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BlogColonial Preview and Picks

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

May 22 – 25, 2014

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, Texas

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,204

Purse: $6.4 million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Boo Weekley

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 20 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with three players from the top-ten #1 Adam Scott, #4 Matt Kuchar and #9 Jordan Spieth. The other top 50 players are #12 Jim Furyk, #13 Zach Johnson, #14 Dustin Johnson, #17 Jimmy Walker, #22 Jason Duner, #26 Hideki Matsuyama, #29 Brandt Snedeker, #33 Graham DeLaet, #34 Bill Haas, #36 Hunter Mahan, #37 Rickie Fowler, #38 Louis Oosthuizen, #41 Harris English, #44 Matt Jones, #47 Matt Every, $48 Chris Kirk and #50 John Senden.

Also for those looking at the change, yes Adam Scott did take over the number one spot last week while not playing.

The field includes 17 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #3 Matt Kuchar, #4 Dustin Johnson, #6 Jordan Spieth, #7 Harris English, #8 Chris Kirk, #9 Zach Johnson, #10 Jim Furyk, #11 Brendon Todd, #12 Matt Every, #15 John Senden, #16 Kevin Stadler, #18 Kevin Na,  #21 Graham DeLaet, #23 Seung-Yul Noh, #24 Brian Stuard, and #25 Matt Jones.

The field includes 14 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #3 Dustin Johnson,  #4 Matt Kuchar, #5 Jordan Spieth, #7 Jim Furyk, #8 Harris English, #9 Chris Kirk, #11 Zach Johnson, #10 Jim Furyk, #11 Brendon Todd, #14 Matt Every, #15 Brendon Todd, #19 Graham DeLaet, #20 John Senden, #21 Kevin Stadler and #25 Matt Jones.

The field includes 9 players that have won 12 events on the PGA Tour this year: Jimmy Walker (Frys.com Open, Sony Open & AT&T Pebble), Dustin Johnson (WGC-HSBC Champions), Chris Kirk (McGladrey Classic). Harris English (Mayakoba), Zach Johnson (Hyundai T of C); Scott Stallings (Farmers); Kevin Stadler (WM Phoenix); Chesson Hadley (Puerto Rico); John Senden (Valspar), Matt Every (Palmer); Steven Bowditch (Valero Texas Open), Matt Jones (Shell Houston); Matt Kuchar (RBC Heritage) Seung-Yul Noh (Zurich) and Brendon Todd (HP Nelson).

The field includes 9 past champions: Boo Weekley (2013),Zach Johnson (2012 & ’10), David Toms (2011), Rory Sabbatini (2007), Tim Herron (2006), Steve Flesch (2004), Olin Browne (1999), Corey Pavin (1996 & ’85) and Keith Clearwater (1987).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Crowne Plaza Colonial field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Crowne Plaza Colonial in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Crowne Plaza Colonial.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Be sure to join us late Saturday/early Sunday morning for our who will win on Sunday at the Colonial.

