Crowne Plaza Invitational 2012 Preview

The PGA Tour stays in Texas this week as we head over to Fort Worth for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club.

The Course is a Par 70, 7204 yard layout with 84 sand bunkers and 3 water hazards. The course was ranked 22nd most difficult from 51 courses played on the PGA Tour in 2011. The tees, fairways and rough are Bermudagrass and the greens are Bentgrass.

The Purse this week is US$6,400,000 with the Winners share being US$1,116,000. When Ben Hogan won the first of his five titles here in 1946 at the first edition of this tournament his winnings were US$3000.  He went on to win the following year as well as 1952, 1953 and 1959.

Some big names have won this tournament over the years like Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Ian Baker-Finch and Nick Price.

This years field sees another great line up of players who will be out to stake their claim for the title. To start with just look at the Top 5 guys in betting!

*Zach Johnson 15/1. He’s the 2010 Champion here and was T2nd The Players Championship at his last start as well as 2nd at the RBC Heritage in April. From 12 starts in 2012 he has posted 6 Top 25 finishes so far.

*Rickie Fowler 16/1. He won the Wells Fargo at the start of the month then went on finish T2nd at The Players Championship. He’s 9th on the Fed Ex Cup standings and 7th on the Money List.

*Matt Kuchar 16/1. The World No.5 was T15th last week in the Byron Nelson after a great win at The Players Championship the week before. Was 16th here last year as well as 9th in 2008.

*Jason Dufner 18/1. Fed Ex Cup leader, and 2 wins from his last 3 starts! Last week he won the Byron Nelson and at the end of last month he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Talk about a guy in form!

*Hunter Mahan 22/1. The World No.6 has Two wins so far this year in the WGC Match Play and Shell Houston Open. He was 10th here last year and ranks very highly in driving accuracy and GIR stats which will suit this course.

Then you can add Past Winners of the Crowne Plaza Invitational like David Toms, Sergio Garcia and Rory Sabbatini. And Major Winners Geoff Ogilvy, Louis Oosthuizen, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and Davis Love III.

Not to be outdone are a host of International Players like Brian Davis, Henrik Stenson, Vijay Singh, John Senden, Brendan De Jonge and Trevor Immelman.

So what does it take to win at Colonial I here you ask?  Experience!

Experience counts for a lot here and looking at the list of Past Winners you will notice they are all seasoned pro’s who have a wealth of experience to count upon. Names like Toms, Johnson, Stricker, Mickelson, Perry, Price,Watson. You get the idea.

There are a lot of doglegs to contend with so being able to shape the ball both ways will be a big advantage. Being accurate off the tee will allow for you to have a beter chance of hitting the greens with your iron play. Good Ball strikers play well at Colonial.

This week we have 3 selections to follow. One main bet, one good each way bet and one Long Shot selection.

David Toms 30/1

The World No.36 has 13 PGA Tour Victories to his name and is sure to add to the tally soon. David’s season so far is looking very good. From 11 starts he has made 9 cuts and recorded 5 Top 25’s and 2 Top 10’s. Highlights have been T6th Humana Challenge, T17th Accenture Match Play and T20th Transitions Championship. Looking at his last 5 starts you can see he is on an upwards curve. At the end of March he missed the Cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. From there he was T50th at The Masters, then T45th Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April. Then in May he has been T15th Wells Fargo Championship and T10th Players Championship. Thats a good curve!

If its horses for courses you are after, its pretty hard to go past David Toms. He is the Defending Champion here and was T13th in 2010, T27th in 2009, T26th in 2008, T18th in 2007. Add to this T3rd in 2005, T2nd in 2002 and T8th in 2001. Not bad numbers in anyones book.

His current stats have him ranked 2nd in Driving Accuracy , 34th in Greens in Regulation and 12th in Scrambling.

I expect big things this week from Toms. There is no reason why he cant go back to back in this tournament.


Charlie Wi  70/1

I am basing this selection of course form. In four starts in this tournament he has recorded 2nd in 2011, 75th in 2010, 13th in 2009 and 15th in 2008. After missing out by one stroke last year he will be primed to go one better.

His form in 2012 has been pretty good as well. From 12 starts he has made 9 cuts. His two Top 10’s have been 2nd Pebble Beach Pro Am and T4th Valero Texas Open. At his most recent start in The Players Championship he was T25th.

If you look at his stats you wont find to much to write home about. You need to dig pretty deep to find anything really. He’s 7th in approaches from 100-125 yards, 6th in approaches from 50-125 yards and 20th in Par 3 Performance.

One highlight is his first round 61 at the Pebble Beach Pro Am. This is the lowest round on tour in 2012. Any positive is a good positive!


David Mathis  175/1

Ok, this one is a little left of centre, however if you look a little closer you will see why I believe he is a good each way longshot this week.

Mathis missed the first 7 Cuts this season, however have a look at his last 5 starts on tour.

T18th Valero Teaxas Open, T10th Zurich Classic of New Orleans, MC Wells Fargo, T15th Players Championship, T15th Byron Nelson.

Thats some pretty good current form. 5 starts for 4 Top 20’s. At the current odds available he could be a real good trade option.

Stats wise he is 56th in driving accuracy, 35th in Strokes gained putting and 12th in 3 putt avoidance.

Lets hope he can continue with the good recent form at big odds.





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