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BlogCrowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Preview and Picks

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

May 23 – 26, 2013

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, Texas

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,204

Purse: $6.4 Million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Zach Johnson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Player HP Byron Nelson Volvo World Match Play Championship The Players Championship Wells Fargo Volvo China Open Zurich Classic of New Orleans Ballantine’s Championship RBC Heritage Open de Espana Masters Valero Texas Open Shell Houston Open Arnold Palmer Invitational
Kevin Streelman
(319.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(200)
T6
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(60)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(9.67)
Henrik Stenson
(245 pts)
DNP
 
T17
(33)
T5
(140)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T18
(32)
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
T8
(16.67)
Marc Leishman
(241.33 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP
 
T8
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
T4
(80)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Sang-Moon Bae
(187.67 pts)
Win
(150)
DNP
 
T33
(34)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T48
(5.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T40
(3.33)
Ryan Palmer
(179.33 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP
 
T5
(140)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T32
(12)
DNP
 
T64
(2)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T15
(11.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
David Lingmerth
(172.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(200)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(2.33)
Martin Laird
(172.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(140)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
Win
(50)
CUT
(-3.33)
T34
(5.67)
Angel Cabrera
(158 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP
 
T55
(12)
71
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
2
(100)
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Charley Hoffman
(146 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T37
(26)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T6
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(30)
T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kyle Stanley
(140.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T33
(34)
T6
(60)
DNP
 
3
(60)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
78
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Charl Schwartzel
(136.33 pts)
3
(90)
DNP
 
T55
(12)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T25
(25)
T22
(9.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Bo Van Pelt
(134.33 pts)
DNP
 
T9
(45)
T62
(6)
T6
(60)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T71
(0)
DNP
 
T20
(30)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Derek Ernst
(132 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
Win
(150)
DNP
 
T47
(5.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Ben Crane
(131 pts)
T57
(5)
DNP
 
T8
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T48
(5.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T4
(26.67)
T65
(0.67)
Brendon De Jonge
(121.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T15
(70)
T43
(9)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T9
(30)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T22
(9.33)
T10
(13.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Harris English
(105.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP
 
T33
(34)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(40)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T61
(1.33)
T50
(2.33)
T57
(1.67)
Matt Kuchar
(102.33 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP
 
T48
(16)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T35
(10)
DNP
 
T8
(50)
T22
(9.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Graham Delaet
(95.33 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T26
(48)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T47
(5.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T31
(6.33)
T50
(2.33)
Jeff Overton
(93.67 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP
 
T26
(48)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T42
(6)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T7
(18.33)
T27
(7.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Zach Johnson
(90 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T19
(62)
T65
(2)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T48
(5.33)
DNP
 
T35
(15)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(5.67)
Freddie Jacobson
(85.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP
 
T48
(16)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T25
(25)
T15
(11.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
John Huh
(85.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T68
(2)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T11
(39)
72
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
T27
(7.67)
Casey Wittenberg
(81.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T8
(100)
T68
(1)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
70
(0.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
David Hearn
(75.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T26
(48)
T43
(9)
DNP
 
T21
(19.33)
DNP
 
87
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(2.67)
D.H. Lee
(74.33 pts)
T43
(9)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T16
(34)
DNP
 
T8
(33.33)
DNP
 
T83
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T60
(1.33)
DNP
 

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Player HP Byron Nelson Volvo World Match Play Championship The Players Championship Wells Fargo Volvo China Open Zurich Classic of New Orleans Ballantine’s Championship RBC Heritage Open de Espana Masters Valero Texas Open Shell Houston Open Arnold Palmer Invitational
Troy Matteson
(-43 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T83
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T53
(2)
T56
(1.67)
DNP
 
Scott Stallings
(-42 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T53
(2)
T45
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
J.J. Henry
(-41.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
62
(2)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T40
(3.33)
Dicky Pride
(-38.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
T58
(5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
Nicholas Thompson
(-38 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T48
(5.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T53
(2)
T60
(1.33)
T72
(0)
Brian Stuard
(-35.33 pts)
T75
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T16
(11.33)
Y.E. Yang
(-34.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T49
(5.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jonathan Byrd
(-32 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
T80
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T66
(1.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
Robert Streb
(-30.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bryce Molder
(-30.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T22
(9.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

With the USGA and the R&A not backing down on their proposed ban on anchoring putters on one’s body, it will be interesting to see what happens next.  The sides are drawn with the European and LPGA tours siding with the USGA and the R&A while the PGA Tour and the PGA of America feel the ban shouldn’t happen.  Would the PGA Tour have the guts to defy the ruling bodies on making rules and go against them with their own rules on this?  It’s an interesting question and even though millions of words in thousands of stories have been written about it not one publication has really gone in depth on how this really happened and how we got into this mess.  A lot has to do in the way the PGA Tour is run and all of the politics behind how their rules are made, which a lot of people would be surprised at the process.

