We’re at our first invitational since the Masters and our first non-major invitational since Arnie’s event back in the end of March. The newly named Dean & Deluca is the host event this year for the event known by many as the Colonial.
On a fun, short golf course with a great tournament history, the Colonial is a great stop every year on Tour. Just over 100 players typically play this event annually, with many of the same players making the stop based on the course layout and their history’s at the venue.
Players are in the field based on this criteria:
- Former tournament winner
- Top 50 in OWGR players
- Majors champion over past five years
- WGC winners from past three years
- PGA Tour winners over past year
- Ryder and Presidents Cup team members
- Top 15 from previous year’s event
- Top 80 from previous season’s FedEx Cup rankings
- Top 80 from current season.
- Limited spots available through sponsor’s exemptions.
With further ado, who’s going to claim Ben Hogan’s tartan jacket this year?
Last Year’s Top-10
Click here for a link to the entire 2016 Colonial field via PGATour.com.
— Tim Mickelson (@goodwalkspoiled) May 23, 2016
Featuring only two par-5s on the golf course, this par-70 measures in at just over 7,200 yards, a course considered short by most PGA Tour standards. The two par-5s, holes 1 and 11, aren’t holes players look to hit in two, so solid wedge play is necessary to take advantage of both.
With almost two handful’s worth of par-4s measuring under 450 yards (9 of the 18 holes), players don’t need to worry about being overpowered out at the Colonial. The key is to avoid the stymie. Tree trouble off the tee (of which there is plenty) is enough to derail any champion’s pursuit of the Colonial jacket.
Last 5 Champs
- 2015: Chris Kirk (Recap)
- 2014: Adam Scott (Recap)
- 2013: Boo Weekley
- 2012: Zach Johnson (Recap)
- 2011: David Toms
This Week’s Picks
Three From the Fairway (Contenders)
He’s been a fringe player for me the past few starts on Tour and he’s locked top-10s in three of his last four starts. He’s made me regret every time I didn’t start him (although I did pick him twice, at both the Wells Fargo and Valero Texas Open).
This week feels like another Kevin Chappell week.
In his last 4 starts at the Colonial, he’s grown more and more comfortable, making the cuts in his last 4 (after MC in 2011) and notching top-20s in his last two starts out. He’s currently 7th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and top-50 in Strokes Gained Around the Greens. Combine that with a par-4 scoring average that ranks 33rd on Tour and Chappell’s season is lining up to be a career year.
Don’t be the guy that benched him every week and watched it happen. A win for Chappell happens in 2016.
A good finish this week at the Colonial is the prediction.
[bctt tweet=”A win for Chappell happens in 2016.” username=””]
He’s playing some awesome Kooch golf right now. Back-to-back top-3s typically means one of two things– either the player keeps it up, or he drops off from exhaustion and misses a cut. Given Kuchar’s propensity for playing low-energy, consistent golf, I think the Colonial is a good fit for a guy who’s been playing well.
Last year, he no showed the event after a MC in 2014, but he actually has a solid history here. Five top-30 finishes in his 6 starts before that boast to a comfortability with the track that definitely fits his game.
Kuchar is accurate off the tee (top-40 on Tour), good on the par-4s (top-15 on Tour) and he’s 9th on scoring average on the season. Given his style of play and the strengths in his game, I like him coming off some hot play to keep it going in Fort Worth.
He had some week’s earlier in the season where he looked like he may enter the winner’s circle, but since, Reavie’s play has appeared somewhat flat. Missed cuts in three consecutive starts will give any golfer some doubts as to the status of his game. But Reavie was able to right the ship and bounce back with a 18th place finish at the Byron Nelson last week.
Given the venue, Reavie is a nice player to look at doing well this week.
Ranked inside the top-20 in both Driving Accuracy and Strokes Gained: Approach, Reavie is also a great player on the par-4s, averaging even par 4.00, which ranks 23rd.
If you look at him, you’d think he’s made his money this year with the flat stick, but that’s not true. According to the Strokes Gained Putting statistic, Reavie has lost strokes, ranking 164th on Tour. After a nice finish last week in Texas, it’s safe to say he turned it around with putter (stats were not readily available).
He was 5th here in 2011 and 11th here in 2013. I think Reavie’s a player you can look at and be happy you owned this week.
Draft Kings Value Bombs
This week I am targeting five mid-tiered guys to consider for the Dean and Deluca Invitational at Colonial Country Club. This course is all about placement over power, and solid ball striking. None of these guys are going to break the bank, and will allow you plenty of roster flexibility if you want to target one of the elite-tiered players.
