Officials at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial have received commitments from three of the world's top 10 golfers for their May 22-25 event in Fort Worth, with the list headed by Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson, the No. 2 player in the world golf rankings, is a two-time Masters champion and the 2000 Colonial champ. He will be joined in Fort Worth by Southlake resident Rory Sabbatini, the defending Colonial champion who is No. 9 in the latest world golf rankings. K.J. Choi, the No. 8 player in the world rankings, also is on the list of early commitments released today by Colonial officials.
So is John Daly, a two-time major champion who has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in Fort Worth. Daly last competed at Colonial in 1999.
Mickelson, who last played at Colonial in 2005, heads an initial wave of early commitments that also includes notable names such as Justin Leonard, David Toms, Mike Weir, Bubba Watson, Boo Weekley and Vaughn Taylor.
Colt Knost, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion from SMU, also has given a commitment to compete at Colonial. Knost is a rookie on the 2008 Nationwide Tour.
Peter Ripa, Colonial tournament director, said he was "very excited about the rising star of our event," which drew only one of the world's top 10 golfers to Fort Worth in 2007. By the time tournament week arrives in May, Ripa said he is "very confident" the Colonial field will include at list five participants from the current top 10 in the world golf rankings.
Colonial tickets go on sale March 1. For more information, visit www.CrownePlazaInvitational.com or call 817-927-4280.
_ Jimmy Burch