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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial - Preview

The PGA TOUR makes its familiar stop at Colonial Country Club for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, and here is a preview to get you off and running. This is one of the most consistent and oldest stops on the PGA TOUR, dating back to 1946 without any lengthy interruption. This course is synonymous with Ben Hogan, who won the first two editions and claimed five titles overall.

Colonial CC is a par 70 that offers a modest test of 7,204. Despite being lengthen by 150 yards for the 2009 tournament, the leaderboard continues to reinforce that length is not a big deal. There are just two par 5s, as the par-70 number would suggest, to go with four par 3s and 12 par 4s. That would certainly confirm that par-4 scoring average is at a premium this week as much as ever. This is also a layout that really favors the accurate driver, and overall good ball-striker. The leaderboards here bear some semblance to those of the RBC Heritage and THE PLAYERS, which also are fairly unforgiving off the tee.

Here is a look at the winners and runners-up since 2005:

  • 2005 - Winner: Kenny Perry (19-under 261) over Justin Leonard (267)
  • 2006 - Winner: Tim Herron (268) over Richard S. Johnson in a playoff
  • 2007 - Winner: Rory Sabbatini (266) over Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer in a playoff
  • 2008 - Winner: Phil Mickelson (266) over Tim Clark and Rod Pampling (267)
  • 2009 - Winner: Steve Stricker (263) over Steve Marino and Tim Clark in a playoff
  • 2010 - Winner: Zach Johnson (259) over Brian Davis in a playoff
  • 2011 - Winner: David Toms (265) over Charlie Wi (266)
  • 2012 - Winner: Zach Johnson (268) over Jason Dufner (269)
  • 2013 - Winner: Boo Weekley (266) over Matt Kuchar (267)
  • 2014 - Winner: Adam Scott (271) over Jason Dufner in a playoff. 

In addition to current form and course history, I intend to take a hard look at strokes gained: tee-to-green, driving accuracy, par breakers, par 4 scoring average and some sort of proximity statistic from 150 yards and closer. 

I will return later in the week with a power ranking and one-and-done selection. Until then, happy research!

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