GOLF Free Picks for
Posted Wed, May 24 at 10:50 AM EST
Dean & Deluca Invitational
The PGA TOUR stays in Texas this week and rolls through to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club, one of the most picturesque settings on the Tour. The Dean & Deluca Invitational may have changed names countless times over the years (due to sponsorship of course), but it remains one of the most reliably brilliant tournaments on the calendar.
There are obvious similarities between Colonial Country Club and TPC Four Seasons, although in some respects these are merely incidental. Both are Par 70, both are short (Colonial plays just 38 yards longer at 7,204 yards), and both are in Texas, and so harsh winds are experienced at both. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Colonial is tighter and tree-lined, so the wind can be less of a factor, and the greens are Bentgrass rather than Bermuda. These run at around 12 on the stimp too, so they are faster than those experienced last week.
The lack of length means that many holes are dog-legged, which requires excellent course management to negotiate, with water in play on six holes and strategically-placed bunkers keeping the hazard count high. Jordan Spieth’s winning mark of -17 last year suggests the course is tameable, although the tale of the tape is that in eight attempts at the pair of Par 5s, he birdied them seven times, so the secret to success at Colonial is fairly self-explanatory. The sheer nature of this Colonial Country Club test assures that a certain type of player thrives. You must be accurate off the tee, gain plenty of strokes from tee to green and putt well on what are some of the fastest greens outside of the majors. These fast Bentgrass greens take no prisoners.
And so it continues. After Si-Woo Kim chalked up a victory for the underdogs at THE PLAYERS Championship a couple of weeks ago, we were treated to another unlikely victor in Billy Horschel at the AT&T Byron Nelson last time out and there’s a great chance of another bomb winning here. Thus, once again, we’re not interested in anything under 35-1 because there are too many pros higher that have a great chance. Hopefully one or more of these will be in the running on Sunday.
Unless otherwise stated, the following bets to win outright will be placed at Bet365 because of their cash-out option during the event. Unless otherwise stated, the head-to-head match-ups will be bet at Pinnacle
To win outright plus head-to-head matchups:
When the PGA TOUR rolls through Texas it’s a good idea to get Ryan Palmer on side. He saves his very best for the Lone Star State, and that has already been evidenced by a T6 return from the Texas Open and T27 at the Byron Nelson last time out, which could and perhaps should have been so much better. One thing we do know is that Palmer loves playing at Colonial. 11 of his last sixteen rounds at the course have been in the 60s, and in the past five editions of this event he has finished inside the top-five on three separate occasions. It’s strange because it’s not a course that naturally suits his long hitting game, but hey if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Palmer ranks 1st ON TOUR in Approaches from 125-150 Yards, 10th ON TOUR in Shots Gained: Tee-to-Green and 10th ON TOUR in Shots Gained: Approach-the-Green. For all you DFS players, Palmer is a bargain this week too so get him in your lineup (Risking 0.2 units to win 7.37 units).
#7019 R. Palmer -108 over B. Cauley (Risking 1.08 units to win 1).
Nick Taylor 80-1
The Canadian’s T9 finish at the Byron Nelson was eye-catching for a number of reasons; not least that it maintains a decent stretch of form dating back to April that reads 22-22-MC-8-9. Equally as intriguing is that he played the final 36 holes at TPC Four Seasons at -9, and there weren’t many in the field that could match that. Thus, Taylor will head to Colonial Country Club in great spirits and in great form. He gained more than one stroke on the field both from tee-to-green and with his putter, and while his record at Colonial isn’t earth-shattering, he has made the cut on both occasions with a best of T27. Putting is generally Taylor’s Achilles heel – it’s the only strokes gained metric he is in negative figures for – but in ranking T19 for SG: Putting at Byron Nelson he is hinting at exciting things to come. Taylor ranks 30th ON TOUR in Scrambling. This is a big overlay on a pro that’s close to popping (Risking 0.2 units to win 16 units).
#7049 N. Taylor +123 over S. Strickland (Risking 1 units to win 1.23 units).
Anirban Lahiri 140-1
The Indian finished T6 in his debut here 12 months ago, and that performance served notice of just how talented this player is. Despite driving an average of 291 yards, Lahiri is another player who thrives on short tracks. Witness his best finishes this season on U.S. soil in the RSM Classic (T13), CareerBuilder (T25), and Honda Classic (T11), all of which are played on courses of less than 7,300 yards. The wind won’t faze Lahiri, as he is a graduate of the European Tour after all, and short Texan tracks like this and that served up by Byron Nelson will surely be the scene of Lahiri’s best showings Stateside for years to come. Some key stats that come into play are Lahiri ranks 2nd ON TOUR in Putting average, 17th on TOUR in Birdie Average and 22 ON TOUR in Approaches from 150-175 yards. Man, is this a sweet price (risking 0.2 units to win 28 units)
There are no head-to-head matchups available for Lahiri but at BET365 we find him in “The Rest of The World, 72-hole betting”, where he is 22-1 and we’ll risk 0.2 units on him to beat that group.(risking 0.2 units to win 4.4 units). 2.88
Kyle Reifers 100-1
There are certain players who seem to stick their head above the parapet at certain times of the year, and Kyle Reifers in Texas is one such example. Looking back to 2015 he has since delivered a T11 finish at the Texas Open, T7 at the Houston Open, T10 at Byron Nelson, and a fifth place return here 12 months ago. Reifers still ranks just 138th in the FedExCup standings, however, he was 160th prior to a T20 at the AT&T Byron Nelson where he ranked T10 in greens in regulation and second in proximity to the hole. It was his second-best result in 10 months. His best finish of 2015-16 occurred at Colonial. En route to that solo fifth, he led the field in both Greens in Regulation (GIR) and proximity to the hole. He also ranked T2 in conversion percentage inside 10 feet, going 66-for-69. All of that speaks to his comfort level on this classic track, as he's perfect in four trips since 2012. What’s there not to like about 100-1? Reifers is another undervalued DFS choice as well (Risking 0.2 units to win 20).
