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Dean and Deluca Invitational: Expert Picks

Jordan Spieth is primed to succeed.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Dean and Deluca Invitational
When: May 26th - 29th
Where: Colonial Country Club
2015 Winner: Chris Kirk (-12)


The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.

Colonial Country Club - Designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell in 1936, Colonial Country Club requires good ball placement. A combination of narrow fairways, large bunkers, small greens and one hole where the Trinity River hugs the entirety of a side require golfers to be careful with their shots. Very few holes lie straight with many dog leg turns throughout. The make or break section of this course is toted the "horrible horseshoe" running on holes 3,4,and 5 where the continual turns require accuracy not distance.


A: 
Jordan Spieth - It feels weird saying this but this is only my second Jordan Spieth pick this year. He's just not playing at his expected caliber. Back in his home state where he's comfortable, combined with his play picking up I think this can be potentially good for an esteemed good weekend. The great part about Jordan though is, even when he's not playing his best, he's still posting top 20 finishes regularly (6 of his last 7 tournaments). In his three starts here he's finished 7th, 14th and 2nd.  

B: 
Kevin Chappell - He has 4 top ten finishes in his last 6 starts.  He's blessed with a strong drive (52nd) and a fairly accurate one (88th) but his strength is in strokes gained to green (10th). He has a tendency of coming out of the gate very strong on Thursday and fizzling by Sunday. His last 3 years here have garnished a 19th place finish, 10th place and 54th. He's 5th on the tour for FedEx points so he's doing a few things right this season.

Colt Knost - Hard not to get excited about a player who has missed only one cut this season and is on back to back top 5 finishes.  After missing the cut here for three consecutive years (2012-2014) he came out strong last year finishing tenth. He doesn't have a powerful drive but it's deadly accurate (2nd on the tour). To top  it off he's 14th in strokes gained putting. If he can hold on to the solid play he could be dangerous on Sunday.

C:
Matt Kuchar - I think strong arguments can be made for Charl Schwartzel and Bill Haas, Charl has finished in the top 20 in 4 of his last 6 tournaments, Bill Haas has a tendency of bouncing back strong after sub-par performances. With that said, I'm going with the Georgia Tech grad whose had 5 top 25 finishes in his last 6 tournaments (4 of those being top ten finishes). His last three appearances here were a Missed Cut in 2014, 2nd place finish in 2013 and 26th place finish in 2012.

Sleeper Pick:
Emiliano Grillo -
A rookie from Argentina, Emiliano has a great drive. One that the San Jose Mercury News boasted as the best pound for pound drive on the tour right now. He's 69th in driving distance but 7th in accuracy. His putting tends to be his downfall but being a rookie, that will improve with time. He's had an up and down season with his last ten tournaments being: 33rd, Cut, 45th, 74th, 47th, 17th, 38th, 17th, 61st and Cut.

Last tournament results - The Players Championship (156 total) - Picks: D. Johnson, R. Palmer, J. Curran, M. Leishman and T. Wilkinson
A: 12th place
B: 84th place; 34th place
C: 99th place
Dark Horse: 4th place

YTD Avg: (Average field of 131 people)
A: 39th place 
B: 36th place
C: 61stplace
Dark Horse: 46th place

Fun factoid about this tournament: This tournament has something called the "Champion's Choice". They honor two deserving golfers who are ineligible for the tournament (as they don't meet one of the 16 criteria necessary to join the tournament) to play. In 1967, Dave Stockton, a Champion's Choice, won the tournament.