Y.E. Yang, a Southlake resident and winner of the 2009 PGA Championship, added his name to the commitment list Monday for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
By doing so, the field for Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour event achieved a distinction it has not seen in 15 years. Yang became the fourth, and final, reigning major champion to pledge to participate in the May 24-30 event at Colonial Country Club.
The last time a Colonial field featured all of golf’s reigning major champions was in 1995.
“Whatever your measure of success is for an elite field, we’re getting it,” said Peter Ripa, Colonial tournament director. “For this to be the first time in 15 years (to get all four major champions) … I’ll take it. It’s great. We’re very grateful.”
Yang, who defeated Tiger Woods in a head-to-head Sunday showdown to claim last year’s PGA title, joins a Colonial field that already included Masters champion Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open champ Lucas Glover and British Open champ Stewart Cink.
Yang is among a recent wave of Colonial commitments that includes Henrik Stenson, last year’s winner at The Players Championship, and 2009 Masters champ Angel Cabrera, who will be making his Colonial debut. Other recent additions among the 86 players who have committed to compete in Fort Worth include Stephen Ames, Ricky Barnes, Trevor Immelman, Matt Kuchar, Steve Marino, Scott Verplank, Nick Watney and Boo Weekley.
In addition to Yang, other recent inclusions among Tarrant County residents include Chad Campbell, K.J. Choi and J.J. Henry.
In the wake of this week’s updated world rankings, the Colonial field features four of the world’s top six golfers: Mickelson (No. 2), defending champ Steve Stricker (No. 3), Ian Poulter (No. 5) and Jim Furyk (No. 6).
The reigning major champions in the 1995 Colonial field were Ben Crenshaw (1995 Masters), Ernie Els (1994 U.S. Open) and Nick Price (1994 British Open, 1994 PGA).
_ Jimmy Burch