FORT WORTH — When Zach Johnson won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial last year, Bobby Patton was one of the men wearing a plaid jacket ready with a message.
"I said, 'Here is the good news and the bad news,'" Patton recalled. "'You're going to get a million bucks here, but the bad news is, you may not know this... but we're playing golf together next year.'"
Patton is the chairman of the tournament this year, a title he will hold for the next two years. He grew up here in Fort Worth, attended nearby Paschal High School, and is a long-time member of Colonial Country Club.
"This is my home," Patton said. "I grew up right down the street. I remember learning how to ride a bike, and when I learned how to ride a bike, the first place I wanted to go to was here."
Following Patton on the golf course can be an interesting journey. "A lot of people are intimidated by getting out of position on the golf course. Of course, I'm not however, because I play there all the time."
While he carries a high handicap on the golf course, few are aware of Patton's business interests.
Last year, he was part of a management group — along with Magic Johnson — that paid a record $2.1 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I didn't know how much it would change my life," Patton said, but at first glance, you'd never know.
"You've really got to go wide angle to find my belt, but I do have my Dodger belt on... my Crowne Plaza shirt... and my Colonial cap... so I’ve got my favorite brands," he said.
"We still love the Rangers," said Patton's wife, Sherri. "There is room in our hearts for both teams, but if it’s between the two of them, it's Dodgers."
Patton's playing partner in Wednesday's pro-am was defending champion Zach Johnson, so Patton made sure Johnson got a Dodgers jersey, compliments of the owner.
"Is that from you?" Johnson asked.
"Yeah, now we're talking," Patton said. "Oh, now it’s all buddy-buddy!"
A golfing buddy who has great connections.