It’s the golf event Fort Worthians look forward to all year, and 2013 marks the 67th time players vie for the trophy and the chance to slip on the plaid jacket at Colonial.
Last year’s winner, Zach Johnson, has more than once worn that jacket after also winning in 2010. Despite a two-stroke penalty for failing to restore his ball in its original position after marking it on the 18th hole, Johnson still came out on top with a one-stroke victory over Jason Dufner in the 2012 tournament.
His Crowne Plaza Invitational triumph marked Johnson’s eighth PGA Tour victory. While it was a thrilling achievement, Johnson admitted to us which win was the most significant to him. “It had to be the Masters,” Johnson says of his 2007 win.
Johnson spoke about how he wasn’t the best player on his high school or college golf teams growing up, but that his support system and a belief in hard work to maximize his talent brought him to where he is today.
Among the golfers Johnson grew up idolizing was Fort Worth legend Ben Hogan. “And I’m not just saying that because I’m sitting here at Colonial,” he says. “Payne Stewart was another favorite. I like the way he lived his life.”
It was evident during our interview that Johnson is a family man and a devout Christian. Johnson and his wife, Kim, have three children, Will, Wyatt and Abby Jane, and they reside on St. Simons Island in Georgia. After his win in 2012, Johnson wasn’t able to fly home that night despite his efforts to do so. So how did he and his family celebrate his big win? “I went and picked up two of my favorite food groups: Chipotle and In-N-Out Burger,” Johnson says.
In 2009, Johnson and his wife started the non-profit organization, the Zach Johnson Foundation. It is dedicated to helping Cedar Rapids children and their families lead happy, healthy lives by improving quality of life, education and well-being through a number of different fundraising and awareness initiatives.
Johnson explains that he started the organization in an effort to give back because he has been abundantly blessed in life. “It’s that old saying: To whom much is given, much is expected,” he says.
67th Crowne Plaza Invitational
Colonial Country Club
May 20 – 26, 2013