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 Arnold Palmer Invitational The Players Championship Zurich Classic of New Orleans RBC Heritage Shell Houston Open HP Byron Nelson Championship Valero Texas Open Valspar Championship Wells Fargo Championship Masters Maybank Malaysian Open Volvo China Open Open de Espana
Jim Furyk
(364.67 pts)
DNP 2
(150)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
T20
(10)
2
(100)
T14
(48)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(349.83 pts)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP Win
(88)
2
(33.33)
T7
(55)
T4
(26.67)
T38
(4)
DNP T5
(93.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jordan Spieth
(311.67 pts)
DNP T4
(120)
DNP T12
(25.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(13)
10
(13.33)
T20
(10)
DNP T2
(133.33)
DNP DNP DNP
John Senden
(202.33 pts)
T52
(0)
T26
(36)
T29
(14)
DNP DNP T11
(39)
T42
(2.67)
Win
(44)
DNP T8
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(179.67 pts)
DNP T6
(90)
DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
T37
(13)
T16
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T8
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(151 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T38
(8)
T43
(2.33)
Win
(132)
T6
(20)
T44
(2)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chris Kirk
(130.83 pts)
T60
(0)
T13
(55.5)
DNP T27
(15.33)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T30
(20)
T20
(40)
DNP DNP DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(123.33 pts)
WD
(-1.67)
T38
(18)
T17
(22)
T9
(30)
DNP T45
(5)
DNP T70
(0)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(117.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-15)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T11
(39)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 25
(33.33)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(116.83 pts)
T31
(6.33)
T23
(40.5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Rickie Fowler
(115.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T77
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 6
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(12)
T5
(93.33)
DNP DNP DNP
David Hearn
(113.33 pts)
T52
(0)
T6
(90)
T34
(10.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
T44
(6)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Kisner
(106 pts)
DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
T38
(8)
68
(0)
T16
(34)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Na
(101.67 pts)
T14
(12)
T38
(18)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T11
(13)
2
(33.33)
T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(98.33 pts)
DNP T38
(18)
T5
(46.67)
T38
(8)
T37
(4.33)
DNP T11
(13)
T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brendon De Jonge
(97.33 pts)
DNP 70
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T37
(4.33)
T29
(21)
T36
(4.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(60)
T37
(17.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Adam Scott
(96 pts)
3
(30)
T38
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(48)
DNP DNP DNP
Bill Haas
(95 pts)
DNP T26
(36)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
T44
(6)
T20
(40)
DNP DNP DNP
Seung-Yul Noh
(92.67 pts)
T35
(5)
T72
(0)
Win
(88)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Chappell
(90.67 pts)
T14
(12)
T26
(36)
T34
(10.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T31
(6.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Daniel Summerhays
(86.5 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T23
(40.5)
T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T2
(33.33)
T70
(0)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Robert Streb
(83.67 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T72
(0)
DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Jones
(82.17 pts)
T14
(12)
T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Zach Johnson
(81 pts)
T43
(2.33)
T26
(36)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
DNP T14
(36)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
John Huh
(78.33 pts)
DNP T72
(0)
DNP T3
(60)
T37
(4.33)
T16
(34)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Arnold Palmer Invitational The Players Championship Zurich Classic of New Orleans RBC Heritage Shell Houston Open HP Byron Nelson Championship Valero Texas Open Valspar Championship Wells Fargo Championship Masters Maybank Malaysian Open Volvo China Open Open de Espana
Scott Stallings
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T65
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
David Lingmerth
(-38.33 pts)
T52
(0)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tim Clark
(-33.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-15)
DNP T38
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T82
(0)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
John Rollins
(-33.33 pts)
DNP T77
(0)
74
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T65
(0)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Woody Austin
(-33 pts)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-15)
CUT
(-6.67)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T44
(2)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ken Duke
(-30.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-15)
T75
(0)
T48
(1.33)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP T82
(0)
DNP CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Trevor Immelman
(-29 pts)
T26
(8)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T74
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
T31
(6.33)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Brian Gay
(-26 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-15)
DNP T68
(0)
T43
(2.33)
T57
(0)
T56
(0)
T77
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Heath Slocum
(-23.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bryce Molder
(-23 pts)
T35
(5)
CUT
(-15)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T48
(2)
WD
(-1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Well done Brendon Todd, but how are they all doing it?

First we have the congratulate Todd on a job well done.  He joins Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones and Seung-Yul Noh as first time winners.  Now the list seems longer when you factor in that players like Ryan Moore, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and John Senden won had one victory entering the year.  So you can see why this year his becoming the year of the faceless winner.  We have debated this before on the merits of it in drawing new fans, many will concede that it doesn’t while others say it does hurt the tour.  It also makes it hard on fantasy golf games.  That’s because other than maybe Jimmy Walker all of the winners listed above were big surprises not only winning that week, but the fact that the Saturday night before not many folks would have picked these guys.  I know that if I were Brendon Todd’s father I wouldn’t have picked him to win.

In a way, this is a glass half full and half empty scenario.  Half full on the fact that when we make judgements on players winning or losing the night before the final round we have now to take into account not there past glories or failures.  For me personally, I feel like an idiot writing on Saturday night that someone doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning, and then seeing this guy trot to victory 24 hours later.

