Crowne Plaza Colonial - a great test
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial | Preview | 22 May 2012
The PGA Tour moves just a short drive west to Fort Worth for this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial where a field including three of the game’s hottest players at present, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler will tee it up.
While both of those players are considered chances to continue their great form the chances of several others look bright on paper also.
The tournament is played as it has been since 1947 at the Colonial Country Club. Opened in 1936 the venue held the US Open in 1941. It is not a long golf course but requires great shot making and shot shaping skills to negotiate the tight, turning fairways and small greens.
Zach Johnson brings a very good record at the Colonial Country Club to the event. He was a winner two years ago and last year finished 4th and with two runner-up finishes in his last three starts this season the favouritism might well lie with him.
Rickie Fowler gave an indication of his liking for the time honoured layout with an opening round of 63 last year before finishing 16th. Like Johnson, Fowler is playing beautifully at present and stands a chance of adding to the first PGA Tour victory he recorded three weeks ago at Quail Hollow.
Matt Kuchar faded a little on Sunday at last week’s event in Dallas but perhaps that was to be expected after such a great week at the Players. If he has recharged the batteries then he could do well again.
Kuchar has played the event well enough at times when he was not anywhere near the player he is now so has enough going for him to be a consideration.
It is a bit hard to believe that Jason Dufner can keep this remarkable run of form going and his ordinary record over this layout will not help.
Defending champion David Toms is going along nicely at present having finished 10th at the Players Championship. His record overall at the event is solid and he is likely to be in the mix once again.
Australians in the field include Marc Leishman, Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, John Senden and Rod Pampling.
Marc Leishman was very impressive last week and interestingly he played every well for 54 holes in this event when on debut last year before finishing 44th. Bouyed by his effort in Dallas he could do very well again.
Geoff Ogilvy has done nothing spectacular of late but neither has he been all that bad. He has played this golf course well on occasions and as a golfing purist is sure to like the layout, one of the great traditional layouts in American golf.
Ogilvy’s last round of tournament golf at this venue was when he recorded a round of 64 last year.