Winner’s Share – $1,170,000
Course – Colonial Country Club (7,204 yards Par 70)
Our 2014 Picks – Jim Furyk (T51), Kevin Na (MC), John Senden (T5), Boo Weekley (75), David Hearn (T21)
The Tour takes it’s second trip to Texas, having been there earlier in the year for the Valero Texas and Shell Houston Opens. We all know what happened last week, Rory tore Quail Hollow a new one, frankly. It looked like we could be in for an interesting week when Justin Thomas hit the front on Saturday, closely followed by Phil. But who can begrudge watching the Northern Irishman in form like that, it really is a thing of beauty. Thankfully, he leaves America alone this week. Sadly, he’s now over in England for the BMW PGA…
So what’s this week all about? It’s always a great indicator to look at previous winners when you first look at tournaments. Zach Johnson, Stricker, Weekley, Toms, Scott. Tee to green you know exactly what you’re getting with these guys. Colonial is held in such high regard because it’s a thinking mans course. Rarely will you see this course torn apart like some of the tracks we see earlier in the season.
Don’t worry about distance off the tee for this one, it’s all about accuracy. If you can put it in the right spots leaving good yardage and angles, you’ll do well. The tournament will be won and lost tee to green.
Another thing we always look for when betting at Colonial is a solid wedge game. Anything below 150yards needs to be scaring the flag. Just think about how good Zach Johnson is with his short irons – there’s a reason he has 2 wins and 3 top 10’s in his last 6 starts here.
And then geography. Texans have a real knack of playing well in their home state. And then some people just love it in Texas, take Adam Scott as a prime example who completed the ‘Texas Grand Slam’ last year.
DON’T FORGET – Our weekly competition with renowned magazine Golf Monthly continues, take a peak at the end of our selections to see how our stakes have been distributed this time.
You can follow us throughout the week on Twitter @downthe18th for the latest news, betting + banter. Please get in touch and let us know what you think of our picks and who you fancy as well!
Paul Casey 33/1
We’ve been big backers of Paul Casey over the past year or so, mainly because we know he has the potential to be a top 10 player in the world and on his day can outclass any course.
His well-documented problems seem to be behind him now and he’s plying his trade on the PGA Tour which shows where he’s at mentally. And that brings us nicely to our first point – the flagship European Tour event is taking place across the pond in his homeland and you’d think he would be keen to play – especially with it being a track he’s won on before.
However the fact he’s staying in the States says a lot and to us means he is really confident he can do a job this week.
He has played at Colonial a few times missing the cut last year, but in 2010 he finished T13 and in 09’ 5th. So that proves he suits the track and on paper, he really, really does.
A powerful tee to green player, who can be lethal when he’s accurate – 25th total driving, 15th GIR and 53rd for proximity to hole.
His form has also been fairly impressive – yes he withdrew at The Players because of the illness that carried over from the WGC.
But at that Matchplay he only lost in a sudden death playoff to McIlroy and then T6 at The Masters and 9th at the Shell Houston. Basically he’s in good nick and in a pretty poor field could show his true worth.
Brendon Todd 50/1
Brendon Todd will be turning 30 in a couple of months and entering the prime of his career. He’s shown recently that he bags of potential and will consider 2014 as a sort of breakthrough year or, maybe more accurately, a coming-of-age year.
He got his first PGA Tour win at the Byron Nelson Championship last year – another Texan event – and even with an inconsistent start to 2015, he is still a top player in this field to be found at 50s.
An opening round 68 at The Players showed us something and although he went on to be pretty mediocre, he should take confidence from that. Outright 4th at the RBC Heritage where he shot a mightily impressive 63 on moving day to propel him right up the leaderboard.
If he can put 4 rounds together he will challenge, especially with the game he has for Colonial – 14th driving accuracy, 94th GIR, 24th proximity to hole, 22nd strokes gained putting.
He also finished T5 last year, which shows he has experience and know-how around this track. An interesting prospect.