So how do we overcome this?  We can’t and I will tell you why.  25 years ago there were only about a 100 players in golf that could win on the PGA Tour.  But when some of the lesser-knowns got into position they were more worried about making a nice check to carry them over because it was hard to make a buck in golf.  One factor now golf has become very lucrative, after six months and 27 events 56 players have made over a million dollars and there is a total of 112 players that have won a half a million or more.  34 years ago Tom Watson led the money list with $530,808.  Today that would rank 106th forcing a player to step it up to keep in the top-125.  So the big factor that we aren’t seeing with guys like Todd going into the final round, he had won $2.2 million already, so life was good for him.  He could go into that final round with the thought that he didn’t have to worry on what would happen financially to him.  In a way guys like Louis Oosthuizen had more on his mind because he was looking at nothing more but winning.  If Todd didn’t win, it would be no big deal because people didn’t count on him winning.  So in a way this makes a real big difference.

Decades ago I loved going to Santa Anita and Del Mar race tracks, sitting in the Turf Club sipping piña colada’s while getting all the stats from the Racing Form.  I would get frustrated seeing  horses that didn’t have the stats win races and those with great pedigree losing.  Finally, a smart man told me that you can’t spot winners on my butt, you had to go to the paddock and stables and see how the horses and jockeys were reacting in their warm ups.  He was right, you could see in their routines the horses and riders who weren’t comfortable and those that were.  The same in golf, you can see in these young guys a routine, body language and a certain cockiness as they are getting ready.  The PGA Tour has become so routine that it’s very easy for these “faceless” guys to go out and win.  Now it all changes at a major or very important tournament that’s why it takes a certain player like Bubba Watson or a Martin Kaymer to win the Masters or Players.

So what is the story Tiger?

I just love these big Tiger Woods media events like we had today, they are meaningless and more about selling something instead of telling us something we all want to know.  Sorry, love Tiger for what he has done as one of the best players ever in golf, respect him for all of that.  But as a person Tiger is a complete zero in my book.  Today Tiger went in front of the media to hype his tournament in July at Congressional and to help his sponsor Quicken Loans along with the Tiger Woods foundation.  We learned very little about Tiger’s status on playing golf again and we didn’t get much from him on what it’s been like the last six weeks since his surgery.  What bothers me is would Tiger go out of his way to give Golf Channel or any other entity a one on one out of the generosity of his heart?  Of course not, he needed their help in selling something and that’s why Golf Channel made a big deal about it.   So there was no real surprise today other than a waste of a couple of hours to come to the conclusion that Tiger probably won’t be back until the PGA Championship and that he has very little chance of playing well this year.  Even on some really great questions to him he has to give sarcastic answers like this exchange:

Reporter to Tiger – Tiger, Arnold Palmer told me not too long ago he doesn’t like to play much anymore because he can’t do what he used to do.  Do you worry you won’t be able to do what you used to do and dominate, and if you can’t, is that something that weighs on you? 

Tiger to Reporter – For him not playing that much, so what, only 10 times a week?

After the laughter Tiger said that he would love to be out there and competing, that seems to be all he cares about winning and nothing else.  I wonder if Tiger knows or cares how many folks are Tiger fans eating and sleeping Tiger every day?  In a way, it’s like what we all experienced in high school with that big crush or love for someone that wouldn’t reciprocate back. Oh well enough of Tiger bashing, didn’t mean for it to come out this way but for me Tiger’s been a complete turn off since he drove his Escalade into the fire hydrate four and a half years ago.

Hard to believe:

In just 31 days will be the start of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.  In just 60 days will be the British open and gosh just 85 days from now we will know who won the last major of the year.  Time really flies by fast doesn’t it?

Things you need to know about the The Crowne Plaza Invitational and Colonial:

The 66th year of The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Commonly referred to as the Colonial National, it’s not the oldest event on the PGA Tour but in longevity records only Augusta National and the Masters can claim to have been played on the same course longer on the PGA Tour.  In addition the club is the only one in America that has hosted the U.S. Open (1941), the Players Championship (1975) and the U.S. Women’s Open (1991).

The tournament got started in 1946 when it was obvious that the USGA wasn’t going to make Colonial an annual stop.  The event was the inspiration of John Marvin Leonard, who operated a store in downtown Fort Worth and wanted to see the best golfers in the world play on his course.  Having Ben Hogan win its first two events gave the event and the course the recognition that it needed.

