Dean & DeLuca have been involved in sponsorship on the PGA Tour for several years now but this year the company have changed the event that they sponsor from a relatively low key one to a very prestigious one. Previously the Crowne Plaza Invitational, the new look Dean & DeLuca Invitational boasts some of the world’s best players and a truly world class golf course at Colonial Country Club.
Colonial is the sort of course at which players love to return year after year. In fact, it requires a couple of trips to have any chance of winning. You’ve got to go back all the way to Sergio Garcia’s win in 2001 for the last time that a debutant won this event and only two winners since (Adam Scott and Steve Stricker) have done so without previously notching up a top 10 finish at Colonial.
What is it that makes Colonial such a tough test? Well, over the years the par 70 layout has developed a reputation as a second shot golf course. That’s not to say that it is without its challenges off the tee at 7,209 from the back tees but getting the ball from the fairways and close to the hole is of vital importance. The challenge of hitting greens in regulation will be even tougher than usual this week as some pretty stiff winds are forecast for at least the first three days of play. Those sort of conditions will only make experience, both at Colonial and on the PGA Tour in general, all the more important.
Back to Business Sergio Set For a Strong Return to Colonial
He’d never say so publicly but Sergio Garcia must look at Danny Willett as a cautionary tale. The Englishman’s form has fallen off a cliff since winning the Masters and Garcia cannot allow something similar to happen to him. The Spaniard recently spoke candidly about the challenge of playing quality golf with all that comes after winning the Green Jacket and he looks to have his head firmly screwed on.
A 20th and 30th finish in his first two tournaments since the Masters may not look great but Garcia’s actually played some top quality golf. He just needs to avoid the damaging runs that have cost him over the last fortnight and he’ll be right up there at odds of 14/1 with BetVictor.
Kisner to Go Well Under the Radar
Kevin Kisner is the sort of player that you tend to forget about for a while before he pops up with a quality finish at a course that suits his abilities and patient game from tee to green. Kisner certainly roared back into the golfing world’s consciousness with a runners up finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has only missed one cut since that week.
This is Kisner’s fourth appearance at Colonial and the signs are that he could utilise his course experience to go close at odds of 33/1 with Ladbrokes. He’s finished inside the top 10 in the last two years, ranks 22nd for strokes gained approaching the green on the PGA Tour this season and eighth for total strokes gained. Kisner looks a very good each way betting option.