Spieth Deserved Favourite For Crowne Plaza Invitational
The prestigious Crowne Plaza Invitational event dates back to 1946 and is the most important of the tournaments held in Texas.
It is one of only five invitational events on the PGA Tour, and so has a reduced field of around 125, rather than the usual 156, with only the top 80 on last season’s money list guaranteed an invitation. Amongst current players, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson have won this event twice.
The course at the Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth is similar to the TPC Four Seasons venue, the location for next week’s Byron Nelson Championship. It features tight fairways bordered by thick rough, so accuracy off the tee is vital.
As at Four Seasons, there are strong cross-winds to contend with, and an ability to move the ball both ways is essential. The greens are small and quick and can take some getting used to, so it’s best to stick with players in good form with the short stick.
In The Bunker
Jimmy Walker has picked up two titles this season, but there are signs that he may have gone off the boil. Since his victory at the Texas Open at the end of March, he’s only played three events, and failed to make the top thirty in any of them.
Last seen missing the half-way cut at Sawgrass, he’s not in the kind of form that suggests he’s about to pick up another trophy and he’s one to steer clear of this week.
Jordan Spieth took a few days off after the Players Championship but returns to top the antepost betting this week, and is a deserved favourite. The FedEx Cup points leader and Masters winner is sweeping all before him this season, and has finished inside the top twenty on both of his previous attempts at this event.
His reliable putting and ability to shape his tee-shots left and right make him the perfect candidate for success at Colonial and he looks a solid bet at 5/1.
Zach Johnson has been putting in some consistent performances in recent weeks, making the top twenty in five of his last six outings, and given his record at Colonial, he has a great chance of building on that steady form and picking up his first title of 2015.
As well as winning this event twice, in 2012 and 2010, he’s registered top ten finishes in 2013, 2011 and 2009. At 14/1 he has plenty of appeal this week.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Chris Kirk. After bagging the Deutsche Bank Championship last season, he has threatened to land another title this year, and was going well last time out at the Players Championship before spoiling his chances with a final round 75. He has three top-twenty finishes from four visits to Colonial and odds of 33/1 look good value.