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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crowne Plaza Invitational experts' picks

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Zach Johnson. Talk about a course that's built for a guy! Not only has Zach won here twice, including last year, but in the 28 rounds he's played in this tournament he's shot over par only 5 times. Twenty-one of 28 rounds under par, you bet your bottom that's the horse for this course.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Zach Johnson. The former Masters champion won his second Colonial last year with a 1-shot win over Jason Dufner.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Zach Johnson. The defending champion has won twice at Colonial, and his worst finish in his past seven appearances at the event is a tie for ninth.

Birdie Buster

Michael Collins: Bo Van Pelt. Got his first top-10 of the year at Wells Fargo and made the cut at the Players. Now a week rested he comes to a place (jinx alert!) where he has never missed a cut in nine straight years. And just for good measure, the past three years he hasn't finished outside the top 20.

Farrell Evans: Kevin Streelman. Since taking his first career PGA Tour win in March at the Tampa Bay Championship, the 34-year-old Duke alum has had three top-10s, including a tie for third in Hilton Head and a tie for second at the Players.

Bob Harig: Sang-Moon Bae. Coming off his first PGA Tour victory at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Bae rallied to defeat Keegan Bradley, who shot an opening-round 60.

Super Sleeper

Michael Collins: Henrik Stenson. Back from the golf dead, the Swede has gone from walking off the course ready to quit to three top-10s  and six of eight cuts made. He is coming off a fifth-place finish at The Players and, even though he missed the cut last year, will see the golf course with renewed confidence this year.

Farrell Evans: Harris English. In his second year on tour, the lanky 23-year-old Georgian continues to show flashes of brilliance, but he's struggled on the weekends. Yet he is one of the most talented young players in the game. Last year, in his first appearance at Colonial, he finished in a tie for fifth.

Bob Harig: Harris English. Regarded as one of the game's up-and-coming players, English's best finish remains a tie for fifth at last year's Colonial.


Michael Collins: Hunter Mahan. Has "quietly" made more than $1.6 million so far this year, most of which came from his runner-up finish at Match Play. But it's kind of shaping up to be that kind of year, isn't it? Guys plod along, then BAM. But what do I know, last week my winning pick withdrew after our picks hit the webpage. Haha!!

Farrell Evans: Henrik Stenson. The 37-year-old Swede hasn't won on tour since his victory at the '09 Players Championship. But this season he's made a resurgence with a tie for second in Houston and a tie for fifth at the Players.

Bob Harig: Matt Kuchar. He has made 16 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour and never missed the cut in six tries at Colonial, a course that should be made for him. Kuchar is about due for a victory, too.