2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial picks + predictions, plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following the pure domination that was Rory McIlroy’s win at Quail Hollow, the PGA Tour treks to the Lone Star state for this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club.  Colonial is best known as “Hogan’s Alley,” as the Hawk himself, Ben Hogan, was five times victorious on the storied venue. 

Colonial CC is a par 70, a tree-lined and dogleggy 7,204 yard track that demands accuracy off the tee and is just a flat-out ball-striker’s paradise.  It stands as no surprise then that recent ball-strikin’ wizards such as Boo Weekley, David Toms and Steve Stricker have all won here recently, and turning just a few more pages back into the history books you’ll see all-time greats like Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Arnold Palmer and of course Ben Hogan with their names on the trophy.  Yep, no doubt about it- that ugly tartan jacket has some mighty fine company up its sleeves.

A wobbly week for my picks for the most part at the Wells Fargo Championship, as Justin Thomas notching a t-7th was the lone bright spot.  My Hosel-Rocket BUST of the week on Henrik Stenson was mostly spot on as the world #3 finished t-58th.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Thomas t-7th, Moore t-47th)

Ryan Palmer
Ryan Palmer
– No hesitation whatsoever on going the chalk route here, as the late-blooming Texas native has been playing some mighty fine golf this season.  Yes, he’s stumbled a bit of late missing the cut at the PLAYERS Championship and not advancing out of group play at the WGC Match Play, but feeling the Lone Star state breeze at his back at a course where he is a member is just what the doctor ordered as he’s primed to rediscover the groove that led him to 7 top 25 finishes in 8 starts earlier this season, notably a t-6th at the Valero Texas Open also of course in his home state.  He’s finished t-5th, t-14th and t-5th here the past three years, including a sizzlin’ opening round 62 just two years ago.  That silly term of “he’s not afraid to go low” certainly applies to him.  Lock and load this week and don’t look back.

Brendon Todd
Brendon Todd
– Brendon Toddy isn’t a verb, but if it was, it would be used to describe himself at Colonial CC.  Extremely accurate off the tee, a solid plodder and just plain boring are all compliments to what a steady ball-striker Todd is, which just plain makes him perfect for this course.  Last year he followed up his maiden PGA Tour victory by finishing t-5th here the very next week, a spot in which most would’ve totally let down.  This season, Todd went on a run of four straight top 25s from Pebble through the Valspar, then following an MC at the Masters notched a solo 4th at Harbour Town, a course that is not too dissimilar from Colonial CC in what it requires off the tee.  Time to get Brendon Toddy this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: de Jonge MC)

David Toms
David Toms
– I liked Toms last week at the Wells Fargo Championship as he seemed to rediscover some form at the PLAYERS Championship in finishing t-13th the week prior and Quail Hollow is a track that Toms has won on before, but in the end it’s just too long for his game nowadays and he faded to finish 72nd.  The good news is that this isn’t 7,500 yard Quail Hollow- it’s Colonial, a course where Toms has also won (2011 when he opened 62-62) and has a sparkling career record which most recently includes a t-5th last year.  A very safe, solid option this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Stenson t-58th)

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter
– Hasn’t teed it up here since 2010, so IJP is bound to found something to complain about.  Nevermind that he’s only missed one cut all PGA Tour season- he’s simply not that consistent of a player in the long run and is bound to rediscover the rut before he makes any positive noise.  He also has some serious negative karma on his side for skipping the European Tour’s flagship event this week.  Stay away from Poults this week and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Kisner t-38th)

Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley
– Boo may be a little more burly in the belly and grizzly in the chops these days, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less of a fit for the track where he’s a past champ (’13).  Add in his recently solid form–solo 3rd at Zurich and t-16th last week at Quail Hollow, plus his low ball flight in what could be a windy week in Texas and boom, Boo is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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