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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial - Preview

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial returns to Colonial Country Club with Boo Weekley as the defending champion. By reputation, Colonial is a course that demands positioning off the tee and sports tree-lined fairways that identify solid ball-strikers.

Colonial should play to a par of 70, stretching out to a mere 7,204 yards. Thus, length isn't a big deal. While not applicable across all scopes, the leaderboards and past champions here bear a remarkable resemblance to the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town. That course is very tight off the tee and requires accuracy.

Here's a look at the past winners and runners-up since 2005:

  • 2005 - Kenny Perry (19-under 261) over Billy Mayfair (268)
  • 2006 - Tim Herron (268) over Richard S. Johnson in a playoff
  • 2007 - Rory Sabbatini (266) over Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer in a playoff
  • 2008 - Phil Mickelson (266) over Rod Pampling and Tim Clark (267)
  • 2009 - Steve Stricker (263) over Tim Clark and Steve Marino in a playoff
  • 2010 - Zach Johnson (259) over Brian Davis (262) 
  • 2011 - David Toms (265) over Charlie Wi (266)
  • 2012 - Zach Johnson (268) over Jason Dufner (269)
  • 2013 - Boo Weekley (266) over Matt Kuchar (267)
When considering the statistical strengths of that group of players, driving accuracy, GIR (possibly proximity), SGP and Par 4 scoring all seem relevant. 

I don't have to even begin my research to tell you that Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson will be inside the top five on my list, and likely will bat first and second. Throw Jim Furyk on that short list as well. These are three guys with solid records at Colonial and entering with great form. 

We will return tomorrow night to figure out the nine names that will join them in the Power Ranking and identify other names to consider. Until then, happy research!

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