Two great events are on the schedule this week. In Europe it’s the flagship event for the European Tour, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Golf Channel’s fantasy game features this event and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Here are my picks:
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Group 1: Bo Van Pelt – A consummate ballstriker on a quintessential ballstriker’s course.
Group 2: Tim Clark – He was in the playoff in 2009 with Steve Stricker and Steve Marino. He’s recovered from injuries and fits the profile of winners at Colonial (Zach Johnson, David Toms, Steve Stricker).
Group 3: Seung-yul Noh – Another Sean Foley student with a great swing. He’s young, but this season has seen 8 first-time winners. Noh was among the first to greet Sang-Moon Bae after his win last week at the Byron Nelson.
Group 4: Matt Jones – Only missed 3 cuts all year (pretty good for a group 4 player) and that’s what I’m looking for in group 4.
BMW PGA Championship:
Group 1: Justin Rose – He’s in the elite caliber of players to contend anywhere in the world, any week. He’s also been more consistent than Rory McIlroy or two-time defending champion Luke Donald in 2013.
Group 2: Thorbjorn Olesen – He’s one of the best rising stars in golf. If this were a Ryder Cup year, I’d look for him to make the squad. His swing is great and he’s shown great moxy on the biggest stages at the Open Championship last year and The Masters this year.
Group 3: Peter Uihlein – The only American in the field earned his first professional win on the European Tour last week and I look for him to carry that momentum this week.
Group 4: Jose-Maria Olazabel – Admittedly a sentimental pick. Ollie won this championship in 1994 and it would be cool to see him contend (or just make the cut) this week.
Group A: Tim Clark and Jason Dufner – I already outlined reasons for Clark, and Dufner is in the great ballstrikers category that should fair well at Colonial.
Group B: Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Bo Van Pelt, Zach Johnson – Johnson has won two of the last three years, I discussed BVP, Kuchar is a top-ten machine (and the highest ranked player in the field), Jim Furyk is in the “Colonial Winners Profile”.
Group C: Charl Schwartzel and Rickie Fowler – Schwartzel is one of the most consistent players in the world and finished third last week. I’m surprised he’s not playing the BMW PGA, but I expect him to be in the hunt at Colonial. Rickie Fowler has an endorsement deal with Crowne Plaza, the title sponsor this week. He’ll be motivated to play well but might also run out of gas due to a likely heavy load of sponsor commitments.