Just to touch upon it briefly, many golf fans feel that PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem makes up all of the rules and policy but that isn’t so.  The players, via their player advisory council and policy board are the ones that dictate what direction the tour goes in.  Now Finchem advises them on the direction they should take, but in some cases the players have gone on their own to overrule Finchem.  This is probably one of those times.

Before you get confused I will throw out this one piece of knowledge that not many people have considered in this debate.  The USGA and the R&A, very smart folks, didn’t sit in some dark room last year and all of a sudden make such an important policy without consulting everyone from the PGA Tour to the PGA of America to every tour and a lot of organizations like Augusta National.  The process to come up with this rules change took many months to iron out and the USGA and the R&A would not of gone through the process without the blessing of Finchem and the Tour.

This is pure conjecture and on my part but I think that the Tour was made aware of this possible ban last year.  So it wasn’t as if it came out of left field for Finchem who probably got the blessing of either the Player Advisory Council or the Policy Board members and went along with this last summer.  Reason I think this is what happened is the way Davis Love III, who is on the board, flipped-flopped on this, over the summer he thought the ban would be ok, but in January said he changed his mind.  So what I think happened after the fact,  (remember, this is my conjecture, I have nobody that will go on the record on this) is the announcement on the proposed ban came in November.  Tour players talked among themselves and didn’t like the proposal.  By the time one of the player meetings took place in San Diego in January they were unified on not having the ban.  With the players together they gave their marching orders to the Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members which then gave Finchem, weather he liked it or not, his marching orders.  Thus the announcement that Finchem made on the Sunday of the Match Play that the PGA Tour was not backing the new rules proposal.

This news went back to the USGA and the R&A, who set up a 90 day process of getting feedback so they could make their final decision.  That decision came back this week and they are not going to make any changes so this is going to be a rule in January of 2016.  The PGA Tour made an announcement right after saying they needed to access things with their Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members to see what direction they will take.  Sometime in the coming months they will announce their decision and we will either have peace if they back down or some kind of action in which the PGA Tour will make their own ruling on anchoring, which is something that nobody wants to see happen.

Honestly I don’t know what direction this will go.  I don’t think the USGA or the R&A will budge on this.  I also don’t think that this is some bluff on their part, they know what cards they hold and are playing them.  As for the Tour, it’s now up to Finchem and his people to realize and tell the players that this is going to happen and they will have to make a very important decision.  Do they go against the ruling bodies of golf and make their own rules?  On the surface it sounds easy, but frankly it’s like allowing your 16 year-old to dictate policy on family matters and overrules the parents decision, something that usually brings on chaos.  For the time being or at least this year it will be status que and nothing will be effected over this.  Matter of fact it will be status que for not only this season but next season and the season afterwards before this takes effect.  So for a Keegan Bradley, who is one player that this effects it’s not pretty but he can still win tens of millions of dollars before this takes effect.  Still as many of us know, time does go by faster than we all think, but the reality of this is a bit down the road.

 

Things you need to know about this week at the Colonial

I hate to talk about technology in golf but I have to say that if there is one true gem of a course that has fallen by the wayside because of technology, it’s Colonial.  This course for years was feared, if you look at the winning score pre-1996 you saw years in which the winner was 7, 8, 9 and 10 under.  But starting in 1997 every year but one (8 under in 1999) saw scores in the double digits for the winners showing how easy the course got.<P>

Couple of reasons, first the course has no room to add yardage like other classic courses have done.  Now most of the holes at Colonial are doglegs so the driver has been taken out of the hands of players which means that most of the holes you have to lay up meaning more players hit more fairways.  Also a lot of players are starting to balk about playing Colonial, two past champions Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson are taking a pass on the event because they don’t like the driver taken out of there hands. We have seen bits and pieces of the proud history of this event crumbling and I expect that Colonial will again get torn to pieces by players, unless wind pops up.

 

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Colonial:

Key stat for the winner:

