FORT WORTH, Texas -- You could almost see a smile creep onto the face of the statue of Ben Hogan that peeks down upon the 18th green at Colonial Country Club. In consecutive groups of Thursday's first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational players hit balls so far off line they ended up in places Hogan likely only visited if he was on his way to the margarita tent.
First, Fredrik Jacobson hit an approach shot to the par-4 that bounced onto the cart path behind the green and rolled down the path toward the 10th tee. He got relief onto the tee and managed to chip over the water but short of the green and made a bogey. Then came the real fun.
While the sparse gallery was still murmuring about the Jacobson gyrations, U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover attacked the 18th as if he were playing HORSE in one of those Larry Bird-Michael Jordan TV commercials. He hit his ball off the bleachers, off the cart path, off the clubhouse roof and up against the TV interview platform constructed near the practice green, a good 70 yards behind the 18th green.
"That's two in a row and I've been doing this for 10 years and have never seen any," said tournament volunteer Rick Barnes, who was standing next to the practice green.
The good news for Glover is that his shot was so bad it ended up in a good spot. Because the CBS TV booth was between where his ball ended up and the green he got a drop into the rough next to the green on the line on which his ball was last seen leaving the golf course as we know it -- all with no penalty. It was either that or try a shot off Nick Faldo's head, off Jim Nantz' arms and off the CBS logo onto the green.
"It's called interference," said PGA Tour rules official John Mutch. "Because of all this stuff between his ball and the green he gets relief."
Glover also managed to make a bogey out of a situation that could have been much worse, but it capped a double bogey, bogey, bogey finish on his first nine as he turned at three over par. That's a finish to a nine Hogan probably also never saw -- at least on his own scorecard.
-- Ron Sirak