We stay in Texas this week for The 2018 Fort Worth Invitational, which is held at Colonial Country Club, where it has taken place since 1946. This track is a Par 70 course, that is 7,209 yards long. Kevin Kisner took home the big check last season, finishing at -10, edging out Sean O’Hair, Jordan Spieth, and John Rahm by one stroke. First off, as a Par 70, there are 12 Par fours and only two Par fives, putting a heavy emphasis on Par four scoring. This has shown in the stats over the last five years, with three of the winners ranking in the top five in Par four scoring during their wins. As a shorter course, you would think bombers would have an advantage, but this isn’t the case at Colonial, with all of these fairways being very tight and most players electing to club down, naturally making everyone more accurate off the tee. These greens are also tough to hit regularly, but you must be stroking it with your irons to win this event, as three of the last five champs have ranked T10 or better in GIR, with Kisner being one, hitting 74% of these greens a year ago.
Lastly, I think this a week to put more weight on putting than usual. The golfer, who has had the lowest average putts per round, has won The FWI two of the last three years, so I will be paying more attention to how these players have been rolling it on the greens as of late. Since this a invitational, that means this field is smaller than a regular sized PGA event, with 121 golfers competing. A normal top 70 and ties cut line will be happening on Friday, but since this is a smaller field in size, more players will be making it to the weekend than usual. 6/6 remains the main goal, but this makes this makes it a fine week to take some deeper shots with your picks. @Hunta512.
Nick Watney: (7,300)
After starting the season with two MCs in his first three events, Watney has been on a great run, making it to the weekend in 11 straight starts. His game has improved as this streak has continued, finishing no worse than T37 over his last five events, including a T20 at The Texas Open and a T2 at The Wells Fargo Championship. His iron play has also been trending up, with him ranking 16th in SG APP and 1st in GIR when comparing all of these players last 12 rounds. (via Fantasy National) Plus, he has been an excellent Par four player, ranking 6th in Par Four scoring and on the greens, ranking 6th in SGP during this time. (via Fantasy National)
His track record here in Fort Worth is spotty, making 3/6 cuts, but this season he has shown us he can overcome not having the greatest history at a specific course. Just two weeks ago at The Players, after only making 4/9 cuts at TPC Sawgrass for his career, Watney came out and had a solid week, posting a T37 finish. I expect him to make his 12th consecutive cut this weekend and a top 20 certainly isn’t out of the question if his irons remain hot. In my opinion, Watney is the best value play available on DraftKings for The FWI.
Ben Crane: (6,900)
At this cheap of a price, Crane is definitely worth a look this week. He is 8/12 this season and most of his success has come over the last few months, with him making his last five cuts. He also just had his best finish of the season just a few weeks ago, with a T11 at The Texas Open. The numbers aren’t eye popping, but Crane is in by far the best form of any player priced under $7,000. Just last week, he produced his highest GIR% of the year, at 77.8% at The Byron Nelson Championship and he ranks 24th in SGT2G, 26th in SG APP, 55th in GIR, 14th in Par four scoring, 25th in BOB%, and 32nd in SGP in his last 12 rounds of golf. (via Fantasy National)
Last, but not least, he has been very consistent at Colonial Country Club during his time as a pro, making 8/11 cuts, with four top tens. No, he’s not going to card you a win, but Crane should make the cut, making him a serviceable punt option for all formats.
Rory Sabbatini: (7,600)
This field is better than last week’s Byron Nelson, but Sabbatini’s $1,000 price drop is just too much when you consider the way he has been playing. He is coming off a T13 at The Byron Nelson, which was his fourth straight top 30 and he has now made 13 cuts in a row. In that T13, he was unbelievable around the greens, with a high scrambling percentage of 87.5%, which should also help this week, considering these Bentgrass greens are on the smaller side.
Plus, in his last three starts, he has been awesome on Par fours, ranking 5th in scoring on these holes and he has been putting it very well, ranking 15th in SGP, at an average of 28.3 average putts per round. (via Fantasy National) The veteran player is also very familiar with Colonial Country Club, making the cut 11 times in 17 attempts, with four top ten finishes. His game has been trending up recently and not only do I believe Sabbatini is a very strong bet to make the cut, but I think he has the potential for a top ten.
Charley Hoffman: MC at The Players, which should keep his ownership lower than it should be (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), but Hoffman needs to be considered, as he has never missed a cut at Colonial in nine tries.
Kevin Na: A high 86.1% GIR last week at The Byron Nelson, helping him to a T6, which is easily his best finish of the year. Also, he is 9/11 at this venue, including three top tens. He is currently at 55/1 to win. (via Bovada)
Andrew Landry: Three straight made cuts, if you don’t include his WD from The Wells Fargo. This was only due to an illness and he showed he was just fine the following week, finishing T67th at The Players. This will be his first time playing in Fort Worth, which should keep his ownership low in GPPs. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
J.J. Spaun: T3 last week, where he was T4 in Par four scoring and T5 in average putts per round. He essentially has no course history here because he withdrew last season, but I think Spaun’s game sets up rather well for this course.
Brian Harman: 4/5 at Colonial, while finishing in the top ten twice. Before his MC at The Players, Harman had made 15 of his last 16 cuts. He just seems too cheap for the caliber of golfer he is, currently sitting at 26th in the official world golf rankings.