5. Bryson DeChambeau ($7,700) – At Colonial, I like to target players who also play well at Harbour Town Golf Links (RBC Heritage). Harbour town happened to be the site where DeChambeau had his pro debut, and did so with a fourth place finish.
He’s missed the cut in each of his last three events, so you have to believe a lot of people will fade on him citing poor form. DeChambeau has the skillset to win on tour right now, and could make a statement this week on a course that is right down the road from where he made a name for himself at SMU.
4. Bill Haas ($8,700) – Haas is at his best when the field hits less than driver on most holes, which is the case at Colonial. He gains an average of nearly two strokes per round when the field driving distance average is less than 280 yards. Couple that with the fact that Haas has four top 25 finishes in his last six tournaments, including a 14th place showing at Harbour Town, and you have to believe he has a good chance to make the weekend and contend.
3. Ian Poulter ($7,700) – Poulter is far from a sure thing, but might be the best value when you consider his course history and recent form. He’s made the cut all four times he’s teed it up at Colonial, including a fifth place finish last year. He missed the cut last week, but made the cut in his previous eight events.
Poulter is another player who performs better on short courses. Poulter is a guy who doesn’t see a lot of ownership in most DFS contests, so if he hits this week, it could mean big things for your LU’s.
2. Ryan Palmer ($8,100) – Palmer doesn’t fit the mold of someone who SHOULD do well here, but this is his home course, so he knows it probably better than anyone in the field. He has finished in the top five in two of his last four tries at this event. Palmer doesn’t have great accuracy numbers, but is 21st on tour in birdie or better percentage, 43rd in ball striking, and 56th in proximity to the hole.
I will lean on his home course advantage and hope that his missed cut last week gives him added determination and will make other DFS players fade him.
1. David Toms ($6,300) – Accuracy, check. Par 4 scoring, check. Previous winner (not a requirement, but doesn’t hurt), check. David Toms is one of the more underrated players on tour due to his age and inability to keep up with the longer hitters, but his game fits really well at Colonial and he knows where to take chances and when to play it safe. In the last five years, he’s won, had a top five, and missed the cut three times.
He’s by no means a sure thing, but the fact that he’s priced at just $6,300 and has made five of his last six cuts, I’ll roll the dice on him this week.
Ryan Rauch is the owner and lead writer for Sports Monte, a fantasy sports website that provides proven research for season-long and DFS games. He has played golf his whole life and lives and works out of Columbus, Ohio. For more information, follow @SportsMonte on Twitter.
Preliminary research for the Paula Dean Invitational…what's that? Dean and Deluca? Is that Italian? Hold my calls this morning, Audrey…
— Sports Monte (@SportsMonte) May 23, 2016
One From the Rough (Sleeper)
Stricker’s modified schedule has played into his hands quite well over the past few seasons. It was only three years ago (2013) that Stricker finished 3rd in the FedEx Cup and made over $4 million on the heels of 4 second place finishes. Now, he’s playing when he wants, on courses that fit is game and at times of the year which make sense to him.
The Wisconsin man hasn’t played a season with more than 20 events since 2009 and now sits in the semi-retirement mold of 11-15 events per season. This year, he’s actually played 8 events (calendar of 2016) and he’s recorded some good finishes. Back-to-back top-15s a few weeks apart at the Northern Trust and Valspar have given claim to the fact that his game isn’t at least, in complete shambles.
Statistically speaking, Strick still plays the par-4s quite well (42nd on Tour) and is top-50 in strokes gained around the greens. He’s a past winner here (2009) and had a top-30 finish last year.
And guess who’s first in strokes gained putting this year on the PGA Tour.
— Steve Stricker (@stevestricker) May 18, 2016
The Man with the Trophy
We’re still in Texas and even though he had a weak Sunday performance at last week’s Byron Nelson, it’s safe to say the Colonial is a course that fits Jordan’s eye and style of play.
In three career starts here, Spieth has never finished outside the top-15. Despite playing to his standards, horrible golf, as of late, he’s still locked in 5 top-20s in his last 6 PGA Tour starts. Even when he doesn’t have his A-game, his game is still good enough to perform at a high-level out here.
Spieth is a strong pick at the Colonial because of his form here in the past, his par-4 scoring, which ranks #1 on the PGA Tour in 2016, and his Strokes Gained Off the Tee, which ranks 14th.
He’s accurate off the tee (typically) and has a great record here. His iron play and ability to hole a lot of putts make him a carbon fit for the Colonial. He’ll wear more than just the green jacket at some point in his career.
I have a feeling, that week, is this week.