We didn't do too badly with our Byron Nelson predictions last week. Our pick to win, Ernie Els, finished tied for 10th. More importantly, we did not pick Tiger Woods! So let's take a crack at predicting the winner at Colonial.
Colonial plays shorter and tighter than the courses used at the Byron Nelson, and is thought to give shorter-hitting players more of a shot at victory. That's one reason that golfers such as Woods, Vijay Singh and Els don't play in Fort Worth - they feel the course isn't suited to their bombers games.
One of golf's Big 4 is in the field this week - Phil Mickelson. He's definitely a bomber, but he won this tournament back in 2000 and was runnerup in 2001. When you're as good as Mickelson, you can win on any type of track.
We also like Chris DiMarco, who seems to be on every leaderboard this year and seems to have a game suited to Colonial. Then there's Justin Leonard, a DFW native and resident who played well at the Nelson and was runner up at Colonial in 2003. And we'd love to pick Mike Weir, but Weir just hasn't been playing well enough lately (but if he winds up winning, we're taking credit!).
So it's back to Mickelson. Yeah, I know, not exactly going out on a limb. But Colonial is a place where we see low scores, and nobody goes low better than Phil.
UPDATE: So much for my predictive ability! Two of the four guys I mentioned - DiMarco and Weir - missed the cut. Mickelson barely made the cut and is 12 strokes off the lead at the halfway point. Only Justin Leonard, at 4-under (t23) is playing fairway well.