The 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational tees off at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas this week for what promises to be another exciting event on the PGA Tour. Over the years this has become the most anticipated of all the events held in Texas and the field of 125 players have their work cut out for them if they want to win this one. Tight fairways give way to thick rough, so driving accuracy is key, small greens making accuracy with the irons another important factor. Hitting the green will be easier said than done though as players are going to be forced to contend with windy conditions. Once on the green, the putting surface is notoriously quick and difficult to read. The tournament has drawn a top quality field though so almost everyone here should have what it takes to handle these tricky conditions. Expect a hotly contested affair and a lot of excitement come Sunday.
To Win Outright
Matt Kuchar 12/1
Jordan Spieth 14/1
Zach Johnson 14/1
Jim Furyk 16/1
Adam Scott 18/1
Zach Johnson (14/1 a win, 3/1 a place)
An incredible start to the year has given way to an unprecedented slump in Johnson’s game and he has been struggling a bit since January but never mind that, he has real claims here this week based on course form alone. In his last five starts here he has won twice and has yet to finish outside the Top 5, so he clearly loves it. A break over the past few weeks would have hopefully helped him regain some focus and he’ll be looking to repeat the performance here that resulted in him holding the course record. Straight wins on Johnson is the bet for me.
Jim Furyk (16/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
Jim Furyk hasn’t won in years but his game suits this course perfectly and at 16/1 he looks a decent bet. He rarely misses fairways and currently ranks tenth in Driving Accuracy on Tour, a stat that will stand him in good stead if he’s going to have a chance this week. His confidence may have taken a bit of a knock over the past couple of weeks where he came close to finally breaking his win drought, but those two second-place finishes show his game is where it needs to be if he wants to compete. Hopefully come Sunday he will be donning the tartan jacket.
Boo Weekley (50/1 a win, 11/1 a place)
Boo Weekley is one of the best ball strikers around and he proved how important that is here last year, where he managed to come out on top in what was a hotly contested Sunday. Unlike some of the top names in this field, he has little experience defending titles but he was playing great last week where he managed a T5, proving he’s overcome the missed cut he suffered at the Players Championship. 50/1 looks a great price on the defending champion so each way here is the bet for me. As usual, Hollywood are also offering Top 10 Finish betting so those of you who wish to improve your chances can take that bet.
TOP BET: Jordan Spieth (14/1 a win, 31/10 a place)
After deliberating for the last few weeks whether to back Spieth or not, I finally pulled the trigger last week. That turned out to be a mistake as he didn’t come close to challenging for the title at Los Colinas, but no-one is perfect. He’s definitely better than that performance. He was impressive here last year on debut and ended up finishing inside the Top 10 and since then his game has improved drastically and his confidence has risen through the roof. 14/1 is a bit skinny but he has real claims here and could well end up finishing in the top spot. Get on.