FORT WORTH — TCU golfer Julien Brun is the only amateur playing in this year's Crowne Plaza invitational at Colonial.
He earned his slot by winning the Spirit Invitational in November in Southeast Texas, a tournament that carries with it an automatic entry into this week's tournament.
“It’s a real good fit, and you know what? He's playing great," said tournament chairman Bobby Patton. "He won the Big 12 championship by nine or ten shots... he just won this regional. He's a really talented golfer.”
As a collegiate golfer, Brun is always ready to grab his bag. So when he reached for it during a practice round on Tuesday, his caddie — former TCU golfer Travis Woolf — quickly put an end to that.
Because Brun was invited to play at Colonial, he faced a tough decision. That’s because he also had a chance to play at the NCAA Championship in Kansas this weekend. So to play here, he had to forfeit a shot for NCAA title.
“The deal was: If the team would make it, I would go out there with the team, which probably would be my last NCAA,” Brun said.
So it sounded like the young golfer didn’t want to go to Kansas without his teammates. “Yeah I didn't want to go by myself,” Brun said. ”It’s not as much fun as with friends and the team.”
Brun, who was born in France, has never played in a PGA-sanctioned event. He has, however, had experience with other professional tournaments — even winning one.
“Yeah I got the chance to win two French Opens back in France in Paris, and I also played a Challenge tournament, which I actually won back in France,” Brun said.
The Challenge Tour event which he won is a training ground for the European Tour. But that doesn't compare to this week.
“The biggest difference is that you've got all these players that you watch on TV, so that's kind of intimidating,” Brun said.
Intimidating... but what an experience.