No, not a Dungeons & Dragons tournament – though that’s uncharted territory just waiting to be tapped into by sportsbooks – but the 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational starting on Thursday at the Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth, Texas.
Spieth is the current, reigning and defending D&DI champion, having defeated Harris English last year by three strokes. Additionally, Spieth was in three-way tie for second place with Jason Bohn and Brandt Snedeker in 2015. Spieth has five top 10 finishes and four top 5 this season, and ranks in the top 5 in birdie, greens in regulation, and scoring averages. Furthermore, he has three additional runner-up finishes in his home state of Texas, as well as win at Pebble Beach. On the other hand, Spieth missed the cut in consecutive events for the second time in his career – at the Players Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Long before winning the Masters Tournament, the Spaniard won the 2001 Dean & DeLuca Invitational (then known as the MasterCard Colonial). Additionally, Garcia is the only top 10 golfer other than Spieth on the field. Garcia ranks third overall in scoring average and sixth in greens-in-regulation percentage, but finished tied for 30th at the Players and 20th at the Byron Nelson. Although that’s still better than missing the cut like Spieth above.
Si Woo Kim
It’s all about the volume for the South Korean, who has started 19 events, withdrawn from four, and missed the cut in seven this season. If Kim’s rationale was, “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” then he was proven half-correct when he won the Players Championship contrary to all sportsbooks’ expectations. Will the other half of the equation come at the D&D? The suspense is almost unbearable. Almost.
Ryan could be the third Palmer to win this tournament after Johnny Palmer in 1954 and Arnold Palmer in 1962 – in both instances as the Colonial National Invitation. This Palmer has three top-five finishes and four top-15s at the Colonial Country Club of which he is a member – hopefully going through some Caddyshack-style shenanigans before joining. In spite of his membership, though, he’s best finish on that course was a third place in last year’s edition. More generally speaking, Palmer has three top-11 finishes in his last five starts, including a tie for 6th at the Valero Texas Open.
Lefty is a two-time Dean & DeLuca Invitational winner – or a one time winner of each the MasterCard Colonial and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, if you want to be pedantic about it. He was also a runner-up to Garcia in ’01. Micks has not won a PGA Tour event this season but has missed a cut either, and has finished in the top 10 three times in 12 starts.
Hossler is what they call a long shot, but sportsbooks would be remiss not to at least mention one of the only two golfers to receive an invitation to the 2017 edition.