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Golf Barometer: Golfers to Buy, Sell at Colonial

David Ferris

Ferris covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire. He is an award-winning sports writer and a veteran fantasy columnist. He also is a scratch golfer.

With an eye toward this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational (one of the underrated stops on tour), let's make some picks.

BUY for Colonial

Zach Johnson:
He's finally trusting his irons again, and we've seen decent putting as well during a couple of second-place runs (The Players, RBC Heritage). Johnson won this event back in 2010 and is rounding into form nicely at the moment. He might be the unofficial favorite this week.

Jim Furyk:
He comes to this stop every year, collecting six Top 10s along the way, and his game has been better in 2012 than many realize (31st on the money list, third in tee accuracy, 12th in putting strokes gained). Heck, I like him as a U.S. Open pick, not just a play this week.

Ken Duke:
Accuracy plays at Colonial, over raw power, and Duke is one of those sneaky veterans who is a strike-throwing machine off the tee. He's quietly moved up to 43rd on the money list, with four Top-10 finishes. He might be unowned in some private leagues.

Tim Clark:
His slow-but-steady playing style perfectly fits this week's assignment and it looks like he's finally healthy again after lengthy rehab from elbow surgery. He's run second in this event two separate times, including a playoff defeat to Steve Stricker back in 2009.

David Toms:
Normally you might look away from last year's champion - the burden of defending and all that - but Toms has improved his standing in his last three starts (resulting in two six-figure checks), and his radar ball striking fits the challenge of Colonial perfectly. I'll be surprised if he's outside the Top 15 this week.

Matt Kuchar:
He hasn't missed a cut all year, and six of his last seven checks have been sizable ones, more than $100K. Kuchar used to be known as a Top 10 machine but a slight disappointment when it actually came to winning, but the statement at The Players two weeks ago should go a long way toward establishing Kuchar as an elite player.

SELL for Colonial

Jason Dufner:
He's obviously hotter than a pistol, and he's proven the adage that the second win generally comes easier than the first. But Dufner's three starts at Colonial (two missed cuts and a T59) make him dubious for this week. Wait for better spots.

Nick Watney:
He's been a little balky with the putter lately, which explains the T56 at Sawgrass and the missed cut in New Orleans. He's never made this a regular stop of his - just three starts dating back to 2005 - and he's missed the cut in two of his appearances. Perhaps Watney is trying to tell us something; this course doesn't fit his eye.

Mark Wilson:
While the skill set matches the course, Wilson's record here isn't anything fantastic (T31, MC, T22, 10, T61). And he's been in a funk since the deep run at the match play; no checks more than $55K since. Wait for one get-back result of faith before you return Wilson to the circle of trust.

Dicky Pride:
His run out of nowhere last week made for fun TV, but Colonial is a course where experience and knowledge mean a tremendous deal, and Pride hasn't started here since 1995. That takes him off the sleeper list.

Vijay Singh:
I like how his ball striking looks these days, but I haven't trusted his putter in a solid decade. Look for Singh to make the cut, but not crack the Top 30.

Stewart Cink:
You love his track record at this event, but he withdrew for personal reasons on Wednesday. So much for that sleeper pick.

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