Colonial, Fort Worth, is the second stop of the final Texas swing on the 2014 PGA Tour Calender. Just 30 odd miles away from last week's Byron Nelson venue, it can always pay to go with the guys who performed there in the hope they continue right where they left off. Boo Weekley - 51.00 - falls into that category and he defends his 2013 crown.
Big names flood the top of the betting and a certain Adam Scott - 17.00 - will be the focus of the media attention. Scott, for me, has been the leading golfer for some time now and finally it's official - he took over the no.1 spot in the world golf rankings on Monday morning.
Matt Kuchar's coach is based around these parts and the American - who leads the betting at 15.00 - has been quoted as saying Colonial is one of his favourite tracks and that he really kicks into first gear at this time of the year after some work with the aforementioned Chris O' Connell.
The course - Colonial Country Club
One of the easier par 70s on tour playing circa 7,200 yards in length, Colonial is a haven for top ball strikers. A tree-lined track renowned as one of the tightest on Tour, Colonial, ala Hilton Head, requires supreme accuracy off the tee. Greens are small and narrow and generally smooth as a baby's bottom so those who can combine tee to green accuracy with a hot pitch n' putt game will prevail around here.
Three from the pack
"This is the tournament I gear up for the most" said one Ryan Palmer - 40.00 - who has been a member at Colonial since 2010. Not only Ryan, but his caddie James Edmondson is a three time Colonial club champion and they play the course over 100 times a year between them. Both have recorded 62s and this score was what Palmer opened with last year to hold the first round lead on his way to a 14th place finish. This followed form of 31-5 since the Texan took up membership of the course. Between the two they can combine to be a factor this week.
Chris Kirk is simmering at the moment with four top 20s in four, culminating in a 13th place at the Players Championship. Chris took to Twitter on Sunday night to express his delight at friend Brendon Todd's Byron Nelson win and if you believe in the inspiration factor, this is it right here. More appropriate is the American's form line of 16-5-35 around Colonial and when you add his record at the similar Sony Open Waialae course into the mix, a certain trend appears. Kirk is 41.00 or 9.00 the place.
Birdie machine Brendon De Jonge - 71.00 - was up to his old tricks once again when posting a breath-taking 62 in the second round at Wells Fargo and he was right up there in the driving accuracy stats when going 68-67-69 for one of the lowest weekend totals at the Byron Nelson. De Jonge stepped it up a notch after an excellent Presidents Cup performance that did wonders for his confidence and he was out in the last group on Saturday with Rory McIlroy at the Honda classic earlier in the season where he said he was feeling "comfortable". I expect the big bear to win soon and he is available for a place at 15.00.
Very tempting to stick up a young man named Franklin Corpening here, or old course specialist Rodney Pampling but you'd be better going with another course specialist in David Toms - 101.00 - or the very large Scott Brown - 151.00 - a future course specialist IMO! I always seem to back Toms here - the only difference being he's about three times the price for this edition. He's a former winner at Colonial who ranks right up there in the driving accuracy and putting stats year on year and his current form is just bubbling under the surface.
Brown on the other hand picked up 5 shots to par early on at Sawgrass last time out, before fading. The soon-to-be 31 year old owns a handful of place finishes in the last year or so and pretty much blitzed the field in Puerto Rico in 2013. His driving accuracy and strokes gained putting stats read 27 and 18 respectively which is the main reason I'm targeting him for Colonial. Toms and Brown are available at 26.00 or 19.00 respectively to place.