For the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Power Ranking we are going to switch up the format a little bit. As long-time readers of this blog know, I’ll occasionally switch up the format if I determine a more relevant way of doing things. Maybe I’ll stick with it, maybe not. Feel free to offer your feedback.
The biggest reason for the change up is that most weeks there are more golfers that need to be covered (due to many different formats) than just a top 12 / next 5. Also, a Power Ranking isn't exactly one size fits all because some people want to go with course history whereas others want to know who’s hot, etc.
So here we go.
The Chalk Says (Great Play in any format):
- Matt Kuchar – Everything points towards a big week for Kooch. He was the runner-up here to Boo Weekley last year and is rebounding nicely from his win at the RBC Heritage (also a great course to use as a comp this week). He backed up a T17 at THE PLAYERS with a T7 at the Heritage.
- Zach Johnson – ZJ comes in a little chillier than in some years past, but considering he hasn’t finished worse than fourth here in his last four stops (with two wins), he’s a must for your lineup. He ranked inside the top 35 on TOUR in each of the five key metrics I studied this week (Driving Accuracy, GIR, SGP, Proximity and Par 4 Scoring Average).
- Jim Furyk – Enters off back-to-back runner-up finishes and is a two-time runner-up at Colonial. Tenth in driving accuracy and seventh in proximity plays very well on this tight layout.
A step below Chalk (Strong blend of form / history / stats):
- Jordan Spieth – He’s struggled at the HP Byron Nelson the last few years, so his T37 last week isn't a pause for concern. Before that he had top fives at the Masters and THE PLAYERS with a very relevant T12 at the Heritage mixed in. He finished T7 at Colonial this year.
- Paul Casey – The Brit has cracked the top 20 in his last three PGA TOUR starts and has a fifth and a T13 to show for his two previous trips to Colonial. Seems like a good blend for another top 20.
- John Senden – Been on a big run of late, making his last nine cuts on TOUR, including a T11 last week. He’s 8/11 in this event with two top 10s and four top 25s.
- Bill Haas – He’s 4/5 here with a pair of top-15 finishes and is making plenty of cuts in 2013-14. Seems a little off this year, but nothing alarming.
- Chris Kirk – If he doesn't make the cut it will be news. He’s made each of his four cuts in this event including a T5 in 2012 and has made all 16 of his cuts on TOUR this year. The pro: he was runner-up at a tight Sony Open. The con: that was his last top 10.
- John Huh – A lot to like here. After his T3 at the Heritage, he’s gone T72 and T16 in his last two starts. He tied for 5th here in 2012 before slipping to T11 last year. It makes sense that he would be successful here given his strength of accuracy.
- Rory Sabbatini – A past winner here (10/14 including two other top 10s), he has two top 10s in his last four starts entering this week.
- Louis Oozthuizen – A number of top 25s when you combine course history with current form
- Graham DeLaet - Contended with a T7 last week and tied for 22nd at Colonial last year.
History Majors (those with excellent course history who are relevant):
- Charley Hoffman – He’s made each of his five cuts here, with top 20s in his last two trips.
- Ryan Palmer – 8/10 with a T5 and a T14 in his last two starts.
- Kevin Na – 7/7 with 5 top 25s and 2 top 10s
- David Toms – 12/15 with a win, a 2nd and a 3rd, but missed his last two cuts here.
- Bo Van Pelt – Never missed a cut in 10 tries and his form is showing signs of improvement of late.
- Tim Clark – Tied for seventh last year and is twice a runner-up here, but form is a big ????
I’m on fire (Current Form far outweighs course history and statistical fit)!:
- Marc Leishman – Tied for third last week, but offers weak course history at Colonial.
- James Hahn – Tied fifth last week, but missed the cut here in his only start last year.
Breakthrough candidates (potential to nab first TOUR victory):
- Russell Knox – Though he’s never played here, he is a statistical heavyweight ranked first in Proximity and 16th in driving accuracy. Recent form is solid.
- Daniel Summerhays – Bounced back from missed cuts in his first two stops here to share 35th last year. Two of his last three TOUR starts have gone for top 25s.
- Ben Martin – While he’s never played here, a T3 at the Heritage bodes well for this layout suiting his eye.
- David Hearn – A T6 last week mixed with a T13 in this event back in 2012 allow him a punchers chance.
- Kevin Kisner – T6 and T16 in last two TOUR starts.
- Brian Stuard – T5 at the RBC Heritage immediately grabs attention and he tied for 22nd here last year.
The Winner’s Circle (Last week's winner and the defending champ):
- Brendon Todd – Came in at third on my “spreadsheet” this week but offers the possibility of a hangover after a win last week.
- Boo Weekley – Tried to defend his title this week after a T5 last week at the HPBNC. Could he really go back-to-back again like he did at Harbour Town?
Who have we missed?:
- Jimmy Walker – Decent form meets poor course history for the top guy in the FEC points. Probably too tight of a course for him to contend (200th in driving accuracy).
- Dustin Johnson – This course requires finesse and that isn't exactly DJ’s game.
- Adam Scott – Never cracked the top 60 here in two tries. This feels like a typical Phil Mickelson tune up for an event down the road. A few live-action reps to prepare for the future.
- Matt Every – Tied for fourth here last year but isn’t breaking 75 of late. Shouldn’t write him off, but just be careful and hedge appropriately.
- Geoff Ogilvy – Hard to put too much stock in him, but he did finished inside the top 20 here in three of his last four starts and has some encouraging starts of late.
We will be back tomorrow to look at the one-and-done. Until then, best of luck to all!