Golf Tips – Crowne Plaza Invitational – PGA Tour – 22-05-2014
This week on the PGA tour we visit the Colonial country club which hosts the Crowne Plaza invitational in Texas. Many of the so called ‘Big Guns’ are playing at Wentworth on the European tour this week which means just three of the current top ten are playing in America. As expected Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar lead the betting with the likes of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson not too far behind them.
Last year’s winner was Boo Weekley who shot 14 under par and continued the trend where each of the last seven winners have finished inside the top 13 around this course at some point in their previous visits. From this we can tell that course form is an important factor when attempting to select the winner this week.
Colonial Country Club is a par 70 which will play just over 7200 yards, the wind tends to play apart in this tournament and speeds are forecasted to be 20-25mph from Thursday to Sunday. The course was ranked 22nd out of 51 in difficulty on the PGA tour in 2011. Players who are accurate off the tee have performed well here, with the likes of Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk performing well in the past. Finally putting is another important factor around this course and last year’s winner Boo Weekley showed us how to do so by making seven putts over 20 feet in length which is very impressive.
Jordan Spieth – I like the majority of the favourites chances this week but Spieth appealed to me the most at odds of 18/1. Spieth is from Texas, this should motivate him to perform well in his home state. The American comes into this tournament in very good form despite having a poor week for his standards last week, he did finish with a 68 which will bring some positives forward coming into Thursday. He is having a great season finishing in the top 10 on six occasions already, this includes a 2nd place finish at The Masters and a 4th place finish in The Players.
At Colonial last year Spieth finish in 7th position which shows he can perform well around this course. Spieth’s strong par 4 performance and ability to scramble well should help him around this course. Jordan is going to have to putt well if he is to win this week and he has putted well so far this year and is ranked 23rd on the PGA Tour in terms of strokes gained putting.
Jordan Spieth 3pts each way – Coral @ 18/1 – http://bit.ly/BET5GET20
Dustin Johnson – Dustin certainly comes into this event after some poor results however I am backing him to build on last weeks performance where he finished in 7th position. Johnson started the year brilliantly with four top six finishes in his first five events. Since then he has struggled a little but as I have already mentioned he played well last week and finished with a 66 which should boost his confidence. DJ has already won on the PGA tour 8 times in his career showing he is more than capable of winning events.
Johnson has only played this course once and that was back in 2008 when he missed the cut. He is a decent putter and generally pretty good around the par 4′s which will be important this week.
Dustin Johnson 2pts each way – Stan James @ 28/1 – http://bit.ly/STANJAMES
Kevin Na – My third selection this week is Kevin Na at a price of 50/1. I have been following the American’s progress in recent weeks and he seems to keep on performing consistently. In my opinion a win is just around the corner for Na who is playing great golf. He has played in eleven events so far this year missing just two cuts as well as finishing in the top 20 on seven occasions. His best result of the year was in the Valspar Championship when he finished in second place, unfortunately for Kevin Na he was unable to record his first win on the PGA tour in three years.
This course certainly suits Na’s game and his course form suggests that. In his last seven visits here he has not missed the cut and has five top 22 finishes to his name. He is ranked 16th on the PGA tour this year in terms of strokes gained putting and is 3rd on the PGA tour in Scrambling making par or better on 215 occasions when he has missed the green in regulation. Kevin Na seems a good bet this week when you take his recent form and course form into account.
Kevin Na 2ts each way – Coral @ 50/1. – http://bit.ly/BET5GET20
David Hearn – My fourth selection for this week is the Canadian David Hearn. Hearn is having a good season and has recorded three top ten finishes so far this year. This includes the last event Hearn played in The Players where he performed very well to finish in 6th position. Last weekend the Canadians performed very well, Graham Delaet and Mike Weir. I’m hopeful that this will motivate Hearn this week and try do one better by winning the tournament.
Last year Hearn did miss the cut here despite scoring a 64 on the opening day, this does prove he is capable of scoring well around Colonial. In 2012 he in 13th place which again shows again he can play well around this course. His game suits the course, he’s straight off the tee and a decent ball striker.
David Hearn 1.5pts each way – BoyleSports @ 80/1 – http://bit.ly/BOYLESPORTS
Russell Knox – The Scotsman is still looking for his first win on the PGA tour and I don’t think it’s far away. Knox has played in 14 events so far this season finishing in the top 10 on three occasions including a 2nd place finish in The Honda Classic where he lost in a play off against Russell Henley. In Knox’s last event he finished 34th at TPC Sawgrass but did managed to leave on a positive note carding a final round of 68.
Knox has never played in this event before which is a slight disadvantage however if swinging the club well he could be in contention on the final day. He’s straight off the tee and a terrific scrambler which will inevitably be important around Colonial.
Russel Knox 1pt each way – BoyleSports @ 80/1 – http://bit.ly/BOYLESPORTS