Experts' Picks: Colonial

May, 18, 2011

Each week during the PGA Tour season, our panel of experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories below: Birdie Buster, Horse for the Course, Super Sleeper and Winner.

This week's tournament: The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Want another opinion? Check out's FOREcaster page. writer Richard Durrett

Birdie Buster: Hunter Mahan
He leads the tour in birdie average and while he hasn't placed well at Colonial, he's hot. Mahan has six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for sixth at the Players Championship.

Horse for the Course: Steve Marino
He lost in a playoff at Colonial in 2009 and has two other top-25 finishes. He's 27th in greens in regulation and can drive the ball straight, two things that are key to success at Colonial.

Super Sleeper: Kenny Perry
He's won this event twice and seems to be under the radar. He could re-emerge here.

Winner: Jason Day
The Aussie comes in feeling good about his game and has the stats to prove it. He plays at Colonial Country Club and knows the course. It's tough to bet against him. golf writer Bob Harig

Birdie Buster: David Toms
The 12-time PGA Tour winner narrowly missed his first victory in five years at the Players Championship after hitting fairways and greens all week long. That style works well at Colonial Country Club, where Toms should feed off the momentum of an excellent tournament.

Horse for the Course: Kenny Perry
The 50-year-old Perry won twice at Colonial in the past decade and has always considered it one of his favorites. After making the cut at the Players, Perry is back again off the Champions Tour for another crack at the young guys.

Super Sleeper: Jeff Overton
It has been a quiet year for the 2010 Ryder Cup rookie, who contended for tournament titles most of last summer. Overton's lone top-10 was a tie for sixth at the Honda Classic. Last week's tie for 26th was his best finish since Honda in early March.

Winner: Steve Marino
A playoff loser at Colonial two years ago, Marino keeps getting closer to his first victory. It's about time he broke through. senior golf editor Kevin Maguire

Birdie Buster: Matt Kuchar
The reigning PGA Tour money leader ranks 18th this year in driving accuracy. That stat is at a premium this week at Colonial, where Kuchar has broken 70 in nine of 16 career rounds.

Horse for the Course: David Toms
It's been a while since he's been on the first page of the leaderboard at Colonial come Sunday night, but after his resurgence at the Players Championship, Toms certainly has it in him. In 13 career starts there, he's notched four top-10s.

Super Sleeper: Corey Pavin
The Ryder Cup captain proved last year at the Travelers Championship that he can still contend on some of the shorter tracks on the PGA Tour. Colonial fits that mold perfectly.

Winner: Jason Day
After following him during his early rounds at the Players Championship last week, Day proved to me that he's got a short game that will keep him in contention many more times in his young career. A Texas double (after his first win at the Nelson last year) could come as early as this week.





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