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PGA Tour Preview: Crowne Plaza Invitational

Preview – PGA Tour — Crowne Plaza Invitational – Colonial Country Club – Fort Worth, Texas —

The PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational tees off Thursday at Colonial Country Club with the new World No. 1 Adam Scott in the field.

The historic venue and event is home to the legendary Ben Hogan, who won five times here. Colonial welcomes recent PGA Tour tournament champions – Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, John Senden and matt Jones.

Several major champions are here including Scott, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Louis Oosthuizen.

Stretching to just over 7,000 yards, this par-70 layout features a rich history and a variety of past champions and playing styles including Hogan, Kenny Perry, Corey Pavin and Sergio Garcia.

Going extremely low is the ticket to winning to Colonial. A round in the 70s usually eliminates the player from capturing the title. Look for players putting well and those with stellar par-5 performance to contend. John Rollins opened with 63 last year and finished three strokes back come the end of the tournament.

2013 Recap:

  • Weekley (14-under overall) carded 66-66 on the weekend to claim the title by a single shot over Kuchar. Johnson was third at 12-under, while Stallings, Rollins and Matt Every ended up T-4. Jordan Spieth, Tim Clark, Josh Teater and Chris Stroud logged Top 10s.

Recent champions have been Americans including Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker. Rory Sabbatini won here in 2007 and Tim Clark has been a runner-up here in 2008 and 2009. Four Top 20 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field this week including No. 5 Kuchar and No. 6 Hunter Mahan.

Golf Channel has television coverage Thursday and Friday with CBS Sports taking the reigns on the weekend.

FANTASY: Control players are usually great picks at Colonial. Zach Johnson has a pair of wins here, ranks 13th in the world and fits the mold. Ditto for Furyk, who enters this week with back-to-back runner-up finishes on tour. Senden has been solid since winning in Tampa including a Top 10 last week at the HP Byron Nelson. Scott has a tour-leading 33 straight cuts made heading into this week. Charley Hoffman enters this week missing just one cut all season in 15 starts. He’s due to challenge for a victory.

BETTORS:  At Ladbrokes.com, World No. 4 Kuchar is the top selection at 12-to-1 odds. He has nine Top 10s this season and a victory at the RBC Heritage, which requires a control game and scrambling skills. Furyk and Zach are both 14-1 picks and worth the play, but consider a 40-1 international player in Paul Casey, who has been trending lately. He was the mix last weekend for a stretch.

The Golf Channel has coverage Thursday and Friday with CBS Sports handling television Saturday and Sunday.

Other Golf News:

  • The European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship tees of Thursday with U.S. Open champion Justin Rose as a key headliner playing in his home country of England. Rose has never won the title, but has two runner-up finishes.
  • The PGA Tour has produced eight first-time champions this season.
  • The Champions Tour Senior PGA Championship tees off this week with Kenny Perry in rarified air – a shot to win four straight Champions Tour majors. With three straight under his belt, he has a chance to tie the record held by Gary Player.
  • Kuchar has a shot to become World No. 1 with a victory this week in Texas.