OK, so you can’t pick Rory McIlroy this week – the World No. 1 is playing across the pond at the BMW PGA Championship. However, you can pick the next best thing, World No. 2 Jordan Spieth, who leads the field into this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Spieth lost some ground to McIlroy in the world rankings after McIlroy won twice in the last three weeks. But the 21-year-old Texan should be motivated returning to his home state as he looks to regain the form he had when he finished second twice and won twice, including the Masters, in a four-tournament span earlier this season. Since a T-11 finish at the RBC Heritage last month, Spieth failed to make the knockout stage at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and then missed the cut at The Players.
Still, he remains the top option this week on a course where he’s finished T-14 and T-7 in his two PGA Tour starts there.
Joining Spieth as good options this week after fellow Texans Jimmy Walker and Ryan Palmer, the latter of whom is a member at Colonial. Two-time CPI champ Zach Johnson is also in the field, as are defending champ Adam Scott and Ian Poulter, who is skipping the European Tour event this week.
Here is the complete list of past winners in the field: Adam Scott (2014), Boo Weekley (2013), Zach Johnson (2010, ’12), David Toms (2011), Steve Stricker (2009), Rory Sabbatini (2007), Tim Herron (2006), Kenny Perry (2003, ’05), Steve Flesch (2004), Corey Pavin (1996).
Kevin Na ($9,900): Top-20 finishes in each of his last six starts.
Ryan Palmer ($9,600): Texas resident who you can’t count out any given week especially when Palmer has had a pair of top 5s in last three years at Colonial.
John Senden ($8,100): Top 10s in past two starts and T-5 at Colonial a year ago.
Shawn Stefani ($7,800): Looking at value here. Five made cuts in last six starts and each went for a top-30 finish, including last week’s T-9 at Wells Fargo.
Cameron Tringale ($7,000): Two top 5s in last five starts and has made 10 of 12 cuts this year. Good price for a guy who should get you four rounds and possibly a high finish.
Jerry Kelly ($6,500): Sticking with looking for value. In his last three starts, has gone for 73, 92.5 and 71 points. That’s pretty good for $6,500.
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JIM MCCABE (GOLFWEEKMCCABE)
(Last week: 369.5 points; Season total: 5,427.5)
Zach Johnson ($12,000): Two wins, a third, and a fourth in his last five trips to Colonial.
Ryan Palmer ($9,600): Never turn down the chance to pick a PGA Tour veteran who is playing a tournament where he’s a member.
Patrick Rodgers ($8,400): Not sure the course will fit his style, but can’t overlook a kid on a mission.
Geoff Ogilvy ($7,400): Coming off strong effort at Wells Fargo, usually plays well on classic courses.
David Toms ($7,200): Don’t often see him play three in a row any more, but he played nicely at Players, hung in there till bad fourth round at Quail Hollow, and he’s got the game for Colonial, where he last won in 2011.
Justin Leonard ($5,400): With the money left, there’s not much to choose from, so why not a veteran who can handle the twists and turns of Colonial?
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JEFF BABINEAU (GOLFWEEKBABS)
(Last week: 431.5 points; Season total: 5,548)
Jordan Spieth ($13,000): Don’t think he hasn’t been watching what Rory has been doing, and should be well-rested and ready for his two home events in the Dallas area.
Zach Johnson ($12,000): This isn’t a golf tournament for Johnson; it’s an annuity that has paid off his children’s future college tuitions 10 times over. Five top 10s (including a victory in 2012) in his last six starts at Colonial.
John Senden ($8,100): This is a ballstriker’s track, and Senden is a terrific ballstriker. If he can get the putter to cooperate at all, he can be dangerous here.
Scott Piercy ($5,900): Hasn’t been doing much, and hasn’t played Colonial a whole bunch (T-26 two years ago), but too talented to stay down for long.
Colt Knost ($5,500): Finished 1-3 at Quail Hollow to get to the weekend last week, and is a Texan who knows Colonial well.
Nicholas Thompson ($5,500): A nice pick at this price seeing that he finished third at Crowne Plaza a year ago. His length isn’t needed here, but it never hurts.
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ADAM SCHUPAK (GOLFWEEKSCHUPAK)
(Last week: 446.5 points; Season total: 5,628.5
Zach Johnson ($12,000): Safe pick with a guy who once blistered Colonial in a tournament-record 259. Precise ballstriking and a smooth putting stroke win at Colonial, which is why Zach has won here twice.
