Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Zach Johnson ready to defend Colonial title
By Master Tesfatsion
FORT WORTH, Texas -- When Zach Johnson hoisted the Leonard Trophy in 2010 –setting the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial’s scoring record of 21-under – he was overwhelmed by the rich history of the tournament. Now, he returns to Fort Worth as the defending champion. Perhaps the wait for this moment took as long as his final round last year, overcoming two lightning delays due to stormy weather and still managing to shoot a 64. Once he sees his name engraved in the Colonial’s Wall of Champions, the experience may be too surreal for Johnson.
“I’m kind of hoping I tee off on 10 on Thursday,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to get caught up in it. It’s cool. It’s a complete honor. It’s a humbling honor. You are talking about one or more elite fraternities in sports, let alone golf.”
His name isn’t on the wall five times like Fort Worth native Ben Hogan, but he’d be in some elite company if he wins again. Asides from Hogan, only eight other men were capable of winning this tournament twice. No one has won consecutive Colonials since Hogan in 1952-53. Hogan also did it in 1946-47.
It’s safe to say Johnson wouldn’t mind having another plaid jacket by the end of the weekend.
“This tournament is always high on my list of wanting to win," Johnson said. "It always has been. It still is. Just because I won it once doesn’t mean I don’t want to win it again. I’ve become partial to that plaid. It’s the people here, too. That’s what makes these places special. It’s the club, and the members here and what the members are trying to do for the area, too.”