1. Adam Scott, Australia — Having lost his lead to top-ranked Jason Day in the FedEx Cup standings, Scott has a chance to get it back this week at Colonial Country Club. He won what was then the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in 2014 and by doing it again would pick up 500 points to regain the top spot. Scott played the weekend in 66-66 two years ago and then beat Jason Dufner with a seven-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole after staying alive with a 14-footer on the second extra hole. No. 1 in the world at the time, Scott became the first player to complete the Texas Slam, winning all four events in the Lone Star State. He has won the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship this season in addition to placing second twice.
2. Jordan Spieth, United States — Despite his recent struggles, Spieth remains No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings and figures to get his swing figured out soon. Even though he was out of sync last week in the AT&T Byron Nelson, he was two strokes out of the lead after posting three scores in the 60s but closed with a 74 to tie for 18th. This will be his fourth start in what is now the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. Last year, he tied for second, one shot behind Chris Kirk. He closed with a 5-under-par 65, making a 20-foot birdie putt on the last hole, but a bogey at No. 16 proved costly. Spieth also tied for seventh in his first start at Colonial in 2013 and tied for 14th the following year.
3. Matt Kuchar, United States — After being in a mini-slump for the last year or so, Kooch came back to life recently by tying for third in the Players Championship and finishing solo third last week in the AT&T Byron Nelson. A top-10 machine for much of his career, he has four such finishes in his last six tournaments. This will be his ninth start at Colonial, and he posted his best result two years ago with four rounds in the 60s to finish one stroke behind winner Boo Weekley in
solo second. Kuchar did not win on the PGA Tour last season, the first time he was winless since 2011, but has seven victories on the circuit — the last coming in the 2014 RBC Heritage.
4. Charley Hoffman, United States — Having run hot-and-cold throughout his career, Hoffman was decidedly warm recently until he missed the cut in his last start at the Players Championship two weeks ago. In his three events before that, he claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory in the Valero Texas Open and also placed in the top 15 at the RBC Heritage and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He has finished in the top 25 in six of his last nine tournaments heading to Colonial, where he will be making his eighth start. Hoffman posted his best result in the tournament last year but was only two strokes back in second heading to the final round before a par 70 left him in a tie for 10th.
5. Kevin Chappell, United States — Quietly having his best season on the PGA Tour, Chappell comes to Colonial under the radar and still looking for his first victory on the circuit. He has finished second three times this season, in the RSM Classic, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, the last two behind top-ranked Jason Day. Chappell, whose only pro victory came in the 2010 Fresh Express Classic on the Web.com Tour, is fifth in the FedEx Cup standings heading into what is now the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. Two years ago, he shot 7-under-par 63 in the third round en route to a tie for 10th at Colonial, and last year he bounced back from an opening 71 with 68-68-66 to tie for 19th.
6. Zach Johnson, United States — Zach admittedly has not been at his best since winning the Open Championship last July at St. Andrews, but Colonial might be the perfect place for him to find his game. He won on the course in 2010 and 2012, two of his 12 victories on the PGA Tour, including two major titles, a resume that someday should put him in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Johnson played the weekend in 64-64 six years ago to win by three strokes over Brian Davis, and came back in 2012 for what seemed to be a three-stroke victory over Jason Dufner. However, it turned into a one-shot win after he was assessed a two-stroke penalty on the final hole. His best result this year was fifth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
7. Chris Kirk, United States — It probably would surprise many people that the defending champion this week at Colonial has won four times on the PGA Tour, including once each in the last three years. His biggest victory came in the 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Last year, he sank a gutty seven-foot par putt on the final hole to pull out a one-stroke victory over Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Bohn in the last Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, closing with a 4-under-par 66. It was Kirk’s fourth top-20 result in six appearances in the tournament, including a tie for fifth in 2012. His best results this season were ties for fifth in both the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
8. Danny Lee, Australia — Still looking to validate his first PGA Tour victory last year in the Greenbrier Classic, Lee hopes that playing near his U.S. home at Colonial this week will bring out the best in his game. He is playing in what is now the Dean & DeLuca Invitational for the fourth time. Last year, he posted his best result, a tie for 10th, when he shot bookend 4-under-par 66s. Lee was tied for the first-round lead last week in the AT&T Byron Nelson with a tournament-record-tying 7-under 63, and he closed with three 69s to wind up in a tie for 18th. His best result this year was solo fourth in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, in which he had a chance to win again before closing with a 2-over-par 73.
9. Colt Knost, United States — Playing some of the best golf of his career, Knost comes to Colonial this week on the heels of a tie for third in the Players Championship and a tie for fourth in the AT&T Byron Nelson. He shot 63 in the second round of both tournaments and was a cumulative 23 under par for the eight rounds. Knost, who played college golf nearby at SMU and lives close to the course in Dallas, is playing in what is now the Dean & DeLuca Invitational for the fifth time. He missed the cut in his first four starts and couldn’t even shoot 70, but last year had three 66s to thrill family and friends in the gallery. Only a second-round 73 kept him from better than a tie for 10th.
10. Jim Furyk, United States — Playing for only the third time this year after coming back from surgery on his left wrist, the 46-year-old Furyk will be playing at Colonial for the 20th time. He has never won the tournament, but he finished two strokes behind Tom Watson in solo second in 1998 and tied for second in 2007 when Rory Sabbatini of South Africa beat him with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Both times, Furyk posted four scores in the 60s, and those are two of his seven top-10 finishes in the tournament. This year, he missed the cut in his return at the Wells Fargo Championship and tied for 35th in the Players Championship, where a third-round 75 kept him from at least a top-20 result