Justin Rose, defending Fort Worth Invitational (now Charles Schwab Challenge) champion takes questions from media. His relaxed posture in the chair is reminiscent of the six-under par 64 Sunday stroll he made around Colonial Country Club last year. He cleared Brooks Koepka by three who chased hard with a final round 63.
Rose positioned with three-woods off the tee on par fours–Koepka hunted birdies with drivers. Rose’s approach was chess-like, patient and strategic. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t seeking birdies–he made eight of them.
“My mentality, especially playing on Sunday, was that I wanted to play as free and as aggressively as the chasing pack. I think I had a 4-shot lead going into Sunday, but I sort of realized if I go out and play cagey, I don’t have a 4-shot lead. The guys behind will be loose and pushing for birdies, and they’re going to, just through mindset, are going to pull back a couple of shots. I think I shot 64 on Sunday. I needed to. Brooks shot 63, Rose tells WBGD. “I was trusting my iron play. I felt like I was aggressive with my irons, you know, coming into the green looking for birdie,” he adds.
Outside in the Texas sun, the Colonial Pro-Am Presented by Met-Life is happening. Amateurs rub elbows with their idols and spray golf balls all over creation. Aside from errant, and at times dangerous amateur golf swings, the pro-am is a quality fan experience. Galleries are small and it’s an ideal opportunity to see PGA Tour stars such as Spieth and Fowler.
Entry per player at pro-ams is typically around $10,000. A Tuesday night pre-party, Wednesday evening post-party, tons of tournament passes and endless add-ons are included. Golf course grub is inline with the Colonial experience–all class. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House is posted up on the seventh hole. They’re serving prime tenderloin sliders with an avocado ranch spread.
Chimy’s Cerveceria, a Cabo-inspired restaurant is behind the 14th green. Players and caddies stock up on tacos and Casamigos cocktails. Chimy’s Founder Kyle Wright, is a member at Colonial and says the restaurant was created after Roosterfish fly-fishing trips to the Baja Peninsula.
Like Justin Rose’s analysis of his 2018 win, Wright’s talking margaritas, “I make em’ with two ounces of Casamigos tequila, some Topo Chico for the crisp and a bit of sodium, half a lime and half a lemon with a splash of Cointreau.”
Golf course management or margaritas–there’s something for everyone on PGA Tour Wednesdays. Founded in 1946, the Charles Schwab Challenge is second to the Masters in the U.S. for tournaments played on the same golf course. Ben Hogan notoriously won the event a record five times: ’46, ’47, ’52, ’53 and ’59.
Daily grounds badges (Wednesday-Sunday) are $50, a weekly badge is $125.