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Colonial preview: Who are the tournament's big contenders?

Colonial preview: Who are the tournament's big contenders?

Credit: WFAA Sports

The #9 green at Colonial, which will feature many of the world's best golfers over the next few days (George Riba/WFAA).


WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:35 AM

Updated Thursday, May 24 at 2:36 AM

The PGA Tour rounds out its stint in Texas this weekend in Fort Worth with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at The Colonial. To the casual fan, any tournament that doesn't have Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson attached to it is irrelevant. But this week features a pretty strong field.

Despite lacking the big names like Woods, Mickelson, and Rory Mcilroy, you will find plenty of golfers in this week's field who aren't exactly household names but are young up and comers. You'll also find numerous probable 2012 Ryder Cup participants.
Here are some of my players to watch out for this weekend.
Rickie Fowler: The 23 year old is most well known as the guy who does the orange shirt bit, but Fowler is arguably the hottest golfer on the PGA Tour right now. In his last 3 tournaments he's finished tied for 10th, first, and tied for 2nd.  He's a likely bet to be in contention on Sunday.
Hunter Mahan: The 30 year old Texan has already won twice this year on the tour. He doesn't have a great history at The Colonial, but he's one of the best pure ball-strikers on the tour. He's also pretty much a lock to make the Ryder Cup squad, and an early favorite at the upcoming US Open.
Zach Johnson: He's finished 4th, won, and tied for 9th in his last three starts at The Colonial.  He also holds the course record for his 21 under par performance in 2010. He's the odds on favorite, and that's where my money would go if I were a betting man.
Matt Kuchar: He's never missed the cut at The Colonial, and he won The Players Championship at Sawgrass a couple weeks ago.  He's another lock to make the Ryder Cup team.
Jason Dufner: He'll look for back to back wins after he took the crown at last week's HP Byron Nelson Championship. His motivation shouldn't be lacking though, as he probably needs a couple more Top 10's in order to be a lock for the Ryder Cup. 
David Toms: The defending champ. He always plays well here.
Jim Furyk: He usually performs well at The Colonial. Should wind be a factor, he is probably one of the best-suited players on tour to combat 20+ MPH winds.  
Ben Crane
John Senden
Ryan Palmer
Pat Perez
Stewart Cink
Kevin Na
Bill Haas
Sergio Garcia
Geoff Ogilvy
Bo Van Pelt
Rod Pampling: He has 4 Top 10's in the 8 times he has made the cut at The Colonial. He knows the area well and I look for him to be a contender on Sunday.
A lot of guys are capable of winning this thing, but I can't go with anyone other than Zach Johnson.  
Although Tiger Woods has yet to regain form (and it's possible he never will), the PGA Tour currently boasts an insanely talented amount of golfers.  There's no better time to latch on and start taking notice, especially in a Ryder Cup year. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Kevin Turner works at Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket. He can be reached on twitter at @KT1310 or emailed at