Clark the nearly man can become the man to beat
Before last month's Players' Championship Tim Clark was known for one thing and sadly that wasn't winning - it's amazing how quickly transformations can happen in golf.
As he headed down the final stretch at Sawgrass nobody could quite believe the man so well known for late collapses managed to keep his head to hold off the advances of Robert Allenby.
That's exactly what he did though and now he can finally boast a win to go with his near $20million earnings he could become one of the most dangerous players on the Tour, starting this week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
The omens certainly seem to be in favour as well as he attempts to live up to the London Bus theory on a course where he's been so near but yet so far for the past two years.
Last year he was edged out by Steve Stricker in a playoff after leading going into the final day and the year before he finished two shots back of Phil Mickelson, with confidence on his side he really should have enough to go one better.
It's not hard to see why the easy Colonial track has treated someone like Clark so well with the par 70 course proving a doddle for anyone who attacks the pins with consistency and accuracy.
Clark's lack of big-time power never really gets exposed thanks to the medium length of most holes and as we have so regularly seen through the years his iron play and putting can be a joy to behold.
The question has to be 20/1 shot is can he manage to get round lower than some of the other top players in the world that are appearing in Forth Worth, Texas?
Obviously it'll be Phil Mickelson who draws most attention this week and he has to be considered a real threat after landing the title back in 2008.
It didn't quite click for Lefty on the final day of the Players with seemingly an endless amount of putts slipping agonizingly past the holes, however, despite shooting high (for his standards) he actually played some great golf.
If the balls start dropping for him at Colonial then he's worth every penny of his 15/2 favourite tag, especially when a win takes him above Tiger Woods in the world rankings.
More realistically though I'll be looking elsewhere this week with players such as Mickelson no doubt already looking and preparing at next week's US Open rather than the job in hand here.
A player who would love to pick up a bit of form before Pebble Beach though is England's Justin Rose who is available at a mouth watering 66/1.
So far 2010 has been pretty unremarkable for Rose, managing just one top 10 (third place in March's Honda Classic) and a few top 25s however he could have the make-up of a shock contender this week.
If he can avoid having a horror on any hole, a problem that has all too frequently blighted otherwise good scorecards, then he should feel pretty good about his chances of going low.
When Rose on is form he attacks the hole almost as well as anybody in the world and unlike a good number of British stars he can actually keep it together on the greens - both of these qualities are absolutely vital at Colonial with birdies the name of the game.
All he needs to do is find some consistency early on Thursday and he could be a contender, without some early birdies though he could very easily fade away as he's done all too often for a man of his considerable ability.
Finally, an opportunity that I can't look past is Steve Stricker at 20/1.
Stricks hasn't played a whole lot of golf this season but when he has appeared he's been devastating.
He won the Northern Trust Open, came third at the Sony and tied eighth at the Transitions. He's made eight from eight cuts and claimed over $2million in prize money, plus, and this is the killer blow for me, he's the defending champ.
It's a resume that spells out good news for all of his backers and alongside Tim Clark he has to be the bet of the week.