The Crowne Plaza Invitational | Thursday 21 May - Sunday 24 May | Colonial Country Club
Last week the field made fairly light work of Quail Hollow but this time around things are going to be a lot more difficult as players have to deal with the infamous Colonial Country Club. Widely regarded as a thinking man’s golf course, Colonial is not one which can be overpowered and in what has become a rare occurrence, accuracy off the tee is more important than distance. Once players wrap their heads around that and realise that finding the right spot on the fairway is key this course becomes manageable and it becomes possible to make low scores, although things get a bit more interesting when the wind picks up.
While the players’ ability to hit the ball long may not be tested here almost every other facet of their game is and once on the fairway, greens in regulation become key. On almost every hole challenges surround the greens and it’ll be difficult to avoid all of the hazards that lie waiting to trap wayward approaches. Although placing drives in the right place on the fairway will help in avoiding these difficulties, scrambling also becomes key as no-one can avoid trouble all of the time. Overall this is going to be an event to keep an eye on and will serve as the perfect start to the build up to the US Open.
To Win Outright
Jordan Spieth 11/2
Zach Johnson 12/1
Jimmy Walker 20/1
Paul Casey 28/1
Ryan Palmer 28/1
Ryan Palmer (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Ryan Palmer will return to his home state of Texas this week and if there’s one thing we can be certain of it’s that he will find a lot of support around Colonial. He’s been quoted as saying that this is a tournament he focusses on and although some players would buckle under that kind of pressure, Palmer is one of those players who always manages to rise to the occasion and get going when the chips are down. Sure, he doesn’t arrive here in the best form of his career but he’s still been playing some decent golf and just needs to string four rounds together. I have little doubt that he’s more than capable of doing that in Fort Worth this week so I will be backing Palmer each way.
Kevin Na (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Kevin Na has been flying under the radar lately but if you look at his current form you’ll see that he’s consistently been inside the Top 20 this season and most of his better finishes have come on the more technical layouts. Sure, he comes up against some stiff competition here but he has what it takes to finish inside the Top 5 and definitely can’t be ignored on a course that suits his game perfectly. At this price I’m backing Na each way.
Jimmy Walker (20/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
A few weeks ago every golf punter was keeping an close eye on Walker but he’s gone off the boil of late and given his last few performances, it’s difficult to imagine that he already has two wins under his belt this season. With that in mind this is a risky bet but he does arrive here with some decent course form, having finished inside the Top 10 last year. I’m hoping that this week he finds his feet again and at this price an each way bet is worth the risk.
Jordan Spieth (11/2 a win, 12/10 a place)
Despite having missed the cut two weeks ago, Jordan Spieth has still been priced up as favourite and although it would have been nice to see him available at a price bigger than 11/2 that was never going to happen. This is especially true given that Rory has chosen to play on the European Tour this week and Spieth will know that a win here will earn him even more of those coveted FedEx Cup points and serve as the perfect preparation for the US Open next month. Spieth looks the player to beat this week and will arrive highly motivated so get on early.