Expert Picks: 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational


This week marks the 28th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Fort Worth for the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and John Antonini; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Matt Kuchar: Another top-10 finish at the Byron Nelson Championship, another reason to make Kuchar an automatic pick every week. The man is a cash machine and after another week with his swing coach Chris O’Connell in Dallas he’s only going to get better.

Group 2: Ryan Palmer: He’s a member at Colonial, his caddie (James Edmondson) is a former club champion there, and he’s fresh off a T-22 finish at the Nelson.

Group 3: Steven Bowditch: He’s already won once in Texas this year (Texas Open) and his swing coach, Scott Hamilton, is on an impressive run following Brendon Todd’s victory last week at the Nelson.

Group 4: Kevin Kisner: The University of Georgia product finished T-16 (Byron Nelson Championship) and T-6 (Wells Fargo Championship) in his last two starts and this is the year of the Bulldog (see Brendon Todd and Bubba Watson).

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Matt Kuchar: Got a chance to speak with Kuch before he left the Nelson. Told me he loves how Colonial sets up for him. ‘Nuff said.

Group 2: Rickie Fowler: Since I’m already name-dropping, Fowler has hinted a few times in the last month that a big week is coming soon.

Group 3: Daniel Summerhays: Underrated and underappreciated, but a solid ball-striker who already has a runner-up in Texas this year.

Group 4: Mark Wilson: There aren’t many courses where a short hitter like Wilson can contend very often, so he’ll need to take advantage here.

John Antonini

Group 1: Matt Kuchar: Kuchar is one the hottest players on Tour, and lost by a stroke to Boo Weekley at Colonial a year ago. He'll be in contention all week, but it remains to be seen how he plays in the final round, which has cost him at times this season.

Group 2: Graham DeLaet: Colonial's tight fairways require precise tee shots and ball striking will be at a premium. DeLaet is the PGA Tour leader in that statistic.

Group 3: John Huh: Huh was T-5 and T-11 at Colonial the last two years. Coupled with his T-16 performance last week at the Nelson, he's a solid choice this week in Fort Worth.

Group 4: James Hahn: He doesn't have a record of any kind at Colonial but he was T-5 at week ago at the Nelson. Three of his four best finishes this year have come in the state of Texas.