|Location||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Established||1946, 73 years ago|
|Course(s)||Colonial Country Club|
|Length||7,209 yards (6,592 m)|
|Prize fund||$7.3 million|
|Aggregate||259 Zach Johnson (2010)|
|To par||−21 Zach Johnson (2010)|
The Charles Schwab Challenge is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, played annually in May in Fort Worth, Texas at Colonial Country Club, who organizes the event. It is one of five invitational tournaments on the PGA Tour; the inaugural event was held 73 years ago in 1946.
The tournament was founded 73 years ago in 1946, and honors the history of golf by using an official Scottish tartan plaid jacket for its champions and top committee chairmen. Another tradition feeding Colonial history is the Wall of Champions on the first tee, engraved with the name and score of each champion dating back to 1946, plus the 1975 Tournament Players Championship, 1941 U.S. Open, and 1991 U.S. Women's Open.
The tournament is unofficially associated with Ben Hogan (1912–1997), the long-time Fort Worth resident who won the tournament five times, the most of any player. One of the top players in golf history, he won nine major titles, six after a near-fatal automobile collision in 1949 that kept him hospitalized for two months. Hogan's final three major wins were consecutive in 1953; a statue of him at swing completion is near the clubhouse.
Annika Sörenstam played in the 2003 tournament and became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event in 58 years, since Babe Zaharias made three cuts as an amateur in 1945. Sörenstam's participation drew high media attention, but she shot 71 and 74 and missed the cut by four strokes.
Previous sponsors were Dean & Deluca (2016–2017), Crowne Plaza (2007–2015), Bank of America (2003–2006), MasterCard (1996–2002), and Southwestern Bell (1989–1994). There was no title sponsor in 1995 or 2018.
The event name had "Colonial" in its title through 2015, when the "Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial" was renamed the "Dean & DeLuca Invitational". Even the unsponsored 2018 event used the name "Fort Worth Invitational", as opposed to "Colonial Invitational" which was used the last time the event was without a sponsor back in 1995.
The 2018 tournament, renamed the Fort Worth Invitational, is being held through the support of four local corporate supporters that have stepped-in to provide financial support after Dean & DeLuca suddenly pulled-out of a six-year sponsorship agreement. American Airlines, AT&T, XTO Energy Inc. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway agreed to fund the 2018 tournament to allow time for the PGA Tour and Colonial Country Club to find a new sponsor.
The Charles Schwab Challenge is one of only five tournaments given "invitational" status by the PGA Tour, and consequently it has a reduced field of approximately 125 players (as opposed to most full-field open tournaments with a field of 156 players). The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Genesis Open (to be converted in 2020), Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, and the Memorial Tournament.
Invitational tournaments have smaller fields (between 120 and 132 players), and have more freedom than full-field open tournaments in determining which players are eligible to participate in their event, as invitational tournaments are not required to fill their fields using the PGA Tour Priority Ranking System. Furthermore, unlike full-field open tournaments, invitational tournaments do not offer open qualifying (aka Monday qualifying).
- Colonial winners prior to 2000 and in the last five years
- Colonial Winners in top 150 of prior year FedEx Cup points list
- The Players Championship and major championship winners in the last five years
- The Tour Championship and World Golf Championships winners in the past three years
- Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial winners in the past three years
- PGA Tour tournament winners since the last Colonial tournament
- Playing members on the last named U.S. Ryder Cup team
- Current PGA Tour members who were playing members on the last named European Ryder Cup team, U.S. Presidents Cup team, and International President's Cup team
- Two players to be selected by the current and former champions of the Colonial tournament (Champions Choices)
- Top 15 finishers and ties from previous year's Colonial Tournament
- 12 sponsors exemptions -- 2 from among graduates of Web.com Tour finals, 6 members not otherwise exempt, and 4 unrestricted
- Top 50 Official World Golf Ranking through the Masters
- Top 80 from prior year's FedEx Cup points list
- Members in the top 125 non-member category whose non-WGC points for the previous season equal or exceed the points earned by the player finishing in 80th position on the prior year FedEx Cup points list
- Top 80 from current year's FedEx Cup points list through the tournament two weeks prior
- If necessary to complete a field of 120 players, any remaining positions are filled from current year's FedEx Cup points list
Colonial winners prior to 2000 that are not otherwise eligible are in addition to a field of 120.
Champion's Choice tradition
Colonial has a unique PGA Tour tradition known as the Champion's Choice invitation. Each year, former Colonial champions select two deserving young players, who otherwise would be ineligible, to compete in the tournament.
Pros who made their first appearance at Colonial as a Champion's Choice include Al Geiberger, Tom Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Mark O'Meara, Paul Azinger and Davis Love III. Five Champion's Choices have eventually won the Colonial; Dave Stockton is the only Champion's Choice to win the tournament in the year selected (1967).
Eleven men have won this tournament more than once through 2018.
- Ben Hogan: 1946, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1959
- "2015 PGA Hole Statistics - Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial". ESPN. May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- "Little Ben Hogan takes Colonial golf match". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. (Florida). Associated Press. May 20, 1946. p. 10.
- "Ben Hogan winner in Colonial playoff". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. May 5, 1959. p. 1C.
- Sirak, Ron (May 17, 2011). "Spirit of Hogan remains at Colonial". Golf Digest. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Ferguson, Doug (May 21, 2003). "Moment of proof". Times Daily. Florence, Alabama. Associated Press. p. 5C.
- Lozano, Juan A. (May 18, 2003). "Babe was bigger than the game". Daily News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. Associated Press.
- Ferguson, Doug (May 24, 2003). "Rough cut". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. B1.
- "Dean & DeLuca announced as title sponsor of Colonial event". PGA Tour. February 15, 2016.
- Colonial National Invitation Tournament - 2016 Eligibility
- "2015–16 PGA Tour Player Handbook & Tournament Regulations" (PDF). October 5, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 12, 2016.
- "Vicenzo Wins Colonial Golf". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. May 6, 1957. p. 14A. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Souchak Wins Colonial Open". The Day. New London, Connecticut. Associated Press. May 7, 1956. p. 16. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Chandler Harper Wins Colonial Golf By Eight Strokes". The Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Florida. Associated Press. May 9, 1955. p. 11. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Palmer Captures Colonial Golf". Reading Eagle. Reading, Pennsylvania. United Press. May 31, 1954. p. 10. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Ben Hogan Wins $5000 First in Colonial Golf". Nashua Telegraph. Nashua, New Hampshire. Associated Press. May 25, 1953. p. 10. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Hogan's Hot Finish Wins Colonial Golf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. May 26, 1952. p. 21. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Middlecoff Wins Colonial Golf Title". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. United Press. May 28, 1951. p. 22. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Snead Wins Colonial Golf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. May 29, 1950. p. 15. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Flood Washes Out Colonial Golf Date". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Lewiston, Maine. Associated Press. May 27, 1949. p. 21. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Heafner Cops Colonial Golf". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. May 31, 1948. p. 27. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Hogan Wins in Colonial National". The Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Associated Press. May 17, 1947. p. 11. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- 2010 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Media Guide - p. 114
- Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial – Winners – at www.pgatour.com
- Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial – Winners – at golfobserver.com (1970–2009)
- Johnson, Sal; Seanor, Dave, eds. (2009). The USA Today Golfers Encyclopedia. New York, New York: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60239-302-8.