Chris Kirk ($9,000): Blew the 54-hole lead at Players, but that just tells me he’s close. He likes to shape the ball, which is ideal for Colonial. And he’s done it well in the past at : 5-for-5 in cuts made with a T-5 in 2012.
Steve Stricker ($8,500): This ballpark suits his game. Stricker is a past champion who if he gets hot with the putter could be dangerous on Sunday.
Shawn Stefani ($7,800): This Texan has been rock steady all year with eight top-25 finishes. He’s ready to contend.
Chris Stroud ($6,800): Another Texan who knows his way around the Horrible Horseshoe and is good for a top-15 finish.
Scott Piercy ($5,900): At this price, he’s hard to pass up. Healthy again and has shown signs of returning to top-50 in the world form.
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ALEX MICELI (GOLFWEEKMICELI)
(Last week: 493.5 points; Season total: 5,529)
Jordan Spieth ($13,000): Can’t be any hungrier to put a good performance on the board. Spieth is the pick for the next two weeks.
Steve Stricker ($8,500): He’s playing better and better after each start.
Patrick Rodgers ($8,400): May be asking too much after last week, but the kid has the game.
Jerry Kelly ($6,500): Kelly loves courses like this and after his solid play at the Players he should be someone that will be on the leaderboard at the end.
Steve Wheatctoft ($6,300): Underrated in some ways, he has had a nice year and this week could be more of the same.
Colt Knost ($5,500): Not a long hitter, but controls the ball well and is playing in his home state.
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BRENTLEY ROMINE (BROMINE20)
(Last week: 492.5 points; Season total: 5,727)
Ryan Palmer ($9,600 ): He’s a member at Colonial and has finished in the top 5 in two of his last three trips here.
Charley Hoffman ($9,300): He’s playing well and hasn’t missed the cut in six starts here.
Paul Casey ($9,300): An illness forced him to withdraw from The Players, but he’s played well otherwise and has a good track record at Colonial.
John Senden ($8,100 ): The Aussie tied for fifth here last year and has three career top 10s at Colonial. His current form suggests he’ll have a good week.
Shawn Stefani ($7,800): He tied for ninth last week at Quail Hollow and should find more success at Colonial.
Colt Knost ($5,500): Not much money left to spend, but I’ll take the Texas boy.
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NICK MASUDA (NICKMASUDA)
(Last week: 361.5 points; Season total: 4,491.5)
Jordan Spieth ($13,000): He seemed perturbed by his play at the Players, which tells me he got a bit of rest and then fine-tuned his impressive arsenal. Expect big things from the Texas native.
Adam Scott ($9,400): The defending champ and he is relatively cheap considering his star status. Yes, he has struggled a bit in 2015, but there is nothing like returning to a place that saw you find success.
Marc Leishman ($7,300): Was 21st at Colonial in 2014, and has two top-30 performances since withdrawing from the Masters to be with his ailing wife. The golf gods will treat him nicely.
David Lingmerth ($7,000): Was T-5 here last year and I’m banking on that he doesn’t miss his fourth cut in a row. May the odds be ever in my favor.
John Peterson ($6,900): He has made 15 of 16 cuts on Tour this season. That’s good math, and you need guys that stick around for the weekend to win in this fantasy league.
Fredrik Jacobson ($6,400): He finished third at Colonial in 2014 and has made 10 of 13 cuts so far this season. Another fairly safe bet for the weekend.
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Here’s how the scoring works in DraftKings:
Per hole scoring
Double eagle: 20 points
Eagle: 8 points
Birdie: 3 points
Par: 0.5 point
Bogey: -0.5 point
Double bogey or worse: -1 point
Tournament finish scoring
1st: 30 points
2nd: 20 points
3rd: 18 points
4th: 16 points
5th: 14 points
6th: 12 points
7th: 10 points
8th: 9 points
9th: 8 points
10th: 7 points
11th–15th: 6 points
16th–20th: 5 points
21st–25th: 4 points
26th–30th: 3 points
31st–40th: 2 points
41st-50th: 1 point
Streaks and bonuses
Streak of three birdies or better (maximum of one per round): 3 points
Bogey-free round: 3 points
All four rounds of fewer than 70 strokes: 5 points
Hole-in-one: 10 points
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(Players listed in order of Golfweek/Sagarin ranking along with DraftKings price)