Colonial Fans, Golfers Ready to Tee Off - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Colonial Fans, Golfers Ready to Tee Off

Annual golf tournament brings millions to Fort Worth's economy



    Big happenings in Fort Worth this weekend as the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club is ready to tee off. (Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013)

    The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club is ready to tee off in Fort Worth.

    The first round will begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, but crowds still showed up at Colonial on Wednesday to take in the pro-am tournament.

    The grounds of Colonial were filled with the familiar sound of irons and woods hitting golf balls down fairways during the tournament. The cart paths and fairways weren't overly packed like they will be this weekend, which made Wednesday less about golf and more about getting autographs from the professionals on hand.

    "We've been sitting here for about two hours now and we got, I don't know, maybe 10 or 11," said Hudson Taylor, a Colonial youth member.

    "We got Angel Cabrera and Hunter Mahan and a whole bunch of other guys that I don't even know," said Connor Edge, another club youth member.

    Taylor, Edge and another boy were dropped off by their parents after school to attend the pro-am, but they did miss who they really wanted to see: Caden Honea.

    "He teed off earlier," Caden Honea said.

    The day brings just as many locals as it does folks from out of town.

    "We live in Waco, just traveling up and see everything," Gina Kish said.

    According to a 2007 PGA Tour study, the Colonial brings $47 million to Fort Worth's economy.

    The professionals this week will hit the links after a $6.4 million purse while the spectators are simply here to watch them.

    "I think the biggest thing to come out here is the people you see on TV," Kristi Shlee said. "You're going, 'They're really people?' and it's really neat to see."

    The tournament concludes on Sunday. All tickets must be purchased in advance. Shuttles will be offered, as well as free bicycle parking over the weekend.