  • Experience at Colonial seems to be an important part to winning.  Since 1996 all the champions have won an average of 10 PGA Tour events.  Last year Zach Johnson won for the eight time in his career as winners range from Tom Watson with 34 wins and Nick Price with 18 to Sergio Garcia made Colonial is first PGA Tour win in 2001.  The fact is rookies don’t win at Colonial.  Yes Sergio Garcia got his first PGA Tour win at Colonial but he had won in Europe.  The same with the next first time winner Ian Baker-Finch in 1989, he had won in Australia.  In looking at the 64 year history of the Crowne Plaza, only eight first winners have done the deed which tells us to look for an experience person to win.
  • Look at all of the champions and you will see one thing in common, they are accurate drivers of the ball, which historically has been very important in winning at Colonial.  The bottom line is wild drivers just don’t win here.  Now of course there is always exception to the rules, in 2007 Rory Sabbatini only hit 29 fairways and ranked T60th, Mickelson hit only 32 fairways in ’08 and ranked T36th but thanks to a hot putter both overcame the driving problems.  In 2009 Steve Stricker got things back on track hitting 36 fairways and ranking T15th while in 2010 Zach Johnson hit 39 fairways and ranked T10th.  In 2011 David Toms hit 38 fairways and ranked T4th while last year Zach Johnson hit 33 fairways and ranked T26th.  Before that between 1998 and 2006 all of the winners were in the top-ten in fairway accuracy, with seven of them being in the top-five.
  • An important stat to look at to gauge the champion this week is total driving.  Look at this list of players for 2013 in total driving, I feel that one of those in the top-25 of this list will probably be the winner this week.
  • What makes this course so tough of a driving course?  All of the doglegs, there are 12 of them and the fact that since the course only plays 19 yards longer than it did in 1946, players have to throttle back and hit fairway woods and irons to keep it in play.  One of the reasons that you don’t see a player like Tiger Woods here is because of that, it takes a special player to keep it in play.  So in a way strategy plays an important part in playing Colonial and length on a lot of holes are a disadvantage.
  • Weather shouldn’t be an issue this week as everyday is suppose to be in the high 80s with mostly cloudy skies.  But as we all know about this region in the spring, anything could happen and there could be some isolated T-storms.
  • Shot-making is almost a lost art and if you look at the last eight champions all of them except for Olin Browne are great shotmakers.
  • Hitting greens will be at a premium, just like in a U.S. Open hitting lots of greens goes a long way in this event.  Look for the winner to hit globs of greens this week.  A player like David Toms could be a good pick since he putts well on flat greens.
  • Because of the firmness of the greens, balls tend to roll off the back and sides.  So scramblers always do well at Colonial, no too ways about it you always are stuck a lot chipping at Colonial.  Look at how all of the champions except for Tim Herron have done great in scrambling:

             How the winners have scrambled in past 12 years:

  • In 2012, Zach Johnson got it up and down 21 of 27 times (77.78%), ranked 1st
  • In 2011 David Toms got it up and down 16 of 23 times (70.00%), ranked 12th
  • In 2010 Zach Johnson  got it up and down 10 of 11 times (90.90%), ranked 1st
  • In 2009 Steve Stricker  got it up and down 12 of 16 times (75.00%), ranked T14th
  • In 2008 Phil Mickelson  got it up and down 14 of 20 times (70.00%), ranked T16th
  • In 2007 Rory Sabbatini  got it up and down 19 of 24 times (79.17%), ranked 3rd
  • In 2006 Tim Herron  got it up and down 15 of 22 times (68.2%), ranked T26th
  • In 2005 Kenny Perry  got it up and down 14 of 16 times (87.5%), ranked 1st
  • In 2004 Steve Flesch  got it up and down 20 of 26 times (76.9%), ranked T2nd
  • In 2003 Kenny Perry  got it up and down 7 of 9 times (77.8%), ranked 6th
  • In 2002 Nick Price  got it up and down 20 of 28 times (71.4%), ranked T9th
  • In 2001 Sergio Garcia got it up and down 12 of 17 times (70.6%), ranked 10th

Who to watch for at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Best Bets:

Martin Laird

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T10 T10

Seems to know how to play Colonial, won a couple of months ago and ready to win again.

Zach Johnson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
Win 4 Win T9 T30 T26 T14

Unbelievable record in this event, this has become his little annuity which I see him again having another high finish.

Matt Kuchar

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T26 T16 T56 T27 9 T36

Looking to break out of his post match play funk, could be a place for that.

Best of the rest:

Kevin Streelman

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT T10 CUT T41

Not many will know that in his last three starts has been T2nd, T6th and T3rd. That along with the fact that he was T10th in 2011 makes him a very big favorite.

Jason Dufner

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
2 CUT T59 CUT

Looking to break out of his slump, hasn’t had a top-ten since January but this could be a great venue for him to breakout.

Charl Schwartzel

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

First time around Colonial, his game is tailor-made for the place.

Rickie Fowler

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T5 T16 T38

Showed his liking to the course last year with a T5th.

Solid contenders

Ben Crane

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T10 CUT T3 T46 5 T4 T17 WD

Has four top-tens including a T3rd in 2010.

Charlie Wi

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T41 2 75 T13 T15

Knocking on the door in 2011, his game is getting better and he could surprise us all.

Robert Karlsson

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T5

Played well here two years ago, finished T4th at Wells Fargo, should expect at least that this week.

David Toms

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
CUT Win T13 T27 T26 T18 T30 T3 T44 WD T2 T8

A great venue for him to achieve a high finish.

Long shots that could come through:

Jordan Spieth

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
First time playing in this event

Colonial will suit his game, look for a top-ten this week

John Huh

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T5

Good finish last week and good finish last year at Colonial.

Harris English

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T5

You have to think the way he is playing that he is a great longshot.

Chris Kirk

2012 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ’01
T5 T16 T74

Watch him, has had a solid year and coming to a course he has done well on in the past.

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