2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial: Preview, Strategy, Picks
The field at the 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is somewhat weak, and it makes sense given how the schedule played out. With the WGC Match Play, Players Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship being played there in two weeks and the US Open only four weeks away. Plus, almost all of the European players are participating in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth overseas.
Texans Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker will be strolling the fairways, which perfectly makes sense since Colonial Country Club is in Fort Worth. Two-time champion Zach Johnson will also be in the field.
After that, you’ll find a lot of solid, decent or average players.
There are a few ridiculously good value plays from the odds per dollar page. The odds can sometimes be a bit skewed based on sportsbooks inflating odds for public sports bettors on a few players who are either just noteworthy names, guys who placed well at the tournament last year (when it’s just variance) or people who placed well at the previous tournament but don’t have the proper game for the upcoming course.
Luckily that’s not the case this week. DraftKings has a few players who are horribly mispriced.
Outside of odds, we want to simply focus on golfers who simply fit Colonial well. What does this mean? Driving accuracy. Colonial is a very tight course, heavily treed, has nasty rough and contains a fair amount bunkers. This is why someone like Zach Johnson plays here each season and often performs very well. He’s very accurate off the tee and is one of the best wedge players on the PGA Tour. It’s also why Spieth should be a fantastic play as well. More on this later.
Colonial is 7,204 yards, but it is only a par 70, there are only two par 5s, and they are not easy to eagle. No. 1 is the easiest at 565 yards, but most people don’t go for it given how heavily bunkered the hole is and how complex the green is (about 10 eagles are made here each year). No. 11 is 635 yards, and while it’s possible for the few lengthy hitters in this field to get home in two, it’s very unlikely, let alone converting the putt. Only two eagles have been made here in each of the last couple years.
Same format as last week. Here are a few picks at each level that I like the most.
Jordan Spieth $13,000 – Odds are off the charts, and he is expensive. But there are enough great lower-salary guys this week that you can afford to spend on Spieth in some of your lineups. Spieth has obviously been on fire, and his well-rounded game should suit him very well at Colonial. My only concern is that despite that he’s been amazing this year, he’s been missing tee shots to the right fairly frequently (101st in driving accuracy). That won’t go down well at Colonial if he has those misses. Nevertheless, you can’t completely fade him, and his mid-range putting for birdies should be outstanding at Colonial.
Zach Johnson $12,000 – Just a hunch, but despite Zach being a two-time defending champion, I think a lot more people will spend up on Spieth given his start to the season. That’s not to say Zach will be lowly used, but it should be a decent difference from Spieth. Zach is 21st in driving accuracy and has five top-20 finishes in the last three months.
Paul Casey $9,300 – Casey has been an absolute machine this year and has great odds per dollar. Casey’s stats and season has actually been very similar to Spieth’s, but just on a bit of a smaller level. Don’t worry about the recent WD since he withdrew due to a stomach illness and not an injury.
Ben Martin $8,500 – One of the rising young stars who actually has shown steady improvement and isn’t a high-variance player, which is perfect for Colonial. Outside of barely missing the cut at the Masters (obviously a tough field), Martin hasn’t missed a cut since February. He’s 40th in driving accuracy and has great odds per dollar.
Kevin Streelman $7,500 – The second best pick from an odds perspective. 27th in driving accuracy, typically does well at shorter and tighter courses and is substantially mispriced. His only missed cut since February was at the Players Championship, which is obviously a great field and he would have made it had the island hole not got his number. I don’t look at making/missing the cut there as a bad indicator.
John Peterson $6,900 – The best play from an odds per dollar perspective and my top pick. Another young star who has shown consistency and low variance. He’s 20th in driving accuracy and has only missed one cut this year in 16 played events. But here’s the biggest key – he’s from Fort Worth and has had a membership at Colonial since he was 15. Yup, this was his home course in high school. His knowledge of the place is through the roof.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz