News & Opinion

Former Colonial winners show they still know their way around

Jordan Spieth at 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge
Jordan Spieth shoots 7-under 63 on Thursday at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, for a share of the lead at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia play bogey-free rounds in posting 63s to share lead in Charles Schwab Challenge

Jordan Spieth struck early and often Thursday in the first round of the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, and he came away with a share of the lead.

Spieth birdied two of his first three holes at Colonial Country Club and then ran off three in a row late in the round to finish a bogey-free 7-under 63. He was tied with Sergio Garcia, who like Spieth is a former Masters champion and winner at Colonial.

“It's hard to go any lower,” Spieth said. “Made some putts. Got started [with a 12-footer] on the first hole today [the par-4 10th, after he started on the back nine]. That one goes in, and that's what I talked about before the tournament. If I could get a couple to go in early in the first round and the confidence and the work I've been doing on my stroke the last few days, which is a somewhat significant change in a stroke feel, I thought that would exude just a little bit of confidence into the rest of the round on greens where I've been very successful before.”

Spieth, a lifelong resident of nearby Dallas, made his first appearance at Colonial as a PGA Tour rookie in 2013, finishing T-7, and he won the tournament’s signature tartan jacket in 2016. Since his victory April 4 at the Valero Texas Open, Spieth has finished among the top 10 in three of his past four starts. The lone outlier was a T-30 at last week’s PGA Championship.

Spieth was paired with two other former Colonial champions. Phil Mickelson, who won the PGA, struggled to a 3-over 73. Daniel Berger, the defending champion, signed for a 68.

Garcia, the 2001 Colonial winner, enjoyed a 5-under stretch through four holes in the middle of his round, capped by a 63-foot hole-out bunker shot at the par-5 11th hole. He also toured Colonial without a bogey.

“I’m excited about what’s happening in my game,” said Garcia, who won 20 years ago at Colonial for his first of 11 PGA Tour victories.

Erik Compton, a two-time heart-transplant recipient who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory in his 164th start spanning two decades, was tied for third place with Jason Kokrak at 65. Kokrak earned his first victory earlier this season, in October at the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. (For scores, click here.)

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.