Hogan went on to win five times at Colonial and the course got the name “Hogan’s Alley”.  At one time, Hogan practically held every record of the tournament.  In the 21 times Hogan played at Colonial, his highest finish was a T-56th in his last appearance in 1970 at the age of 58.  Over Hogan’s career, he won 54 tournaments, with the last victory coming in the 1959 Colonial.  One of Hogan’s most enduring records at Colonial was the 65 he shot in the 3rd round in 1948.  It took seven years for someone to tie the record when Chandler Harper did it in 1955, and it took 22 years for someone to beat the record when Dale Douglass did it with his 63 in 1970.  Hogan loved Colonial and became a dues paying member of the club.  It was only fitting that the greatest of Ben Hogan’s life and golf career is celebrated in the Hogan Room with an audio-visual presentation of his career and some memorable of his career including clubs and replicas of all the trophies and medals.

Now the history of Ben Hogan and Colonial didn’t start with his win in 1946.  It was started in the early 1930s when a young Ben Hogan decided to play on the PGA Tour,  he received financial backing from Marvin Leonard, the man who built Colonial.  Hogan wasn’t a big success, many times were forced to drop off tour and take a job just to earn enough money to rejoin the tour.  But as soon as Hogan began making money on the tour he offered to settle his account with Leonard, who told him to forget about the money.  But in the 1950s Hogan was able to pay back Leonard in an even bigger way.  After Hogan launched the Ben Hogan golf equipment company he offered Leonard the opportunity to purchase 50 percent of the company.  Leonard seized the opportunity and along with Hogan made a handsome profit when the company was sold to AMF in 1960.

The Colonial Country Club was the vision of Leonard, a native of Fort Worth.  He considered a “workaholic” in the 1920s when his doctor told him he needed to slow down his pace.  Leonard turned to golf and joined Glen Garden Golf Club and Rivercrest Country Club, the best courses of the time in Fort Worth. As Leonards interest in golf grew he became more interested in all aspects of the course, including the types of grass.  In the south, Bent grass was thought to be impossible to grow so all of the courses in Texas were bermuda, which tended to be bumpy.  Leonard thought it would be a good idea to have bent grass and in trying to get Rivercrest to change the club president got tired of the requests and told him Marvin, if you’re so sold on bent grass, why don’t you go build your own golf course and put them in?”  So in 1934 Leonard did just that.

He acquired 157 acres in Southwest Fort Worth and hired golf architect John Bredemus to build him a championship course.  On January 29, 1936 the course was opened, and many thought it could be one of the greatest courses in the world. In the late 30s, Leonard also felt that Colonial was the best and lobbied the USGA to hold the Open at Colonial.  Even though the U.S. Open was never played in the South, when Leonard offered $25,000 to hold the event at Colonial it was given the 1941 Open.  Just to make sure that the course withstood the challenge of the best players in the world in 1940 he called in Perry Maxwell to redo holes 3, 4 & 5.

Even with the rain that hampered the Open it was a big success and plans to start a yearly tournament at Colonial were talked about but plans were put on hold because of World War II.  When the war ended, the club decided to hold the Colonial National Invitational and to add some prestige offered a purse of $15,000, the third largest sum on the PGA Tour.  With a first place check of $3,000 awaiting the winner, a field of 32 players teed off with Ben Hogan winning.  Since then 65 Colonial’s had been held with the course pretty much the same as it was in 1941, with some minor revisions that were implemented in 1969 when several holes along the Trinity river were damaged by flooding.

Course information:

