Corby on Colonial - Q&A with Corby Davidson, 1310 The Ticket Hardline
Photo: Corby Davidson
By Jay Betsill, Special to the Charles Schwab Challenge
The sports world is on the cusp of the PGA Tour‘s historical restart at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club. It will be the first PGA Tour action since March 12 when the Players Championship was cancelled following its opening round  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top five players and 16 of the top 20 in the world will be on hand in Fort Worth.

In honor of the historic occasion, Corby Davidson, heard weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on Sports Radio 96.7 FM and 1310 AM The Ticket, joined me to discuss some of his favorite Colonial memories and who would don the plaid jacket if he had his choice.

JAY BETSILL: In one of our past interviews, you told me that your favorite annual DFW sporting event is the Colonial. When and why did your love for the Colonial begin?

​​​​​​​CORBY DAVIDSON: - I was probably 12 years old and I had just started playing golf. My mom and dad tried to get me to play at a much younger age. My mom was a good golfer and she'd always wanted me to play So I picked up clubs at the age of 12 and I loved it, was really hooked early on. My dad asked if I'd like to go to Colonial and I was like, "Yeah, sure" while not knowing much about it. My first Colonial was 1982 when Jack Nicklaus won. I thought it was really cool and at the time, he was really the only golfer I knew. I didn't know the sport very much, but everybody knew who Jack Nicklaus was, so I figured he must win every single week. I remember the crowd of people on 18 and it was more people than I could have ever imagined being on a golf course and that was just really cool. Then I started taking the game more seriously as far as my own game and I ended up taking lessons from a teaching pro over at Colonial named Bobby Morris. He was great, an older guy probably in his 70s, he was a contemporary of Ben Hogan's and had some stories from playing with him back in the day. So I ended up going to Colonial a ton, not only every year as a fan, but I was taking lessons out there and got to play it a couple of times in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram junior tournament. Then when I was in college at TCU, I went out there to work the tournament and they hired me to work the range. I'd get out there at 6:00 in the morning and watch these guys just beat balls for hours and hours on end, then I'd go pick up the range and do it all over again all day long and I loved it. One time the caddies had a fish fry down by the far end of the range and I got to hang out with them and know a bunch of them and that was REALLY fun. I've always loved Colonial. I love the trees, the history, the Hogan angle of it. It was all super cool. I just have nothing but really, really fond memories of being out there. Love it, love it all.

JAY BETSILL: Do you have any favorite memories from playing at Colonial whether it's from Media Day or getting invited to go play the course?
CORBY DAVIDSON: - Through the years, I've been able to play Colonial quite a few times. I had a really good round for me where I shot in the 70s. I don't really have one "favorite playing memory" because every time I go out there to play, I feel like a little kid again, like I'm not supposed to be there. You know, I don't belong there as far as being able to play whenever, so I've never lost that feeling and I still love getting to go out there.

JAY BETSILL: Do you have any favorite memories from covering the Colonial in a media capacity?

CORBY DAVIDSON: - The first time that I ever covered the Colonial for the radio station was sometime in the mid 90s. I remember Nick Price during one of the practice rounds and I walked up to him somewhere on the back nine. I asked him "Mr. Price, can I talk to you after your round?" He looks at me and says "Why don't you just walk with me down the fairway and we can talk right now?" So I was like "Oh My God!" Nick Price was fresh off of winning a couple of majors, he may have even been No. 1 in the world at that point, but I was so nervous. He could tell that I was nervous and he put his arm around me and was so incredibly cool. To "A" do that and "B" to know that I was overwhelmed by the situation and to make me feel better. I'll never forget that.

JAY BETSILL: We can probably borrow from your first answer, but are there any other favorite Colonial tournament memories you'd like to share?
CORBY DAVIDSON: It would have to be the first Colonial that I went to, I was with my dad and I remember him showing me the Wall of Champions and saying "Jack's name will be up here" and I thought it was so cool. Still to this day, the wall is mind-numbingly great as far as the names of the guys who have won that tournament. That wall is an eye-opener if you've never seen it up close. Every single time I play there, I get chills. When I see those names, it's like "I have no right even teeing off and playing this course!" It's pretty awe-inspiring.

JAY BETSILL: Speaking of awe-inspiring, what are your thoughts on the stellar field at this year's Colonial?
CORBY DAVIDSON: - It's overwhelming. It's so cool and I just hate it that nobody can go out there. It's literally once in a generation that you're going to get a field like this for any golf tournament, much less the Colonial, which for years has struggled to get big names out there. In the last handful of years, the corner has turned, but NOTHING like this. It's crazy and in my head I picture Rory McIlroy's plane landing here and him getting off the plane going "What the hell am I dong here! It's 200 degrees!" All these guys, it's a dream that they are all here, that they are all playing at Colonial and it's just the cruelest twist of fate that nobody can go out there, including ME. That part is a total bummer.

JAY BETSILL: So with this incredibly stacked field, who do you think will win?
CORBY DAVIDSON: - Unless it's Tiger in his prime, literally predicting a golf tournament is the biggest waste of time ever. The fact that Colonial never has back-to-back winners, they haven't had one since like the 50s, so you can't pick the defending champion. The fact that these guys haven't played a competitive round of golf in three months means you can't weigh anything as far as "who's been playing well"or "who's the hot golfer" because that's typically what you'd do is just go back a couple of weeks and see who's trending upwards, so there's just no real way to predict who will win this.

JAY BETSILL: If you could write the script, who would you want to see putting on the plaid jacket on Sunday?
CORBY DAVIDSON: - The guy that I want to win it is Rory. If he wins, I think he'll come back here. That would be my dream winner because I think Brooks (Koepka) will come back and I'd say pick 10 of the 15 top guys that will be back, but Rory is the one that I don't know about, so it would be really cool to see him pull that off. It's an impossible ask to show up and see a golf course for the first time ever and maybe one that doesn't suit your strongest point, which is just bombing drives. It's a lot to ask, but I hope he wins.

Follow Corby Davidson on Twitter @CorbyDavidson and Jay Betsill on Twitter @TheFamousJay