Colonial Victories! Sam Burns won the Charles Schwab Challenge (and the car) but the golf course won the day
“The winner today was Colonial,” said CBS TV commentator Ian Baker-Finch, summarizing a wild and windy finale to the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. The ever-challenging par 70 layout gave the world’s best golfers all they could handle, then some as the prestigious PGA Tour event gave local fans and a national TV audience an exciting, blown-out conclusion by the wind and scorched by the sun.
Sam Burns took home the tournament, the legendary Leonard Trophy, the coveted plaid championship jacket, a $1.5 million check and, just for fun, an ultra-cool, custom-built 1979 Schwab Firebird Trans Am – all with a 38-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against his good friend and world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler.
Burns and Scheffler were the last two standing on Sunday after 19 holes of competition that left famed golf announcer Jim Nance almost speechless and Baker-Finch marveling at the golf course punishment he battled for victory in 1989. This year the course crushed the hopes and dreams of one golfer after another, including local favorite and 2016 champion Jordan Spieth, who finished tied for seventh with four others.
Golfers were stranded by the North Texas wind – 20 miles per hour with gusts of over 30 – and unnavigable greens cooked at pool table speed in temperatures in the mid-90s. late, however, Burns rolled in the game-winning putt just off the 18th green as if the legendary course had been producing volleys of birdies all afternoon.
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And, in the end, a good time was had by all as the saying goes. Crowds of fans lined Colonial’s picturesque greens and fairways for the four days of the tournament and Fort Worth scored another major triumph with the eyes of the world focused on the city so widely known – and sometimes dismissed – as Cowtown.
If you missed the festivities, don’t despair – photographer KP Wilska was on hand, capturing captivating images every day. We’ve got a sample for you in today’s gallery and slideshow.