Dean and Deluca, an upmarket chain of grocery stores, takes over from Crowne Plaza who were the title sponsors for the last nine years following on from Bank of America and MasterCard although the event does have a history dating back to 1946 when Ben Hogan claimed the first of his five victories.
Chris Kirk won last year’s version, defeating Jason Bohn, Brandt Snedeker and Jordan Spieth by one shot in a titanic final day battle.
Kirk also owns several other good results in the event having finished inside the top twenty in four of his last five starts at Colonial and has had several good finishes this season.
Jordan Spieth appeared a little out of sorts last weekend after being in contention heading into the final round but given that he was still working on technical aspects of his swing during his warm up on Sunday perhaps he can be forgiven and hopefully he has completed that tweaking.
Spieth not only finished runner-up last year but nine of his twelve rounds in the event have been in the sixties. He has the added pressure of near hometown support but hopefully for him and the event he can contend and possibly win in his home state.
Adam Scott has been successful in this event in the past when winning in 2014 but that aside there has not been a lot to get excited about in his appearances here. Scott was brilliant earlier in the season with two wins and a runner-up finish and has continued to play well in limited starts since.
Matt Kuchar has found a rich vein of form at present with 3rd place finishes in each of his last two events. Kuchar’s results in the event have been mixed but he did finish runner-up in 2013 and as such should be a factor.
Zach Johnson has been one of the best performers in this event in recent years with two wins and three other top tens in his last seven starts. Johnson has not contended a lot in recent starts but a return to Colonial could get him fired up.
Jason Dufner is another a bit like Johnson with a good record at Colonial but struggling to contend of late. He has, though, been twice runner-up in the event and could well be in the action on Sunday.
Danny Lee finished 10th in the event last year and has taken his game to a new level since. He has not missed a cut in his three starts at Colonial and his recent form is very good. He could be one for longer odds this week.
Australians in the field aside from Scott are Marc Leishman, John Senden, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch.
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