Fort Worth Invitational: Scott a decent Texas tip

Fort Worth Invitational: Scott a decent Texas tip

The PGA Tour enjoys its shortest switch between successive venues this week as Colonial Country Club hosts the Fort Worth Invitational, Phil Casey writes.

But it could also be its greatest contrast as the “American links” of AT&T Byron Nelson-host Trinity Forest makes way, some 45 miles west, for the traditional, tree-lined Colonial where Kevin Kisner will defend the title he won last year.

The course is short by modern standards at 7,209 yards, although the two par-fives on the par-70 layout measure 565 and 635 yards, so length off the tee is not entirely negated.

Jordan Spieth is the 8/1 favourite and tasted victory in this event in 2016, but having backed him at 5/1 last week it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy as far as the three-time major winner is concerned.

However, we can be more forgiving when it comes to Adam Scott and the former world number one is worth chancing again at a more reasonable price.

Scott did little wrong in recording a tie for ninth last week, with only a third round of 72 preventing the fractionally better finish he required to make the world’s top 60 and qualify for the US Open.

The popular Australian led the field in strokes gained tee to green and ranked second in proximity to the hole, which should be crucial factors at Colonial.

And considering Scott won here in 2014 just days after reaching the top of the world rankings, he makes an appealing each-way bet at 25/1.

The same can be said of Xander Schauffele at an even bigger price, especially coming off the back of a tie for second in the Players Championship in his last start.

Despite switching clubs at the start of the year, that was still Schauffele’s fourth top-20 of the season in strokeplay events and the Tour Championship winner – who was 48th on his tournament debut last year – could reward an each-way bet at 40/1.

As one of the oldest venues on the PGA Tour, Colonial offers up plenty of course form upon which to rely and our next two selections have both performed well there in the past.

Two-time major winner Zach Johnson has finished outside the top 30 just twice in 12 starts and won with a tournament-record score in 2010, while club member Ryan Palmer has finished in the top 15 in four of his last six appearances.

Johnson could only finish 75th on his last start in the Players Championship but was fifth in the Valero Texas Open before that, while Palmer’s tie for second in the Farmers Insurance Open has been followed by some indifferent form to say the least.

However, as the tournament’s leading money winner Johnson can be backed at 33/1 and Palmer at 90/1, both in the each-way market.

And finally, Brian Harman could reward a small each-way interest at 66/1 as he looks to bounce back from a couple of poor performances at a venue which should suit his accurate game and has produced recent form of 10-25-7.