I truly expected former Florida Gator Billy Horschel to become a Top-10 player on the PGA Tour when he won the 2014 Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. Alas, Horschel really hasn't been that player again. Perhaps he found whatever was missing on Sunday at the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson from the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving, Texas -- the final staging of that event at the course.
One back of leader James Hah entering the final round, Horschel had a bit of an inconsistent round featuring five birdies against four bogeys for a 1-under 69, but that 12-under 268 total got him into a playoff with Jason Day after both missed birdie putts on their 72nd hole. On the first extra hole, both again missed birdie putts but then Day inexplicably pulled his 4-footer for par to hand Horschel his first win since that 2014 Tour Championship. Horschel, who didn't even play this year's Masters, is now qualified for the U.S. Open, the British Open and PGA Championship. It was his second career playoff, losing a five-man showdown earlier this season at the RSM Classic. Horschel had missed four straight cuts when he arrived at TPC Four Seasons, a course he doesn't even like much (it wasn't popular on Tour at all). In his only two previous Nelsons, in 2011 and 2012, Horschel missed the cut at 13 over through 36 holes both times.
Day, who got the first of his 10 PGA Tour wins at the 2010 Nelson, still hasn't won since last year's Players Championship. The runner-up finish was his best result since a solo second last year at the PGA Championship. Day is now 1-1 in his career in playoffs. Hahn finished a stroke out of the playoff after shooting 71. He nearly made his approach from 122 yards on the 18th for an eagle to get into the playoff, but it lipped out and he settled for birdie.
I picked three guys for a Top-10 finish last week in Dustin Johnson (-200), Jason Dufner (+350) and Tony Finau (+350). They all freaking finished T13, one shot from a Top 10. Thought Charley Hoffman would contend, but he was T40. Got a few head-to-head props as well as Sergio Garcia at -200 as top European.
The PGA Tour stays in the greater Dallas area this week for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational -- an upscale grocery chain that I know nothing more about. It's held at storied Colonial Country Club, a par 70 measuring 7,209 yards known as Hogan's Alley after the legendary Ben Hogan, a long-time Fort Worth resident who won the event a record five times. It's the 72 nd year Colonial hosts this event. Only Augusta National has hosted more consecutive PGA Tour events. Of course Annika Sorenstam played in the 2003 Tour event at Colonial.
The defending champion is Dallas native Jordan Spieth, who finally got a professional win in his home state. Spieth birdied the final three holes in the final round for a 5-under 65, including a chip-in from behind the 17th green after a wayward tee shot hit off the lower leg of a marshal and into a much better lie. At 17-under 263, Spieth finished three strokes ahead of Harris English. Before Spieth's win, the previous seven 54-hole leaders Colonial had been unable to finish things off. Spieth is one of nine former champions in the field.
Golf Odds: Dean & DeLuca Invitational Favorites
Spieth is the +1100 favorite at Bovada . Makes sense in a way with his dominant win here last year and a runner-up the year before (his worst finish in four trips is T14), but he also has missed the cut in three of his past four tournaments this year.
Spain's Jon Rahm (+1200) and Sergio Garcia (+1400) are next. Rahm is having a great year but off a MDF at the Players. He's making his tournament debut. Sergio won here in 2001 at 13 under -- the only Spanish winner. He last played the event in 2012 and was 13th.
Group of four at +2500: Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar and Paul Casey. No player from England has won this tournament as Casey will be attempting. Dufner was a runner-up in 2014 & '12. Kuchar was second in 2013. Kisner was T10 last year.
Golf Odds: Dean & DeLuca Invitational Picks
For a Top 10, I like Spieth (even), Dufner (+200), Colonial member Ryan Palmer (+275) and Pat Perez (+400). Head-to-head, go with Spieth (-115) over Rahm (-115), Dufner (-115) over Kuchar (-115), Palmer (-125) over Phil Mickelson (-105), Perez (-115) over Emiliano Grillo (-115), and 2015 champion Chris Kirk (-120) over Brandt Snedeker.
You can get Spieth & Rahm at +525 on a yes-only against the field. Tempting but no. Maybe if Rahm had played here previously. Palmer is tempting at +3300 to win with three Top 5s here since 2012, but I'll go with Kisner. He's a good shot-maker and this is a shot-makers' course. Prior to the T10 last year he was T5 in 2015 and is averaging 67.75 in his past eight rounds at Colonial. You can also get Kisner at +1000 along with Lefty and Horschel vs. the field, but I don't love either of those latter two guys this week.
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