John Senden 66/1
John Senden is very much entering the twilight years of his career and is showing some top form to finish what’s been a relatively average career – especially considering his ability.
The likes of Steve Stricker and Miguel Angel Jimenez have shown you can achieve great things with age, so there’s definitely still time for the Aussie.
A win at the Valspar last year started a great run of form for Senden and until his last couple of outings, he hadn’t continued that over to this season.
However a top performance at the WGC Match Pay opened our eyes to his potential abilities. He got all the way to Saturday, earning a T5 finish and at times he was simply sumptuous with his irons, sticking it next to the flag giving his opponent little hope. To beat Henrik Stenson, Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan comfortably is no mean feat.
And then he went on to The Players where he showed even more class to come in a tie for 8th. His putting has been letting him down undoubtedly but crucially he was T4 for putting average across the week and that should really make you intrigued by his prospects. Because, add that to 56th driving accuracy and 59th GIR, plus two top 10 outings on this track, you’re left with a genuine mid-ranger here.
Boo Weekley (80/1 BetVictor)
Everyone’s favourite fisherman golfer. If there is such a thing… Boo Weekley is one of the finest iron players when his game is on and you can’t help but be at least interested in his chances on courses like this.
He is a former winner here, having lifted the trophy back in 2013 and that says it all really.
Plus he is starting to come back into a little bit of form having finished solo 3rd at the Zurich Classic and T16 at the Wells Fargo last week.
He hit a couple of rounds in the mid 60’s and that shows he is nearly on it. And that fact he was 16th for putting average at the Wells Fargo really makes us excited by his prospects because if his short stick is hot, he WILL contend.
Rory Sabbatini (125/1 Coral)
Rory Sabbatini is yet another play you’d happily trust with an iron. And he is also a former winner here having been champion in 2007. The South African has all the attributes required to do well on this track and we all got a real glimpse of his top abilities at The Players a couple of weeks back.
To finish T6 in pretty much a major-standard field is no mean feat and to shoot -9 on a tough track shows where he’s at with his game at the moment.
85th for driving accuracy and 38th for GIR show that he’s got the class tee to green, whilst he was actually 21st for putting average at The Players which should give him great confidence going onto a course he has done so well at before.
Jason Bohn (150/1 various)
There seems to be a slight theme running this week but Jason Bohn is another entering the twilight years of his career and has been showing promise in recent times.
A near win at the back end of last year followed by some mediocre outings before a T9 last week.
Three rounds in the 60’s to close should give anyone confidence and we are just too intrigued by his chances at such high odds not to get involved.
Because tee to green his stats are outrageous – 8th driving accuracy, 13th GIR and 6th proximity to the hole. That says it all really!
He’s had several top 25 finishes but never properly challenged on this layout, but you never know and at 150/1 it’s definitely worth it!
Every week we’re running a weekly betting competition on both Tours with esteemed magazine Golf Monthly. It is a bit of fun between us and them to see who has the better tipsters! We have £10 to put on each tournament and will write up a weekly post for their site detailing the horrors we are sure to endure throughout the year – so keep an eye out.
It will also (for the first time from us at DownThe18th) show some sort of staking plan we have for out bets. Obviously, this isn’t the exact stakes we will put on our players, some weeks we won’t even enter a couple of our picks, but at least it can be shown roughly where our thoughts are money wise.
Our £10 against Golf Monthly will be as follows –
£2.10 e/w on Paul Casey at 28/1
£1.00 e/w on Brendon Todd at 45/1
£1.00 e/w on John Senden at 50/1
£0.50 e/w on Boo Weekley at 66/1
£0.40 e/w on Rory Sabbatini at 100/1
Each way bets ¼ odds for top 5 finish. Prices sourced from Paddy Power
Find the Golf Monthly Preview here (http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/tour-news)
Current Standings after 18 weeks
DownThe18th Golf Monthly
European Tour: £-68.70 European Tour: £-78.12
PGA Tour: £-15.94 PGA Tour: £33.75
Total: £-84.64 Total: £-44.37
Golf Monthly leads by: £40.27