2010 Crowne Plaza Invitational
Date: May 27th30th, 2010
Course: Colonial Country Club Ft. Worth, TX
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen of Predictem.com
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The PGA descends on Colonial Country Club this week for the final leg of the Texas Swing and the Crowne Plaza Invitational. The last few weeks on Tour have seen some of the bigger names absent from competition but Colonial always draws a strong field, highlighted this week by Phil Mickelson. Lefty has won twice at this event and will have to fight through past champions Kenny Perry and Steve Stricker to make it three victories at the Crowne Plaza.
Colonial is well respected among Tour players for being very tough without the ridiculous length that has become commonplace with newer courses. The championship layout measures just over 7,000 yards at par-70 and demands accuracy off the tee with winding fairways becoming more difficult to hit the longer the player is off the tee. 84 bunkers serve as the main hazard on the course that played as the 31st most difficult in 2009 but the winds always have something to say with how hard a Texas track will play. Players need to get off to a fast start as numbers one and two play as the easiest holes on the course with the hardest two coming at numbers four and five. Scoring is usually moderate on courses with only two par-5s but Colonial has given up a slew of 61s in recent years, most notably by Kenny Perry en route to his 2003 victory.
Each week, we take a look at the online golf sportsbooks and highlight a few players that we like to contend. Well give you a short, middle and long odds pick and breakdown a few head to head matches that youd typically find at the offshore books.
Here are our picks for the 2010 Crowne Plaza Invitational:
Short Favorite: Jim Furyk (14 to 1 odds to win)
After going what seemed like forever between wins, Furyk has notched two victories already in 2010 and is a great bet this week. He has had success here before with two runner-up finishes, most recently in 2007 and has the right kind of game to do well at a Colonial type course. Furyk enters the week ranked 7th in fairways hit and a 39th ranked putter has been good enough for a 10th best scoring average. Accuracy and steady play are hallmarks of Furyks game but he is also ranked 5th in scrambling, making the most out of the occasions when he does hit it a little crooked. A good week into the greens should have him in one of the final groups on Sunday.
Middle of the Road: Steve Stricker (25 to 1 odds to win)
This has to be the highest that Steve has been on the board this year, so its worth a bet on the defending champ for simple value. Stricker hasnt played since the Masters and has been nursing some minor bumps but was playing well before his time off. In eight starts, Steve has one win, four top-10 finishes and has not missed a cut. Even at less than 100%, you have to like his top-25 ranks in fairways hit, putting average, putts per round and birdie average. The tee to green is important at Colonial and Strickers 3rd best scrambling stat will help him save those critical pars when he does miss a green.
Longshot: Sean OHair (40 to 1 odds to win)
Its been a pretty average year for Sean after a very good 2009 season, but he does have only two missed cuts in twelve starts with six top-25 finishes. He is coming off a T12 at the Nelson and a few more good breaks or made putts should have him back in contention anytime now. OHair is 27th in total driving so he should handle the Colonial layout with ease, and his 23rd rank in scrambling is important in his no mistakes style of play. Seans scoring average is much better than his birdie average, so a few birdies early could boost the confidence on a course where he has been just on the outskirts of breaking through with an average finish of T22 in his Crowne Plaza starts.
Head to Head Matches (our pick) *match picks are for entire event. Check with your online bookie for single round matches and prop bets.
K.J. Choi (-115) v. Hunter Mahan (-115) (Choi)
This is a great matchup between two of the better ballstrikers on Tour. Both players are aces in the tee to green game, but Choi gets the edge with the putter and has a better scoring average because of it. K.J. also plays with a lower shot trajectory and shapes every shot which is a plus in windy conditions.
Stephen Ames (-115) v. Stewart Cink (-115) (Ames)
Cink has the distance advantage in this one, but Colonial doesnt play favorites to the bombers like a lot of other courses. Ames hits more fairways and cards more birdies with a slightly better putter and a few more greens hit on average.