and become only the second man to win back to back titles at the Colonial.

colonial_logo.gifThis weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the Bank of America Colonial, arguably one of the most prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour. This tournament is currently the longest running event the PGA Tour has played at the same course, starting in 1946 as the Colonial Invitational with Ben Hogan as the inaugural winner.



Ben Hogan won four more times at this event after his first in '46, and the clubhouse features a Ben Hogan Trophy Room to honor his legacy as well as a statue of him on the 18th green. Ben Hogan is also the only back-to-back winner of the event and at one point in time owned nearly every record in this tournament.

kenny_perry_colonial.jpgDefending champion Kenny Perry currently owns or is tied for the 18-, 36-, 54- and 72-hole scoring records. Ever since Bank of America took over as sponsor of the event in 2002, Kenny Perry
has some how taken a real liking to the event. Finishing tied for second in 2002, he then went on to win in 2003 and 2005 with a winning score of 261 both times. Coming back from an eight-week break and recovering from a knee surgery he played in last week's EDS Byron Nelson to finish a respectable T-34. Perry is excited to be healthy again and back into competition and hopes to become the only man other than Ben Hogan to win this event back to back.



As far as other contenders this week let's first take a look at who won't be there. Tiger Woods is still absent, of course, and Phil Mickelson is still preparing for the U.S. Open. 2001 champion Sergio Garcia is a no-show and so is 2002 champion Nick Price, but he's been out of it ever since Annika played in 2003. David Toms has done fairly well here in the past but still hasn't won here and hasn't been playing too well lately. He does have four top-10s in his last seven starts here and wants another win to go with his Sony Open title.



That leaves Jim Furyk, on one heck of a hot streak with three top-3 finishes in his last five starts. Plus with his playoff win two weeks ago at the Wachovia he's moved up to second on the money list a small $300,000 behind Phil Mickelson. Since Phil isn't playing this weekend, Jim could take the top spot with a good finish this week. In 11 tries at this event, he's had four top-10s and his best finish was runner-up to Tom Watson in 1998. On a side note, Tom Watson is the oldest winner of this tournament and in 2001 Sergio became the youngest winner.



Challengers will all face the time-tested Colonial Country Club, which is a difficult and very well kept course that features many water hazards. The 7,054 yard par-70 is long enough to challenge the big hitters but requires concentration and smart play, specifically the hardest hole on the course, the 472-yard par-4 fifth hole. The fifth hole features ditch on the left side of the fairway and a river to the right and makes up one of the three holes in the "Horrible Horseshoe." The second hardest hole and also part of the horseshoe is the 467-yard par-4 third hole has a dogleg left that leaves even a good tee shot with a long iron into the green. Finally the third hole of the horseshoe is the 252-yard par-3 fourth, on which no player has ever made a hole-in-one due to the length and the elevated green. Birdie is a great score here. This course is the only one in PGA Tour history to host a U.S Open (1991), Players Championship (1975), and a regular PGA Tour event.



The Bank of America Colonial has a purse of $6,000,000 with $1,080,000 to the winner. It will be held at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, TX from May 18 - 21, 2006 and can be heard on XM Radio and seen on USA and CBS at the following times:




Thu, 5/18 12-8pm ET XM146Fri, 5/19 12-8pm ET XM146Sat, 5/20 12-8pm ET XM146Sun, 5/21 12-8pm ET XM146

Thu, 5/18 4-6pm ET USAFri, 5/19 4-6pm ET USASat, 5/20 3-6pm ET CBSSun, 5/21 3-6pm ET CBS

Photo Credit: © Bank of America Colonial

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