Onward to Texas after a Rory McIlroy field obliteration at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Stats, numbers, trends, past performances, I mean, we can look into all of it when making picks for a week.
But if Rory McIlroy wants to play well, there’s not a single player in the world right now that can touch him.
Last week, Rory was hitting 340-yard tee shots and bringing 500-yard par-4s to their knees. This week, different story.
Typically known as a ball-strikers paradise, this tight, meandering, classic tree-lined design is all about players who can manage their games, manage their golf balls and manage this golf course. Last year’s winner Adam Scott put on complete game display where he ranked inside the top-30 in total ball striking and still gained .657 strokes with his putter.
Par-3 play was key here for Adam Scott. Check this out:
In the 7 events leading up to the 2015 Colonial, Adam Scott played his par-3s a combined 23-over par without playing a single event where he managed under par. The two weeks after the Colonial, he played the par-3s 8-over par. For 9 out of 10 weeks, he played his par-3s a combined 31-over par with only a single tournament where he played them under par.
That tournament–the 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational where he played his par-3s 5-under par for the week.
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Facts
- Last year, I said this, “The start will be Adam Scott’s first start since being crowned as the #1 player in the world. He is also looking to complete the career Texas Grand Slam (winning the Shell Houston Open in 2007, the Byron Nelson in ’08 and the Valero Texas Open in 2010),” and followed by not picking him. He won.
- Zach Johnson’s 2010 tournament was a record-setter when he shot -21, 259
- An invitational, this event offers no Monday qualifier
- From 2003 to 2013, Americans won the event every single year except one (Rory Sabbatini, 2007)
- 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.
- A limited number of spots are available through sponsor’s exemptions.
- The winner wins that ugly, but awesome jacket
Champion’s Choice Selections
Every year, champions of the past in this event flex their muscles and select two young players to compete in the event. This year’s selections:
- Cody Gribble–friend/college teammate of Jordan Spieth’s at the University of Texas
- Sam Saunders–grandson of Arnold Palmer, who won at Colonial in 1962.
Click here for a link to the entire 2015 Colonial field via PGATour.com.
Last 5 Champs
- 2014: Adam Scott (Recap)
- 2013: Boo Weekley
- 2012: Zach Johnson (Recap)
- 2011: David Toms
- Still amazes me Toms has been a winner in the past 5 years somewhere…
- Watch this swing analysis from last year’s event
- 2010: Zach Johnson
PS I miss Boo…..
But that jacket…
Last Week’s Picks (Wells Fargo)
Contender: Ryan Moore 47th
Contender: Kevin Kisner 38th
Sleeper: Ryo Ishikawa 93rd
Winner: Bill Haas 68th
Boy, I picked a slew of duds here…
Those picks aren’t sitting well with me.
This Week’s Picks
Two From the Fairway (Contenders)
I’ve been doing this Kevin Na thing lately and I’ve been liking it.
I’m not going to write much, I’m just going to give you this screenshot and let it talk for itself.
That’s a lot of good finishes….
The Texas boy is an easy pick this week.
He’s been a lock for good play at Colonial for the past three years–and even though 2013 was his worst performance to date, he fired a 62 in the first round.
Before his missed CUT at the PLAYERS, he was playing some pretty good golf. Back on the horse this week for PALMER.
One From the Rough (Sleeper)
Little Danny Lee’s been playing quite the golf lately. Last week was one of his season’s headliners as he finished with a T13 at the Wells Fargo. On the year, he has 6 total top-25s and two of those have come in the last three weeks. Last year, he played pretty decent here, making the cut and playing 4 rounds sub-71.
My favorite part of this pick: Danny Lee is 4th on the PGA Tour in par-3 scoring. Remember that Adam Scott par-3 scoring statistic?
In his 7 events before 2015 Colonial, Adam Scott had played par-3s combined 23-over par. When he won, he played them 5-under par.
— Troy Klongerbo Golf (@troy_usgolftv) May 19, 2015
My fondest memories of Danny Lee are his 2008 US Amateur triumph where he was completely unafraid of Pinehurst No. 2’s rough and was sticking iron shots during the entirety of his final two matches. Also, Danny Lee is a horse:
Danny Lee the tour’s ironman this year. Or crazy. Not sure which. Has played every week but 3 (Kapalua, Masters, Match Play).
— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) May 18, 2015
The Man with the Trophy
Boo is the man. Have I not been alluding to this pick throughout my preview?
The winner here in 2013, Weekley’s track record for the venue gives him an advantage on top of his already good play in 2015.
Always, one of the top iron players on the PGA Tour, lately, his putter has been scorching hot. Two weeks ago he was gaining 1.360 strokes with his putter. Last week? A fraction under .900. If he keeps it rolling, the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College alum is your winner again in Fort Worth, Texas!
Do you think he knows who Ben Hogan is?
Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the awesome jacket.
I’m puking because of all the awesomeness…..