Review & Betting Guide to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

The Colonial Country Club

Colonial Country Club: The vision of Mervin Leonard © Peter Cordon

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson 12/1 © Keith Allison

This week the PGA Tour hits Fort Worth Texas for the Crowne Plaza Invitational, held at the stunning Colonial Country Club. The history of CCC is quite interesting as it came about through one man’s crusade to bring bent grass greens to Texas.

That man was Mr Marvin Leonard, who was so intent on bringing bent grass greens to his then golf club, the River Crest GC, that he offered to pay for two or three greens to be dug up and reseeded with bent grass. If the experiment did not work, he would then pay for them to be dug up again and reseeded back to Bermuda grass!

The president of River Crest GC at the time grew so weary of Marvin’s insistence about the greens that he told him “Marvin, if you’re so sold on Bentgrass, why don’t you go build your own golf course and put them in?” That became Marvin Leonard’s Eureka moment and the idea of the Colonial Golf Club was born.

Mr Leonard then commissioned John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma to both submit five alternative course designs but after looking at the designs he asked them to submit five more. From the initial designs Marvin Leonard put together a composite course from which sprang the Colonial Country Club.

By 1935 the golf course and the first clubhouse neared completion and less than 10 years later the Colonial Country Club held its first US Open Championship in 1941. By 1946 the Colonial had its own tournament, ‘The Colonial Invitational’ with the inaugural event being won by none other than Ben Hogan, who retained the title the following year and won the event five times in his career.

Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson 40/1 © Keith Allison

Phil Mickelson who won this event in 2000 and 2008 stated, “This golf course is one of the best tests that we have in the game of golf. To have won this tournament is an amazing feeling. I can’t explain how good it feels to have won this championship.”

My tips to win:

Zach Johnson 12/1 will be going for his third win in three years and I think he has a good chance of pulling it off. Zach had a Top 20 finish at The Players Championship which was his third Top 25 finish of the season, the other two coming in Johnsons first three tournaments of the year. Zach has not been outside the Top 10 in this event since 2009, I think he likes it here!

Henrik Stenson 40/1 has obviously decided he is going to stay state side this week and continue his preparations over there leading up to the US Open Championship and who can blame him after his Top 20 finish at the Masters, which he then followed up with a Top 5 finish at The Players Championship. Henrik also has another two Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour and three Top 25 on the European Tour.


Marc Leishman

Marc Leishman 40/1 © Keith Allison

Marc Leishman 40/1 looks like he’s on the brink of winning his second PGA Tour title. After missing four cuts in seven events Marc has gone on to produce four Top 15 finishes in his last four tournaments, three of those being Top 10 finishes. I don’t think it’s going to be long before the Australian is picking up another winners cheque.

My each-way tips are:

Harris English 40/1 has started to come back into form over the last couple of weeks with two Top 20 finishes in his last three events. Harris started the year well with a Top 10 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii, but then tailed off with several missed cuts. But the lad from Georgia has his best PGA Tour result here at the Colonial and I am sure those positive vibes are only going to help this week.

Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera 80/1 © KweeSong

Charley Hoffman 40/1 has had three Top 10 finishes in his last five events, one of the other two was a missed cut in New Orleans. Charley had a Top 15 finish here last year and I think he is on a bit of a roll and could do even better this year.

Outside Tip

This week’s outside tip is going to be Angel Cabrera 80/1 the big Argentinian has just started to come back into form since he lost the Masters play-off to Adam Scott. Angel has had a couple of bad rounds that have put him out of tournaments like his final round 80 at the Wells Fargo Championship. But Cabrera opened with a 65 at last weeks Byron Nelson Championship and I think these are good odds after he finished in the Top 15 of that Championship.

For updated betting odds during the tournament go to

TOPICS: Golf, Golf on the Web, Off course, Tournament reviews and betting guides

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

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