There are no head-to-head matchups available for Reifers.
Sung Kang 60-1
Kang is in too good form to ignore with five decent showings in his last five events: top-10’s at the Houston Open and Texas Open and a T20 last week at the Byron Nelson confirm his love of playing in this neck of the woods, while T11 at the RBC Heritage shows he can handle classic ball-striker’s tracks. We’re even happy enough with a T30 at THE PLAYERS Championship with three rounds of level par or better. Since his runner-up performance at the Shell Houston Open on the first Sunday in April, the 29-year-old is perfect in individual competition with four top 20’s and sits 29th in the FedExCup standings. He displayed a characteristically strong short game en route to that aforementioned T20 last week. For the season, Kang is T46 in GIR, 34th in Strokes Gained: Putting and 26th in Adjusted Scoring. This is his third appearance at Colonial and it’ll likely be his best (Risking 0.2 units to win 12 units).
Kang +100 over Danny Lee (Risking 1 unit).
Sean O’Hair 80-1
The Texan has shown some nice flourishes this season with five top-15 finishes in 15 starts, and the pick of those is perhaps the T5 he delivered at last week’s Byron Nelson. It’s well documented that Texans tend to bring their A Game when playing on home soil, and it’s no surprise to see O’Hair enjoy himself in front of his fellow man and woman. He finished 10-18-34 in his three outings in the Lone Star State last season, and looks well placed to build upon that at Colonial this week. This will be the ninth time in his career he has teed it up at Colonial so he won’t be found wanting when it comes to course knowledge. O’Hair has an excellent foundation to build on following his T5 at the Byron Nelson and now might be the time to catch him with a bit of momentum once again following missed cuts at The Masters and the Players (risking 0.2 units to win 16 units).
#7045 S. O’Hair +105 over C. Campbell (risking 1 unit to win 1.05).
For Fantasy Players:
We don’t bet on favorites to win any event because there is no value but DFS is different. We like to pick one “horse”, which is a top tier golfer and this week’s horse is Sergio Garcia.
When making picks from the elite band of players at the head of the field, we have to ask ourselves one key question in among a myriad of others: is the player hitting the ball well enough to win the tournament? As far as Jordan Spieth and, to a lesser extent, Jon Rahm are concerned the answer is no, while for Sergio Garcia the answer is a resounding yes if he can string four good rounds together. Since winning The Masters, Garcia has finished T30 and T20 at THE PLAYERS and Byron Nelson respectively but at Sawgrass it was only a final round of 78 that prevented him from finishing inside the top 10, while at Four Seasons his rounds on Friday and Saturday of 65 and 64 were bettered on the day by only one player: Jason Kokrak’s 62 on Friday and Jason Day’s 63 on Saturday. So is Garcia playing well enough to win at Colonial? Yes. Will the fast greens cause a problem? Possibly, but then this is the guy who tamed Augusta a matter of weeks ago. And don’t forget, Garcia is in a very elite band of players to win multiple tournaments in Texas: first here more than a decade ago and the Byron Nelson last year.
SG: Tee-to-Green – 3rd
Greens in Regulation – 6th
SG: Around-the-Green – 11th
Blayne Barber … Arguably one of the four forgotten also-rans who Mackenzie Hughes outlasted in the playoff at The RSM Classic, it was nonetheless a career-best finish for Barber. Alas, it didn't portend a hot restart after the holiday break, as he missed his first four cuts of 2017. He then went without a top 25 until a T16 in his last start at THE PLAYERS. True to form, he led the field in proximity to the hole, strokes gained: putting and average distance of putts made. For the season, he ranks a respective T12, 12th and first in those categories. Not a stranger to Colonial, either. He placed T34 in his debut here last year. A gamble but underpriced to be sure
Total Risk for this event is 5.78 units and we'll update it when teh event is official.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
PGA Wagers (Risking 5.58 units - To Win: 0.00)
GOLF Historical - Totals
|Last 30 Days||3||1||0.00||+14.81|
|Season to Date||11||9||0.00||+25.56|