Welcome everyone to the Crowne Plaza Invitational. The tour stays in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and head to Colonial Country Club a regular tour stop since 1946. This course was designed by Perry Maxwell and John Bredemus and opened in 1936. Fort Worth resident and golfing legend Ben Hogan won this event five times and the course has been nick named 'Hogan's Alley' as a result.
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A 7200 yd par 70 similar set up to the RBC’s Harbour Town, we'll want to look at total driving, specifically accuracy as key stats. Small, slick bent grass greens will force players to get their approach shots not only on the green but close to the pin as well. Good putters have also done here in recent years with Zach Johnson, David Toms and Steve Stricker winning here the last four years. Average winning score of around -16 will have us look at scoring and birdie average as well as par breakers. Of course we're still in Texas so the wind will be in play. As of this writing the forecast does look dry with mild 13 mph winds expected through the week.
This tournament is an invitational that has a reduced field of 125, 8 in the WGR top 30 will be on hand this week including two time winner Z. Johnson and last year's runner up Jason Dufner. Two time runner up Davis Love III will make his 24th appearance at Colonial. Other notables include Matt Kuchar, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler and Bo Van Pelt.
Matt Kuchar 20/1
First player on our list will be the arguably most consistent player on tour Matt Kuchar. He’s made an amazing 12/12 cuts this season and has only missed one cut the past year and a half which was at last year’s PGA Championship. This year he has four top tens highlighted by his win at the WGC Match Play and T8 at The Masters. Has made 6 of 6 cuts here since ’07 with his solo 9th in ’08 his best finish. Not the best ball striker but solid all around player with a good short game look for him to cruise this week amongst a fairly weak field. Some of his key stats for this week, 17th scoring average, 26th all around, 22nd scrambling, 6th par 5 performance, 37th total putting, 22nd proximity to hole.
Kevin Streelman 20/1
Kevin is in the middle of the best season of his career and will look to keep it going this week. Only 2/4 cuts made here but did pick up a T10 in '11. This year it seems Kevin has really found his game as he's made 10/13 cuts with five top tens including a win in Tampa Bay and T3 in Harbour Town at a course that sets up similarly to Colonial. One of the best all around tee to green players on tour this season look for Kevin to be in contention from start to finish this week. Some of his key stats for this week, 10th total driving, 18th all around, 10th par 3 performance, 17th total putting, 9th ball striking, 12th proximity to hole.
Henrik Stenson 33/1
Henrik is another player having an amazing start to his 2013 season. Although his history here is limited having played three times with results looking like this, mc last year, T44 ’11, T27 ’10. His game is setting up nicely for this track. He’s made 6/8 cuts this season with three top tens including T2 at the Shell and T5 at the Players in his last start. His stats are simply outstanding and warrant backing him on their own merit. He leads the tour in key stats such as driving accuracy, GIR, total driving, ball striking and going for the green. Another nice stat as win back him for the win is his 9th place ranking in final round scoring.
Tim Clark 50/1
Tim is our next selection and is offering some nice value this week. he likes this course and has done well here recently making 7/7 cuts his last seven trips here including T2 in '08 and a playoff loss in '09. He's made 7/11 cuts on the PGA this season with two top tens highlight by his solo second early on this season at the Sony. Very accurate of the tee a decent iron player and solid putter look for Tim to be right there on Sunday. Some of his key stats for this week, 3rd driving accuracy, 36th total putting, 29th proximity to hole.
Brendon de Jonge 66/1
Brendon is just the type of player we’re looking for this week and is offering value at a great price. Hasn’t done anything special here the past few years but has made 3/3 cuts, T41 last year. Has played 16 events this season making the cut in 13 with three top tens including T9 at the Harbour Town course. A good ball striker and all around player if BDJ can make a few putts this week he’ll be right there on Sunday. Some of his key stats for this week, 17th total driving, 16th all around, 9th ball striking, 2nd par 5 performance, 24th scoring average.
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