  • Colonial Country Club
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • 7,204 yards     Par 35-35–70
  • The Colonial has a 75.1 rating and slope rating of 138 from the championship tees. The course is very private. The tees, Fairways and rough are BermudaGrass while the greens are Bent.  In 2013, Colonial was the 24th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 69.895 average which is just a little bit under par.
  • It was designed and built by John Bredemus, Perry Maxwell and opened in 1936.  There were some minor revisions in 1969 to some of the holes to prevent flooding from the nearby Trinity river.
  • In 2000, the club completed a two year course renovation, which started in November of 1998 when they installed a new irrigation system.  The major work was done in rebuilding all 18 greens with new A-4 bentgrass.  They also redesigned and rebuilt all the 84 bunkers, giving them a new definition so that they will be seen from tees and fairways.
  • All of the green and bunker work were done three weeks after the 1999 tournament ended with the membership not having the full course reopen until April 1st of 2000. Club has also planted close to hundred trees that won’t be in play but in years to come will help define the holes.
  • Normally we don’t talk about technology in golf but when we talk about Colonial one of the reasons for it losing its fear factor is technology.  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.
  • 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 is taken out of the hands of players that means  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 their hands. We have seen bits and pieces of the proud history of this event crumbling,  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.  In 2012 Zach Johnson won for the eighth 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 65 year history of the Crowne Plaza, only eight first winners have done the deed that tells us to look for an experienced person to win.

Another key:

  • Look at all of the champions, 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 an exception to the rule, 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, ranking T15th while in 2010 Zach Johnson hit 39 fairways and ranked T10th.  In 2011, David Toms hit 38 fairways and ranked T4th while in 2012 Zach Johnson hit 33 fairways and ranked T26th.  Last year Boo Weekley hit 40 fairways and ranked T-6th  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 2014 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 had 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.
  • Shot-making is almost a lost art and if you look at the last nine 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.  Now there is another way, if you don’t hit greens, that is scrambling.  All you have to do is look at two stats hitting greens or scrambling,  you will see the last seven champions have done well in one of them.

Winner                           Greens hit    Rank      Scrambling  Rank

2013-Boo Weekely         54 of 72      T-5th         11 of 18      40th

2012-Zach Johnson       45 of 72      T-37th        21 of 27      1st

2011-David Toms           52 of 72      T4th          14 of 20      12th

2010-Zach Johnson       61 of 72        1st           10 of 11      1st

2009-Steve Stricker       56 of 72       T-6th         12 of 16     T-14th

2008-Phil Mickelson      52 of 72       T-5th         14 of 20     T-16th

2007-Rory Sabbatini      48 of 72       T-55th        19 of 24      3rd

 

Now I don’t want to jinx the tournament, but weather in Texas can sometimes be iffy in May.  But not this week as right now forecasters are calling for a perfect week of weather with every day in the high 80s with low humidity.  Can’t remember the last time the weather was this good for two straight weeks in Texas.

 

 

Who to watch for at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Best Bets:

Jim Furyk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T31 4 T31 CUT T9 CUT T2 T17 T26 T5 CUT

Playing the best of anyone, he has a great record and will contend on Sunday, you can count on that.

Matt Kuchar

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2 T26 T16 T56 T27 9 T36

If he and Furyk could play every tournament at Colonial, both of them would have earnings of over $10 million because Colonial is great for both of them.

Jordan Spieth

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7

Let’s try him again and say that the Nelson was just a fluke on a course that may not suit him.

Best of the rest:

Zach Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
3 Win 4 Win T9 T30 T26 T14

Always a factor and you know he will be a factor again this year.

Adam Scott

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T65 T64

Hasn’t played well on this course in past years but he must know something if he is making a surprise visit to it.

Boo Weekley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win T31 55 9 CUT

Usually we don’t like defenders but he is playing great right now, could surprise us all.

Paul Casey

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T13 5

Have watch this guy show some good signs and good play, could see good things this week.

Solid contenders

Marc Leishman

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T46 T57 T44

Guy is hot and could get himself into contention this weekend.

Rickie Fowler

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T54 T5 T16 T38

Has slowed down the last couple of weeks but comes back to a course that he played well at in 2012.

Matt Every

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4 CUT T64

Has all of the tools to play well at Colonial, did finish T4th last year.

Geoff Ogilvy

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T19 T13 T59 T7 T38 T63 CUT CUT

Game has shown some signs of life we just wonder if he could really play four great rounds.

Long shots that could come through:

John Huh

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T11 T5

T11th last year and T5th in 2012, course seems to his liking.

Ryan Palmer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T14 T5 T31 CUT T34 T15 70 T56 T69 CUT

Has played good at Colonial last two years.

Kevin Kisner

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Have had some good starts of late, only thing he doesn’t have the experience to really play well here, look for a possible top-ten.

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