Best bets for the PGA Charles Schwab Challenge (2023)

Charles Schwab Challenge

Brooks Koepka won his third Wanamaker Trophy and fifth major title of his career at Oak Hill on Sunday by winning the PGA championship by two shots over Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler. Koepka, who was 18-1 before the tournament, now climbs to 13th place in the OWGR and will be a regular in the majors again for the next few years. He also climbs to #2 on Team USA's Ryder Cup points list. Although Koepka is no longer an active member of the PGA Tour, he is still eligible to compete in the Ryder Cup because, unlike the Presidents Cup (which is administered by the PGA Tour), the Ryder Cup is administered by the PGA of America.

This weekend's win marked Koepka's first official PGA Tour victory since the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February 2021. Koepka has back-to-back wins at LIV Golf, where he played this week at Trump National Golf Club in Washington, D.C. will play.

PGA League runners-up Scheffler (9-2) and Hovland (16-1) will be the top two players in this week's Charles Schwab Challenge, taking place at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Scheffler lost to Sam Burns (28-1) in the playoffs last year. OWGR no. 1 Scheffler has finished top five in six of his last nine events including wins at the Phoenix Open and the Players Championship earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Hovland had his career-best major championship finish with a T-2 at the PGA last week, after a T-7 at the Masters in April. Hovland led the field in what has long been considered the weakest part of his game at Oak Hill last weekend in Strokes Gained Approach and Scrambling.

Jordan Spieth (14-1) won the Colonial in 2016 and is a three-time runner-up (2015, 2017 and 2021) at the event. However, he's still struggling with a wrist injury and struggled to finish T-29 last weekend but finished fourth in the field at Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, which could bode well for another tight course like Colonial .

Tony Finau (14-1) finished second here in 2019 and finished fourth last year. He made the PGA last weekend but was a huge disappointment with a +15 and T-72.

Collin Morikawa (18-1) missed a playoff here in 2020 and finished T-26 last weekend and wants to get back to the form he had in January and February. Max Homa (22-1), Morikawa's partner for a few weeks in New Orleans, got off to a good start in the PGA last week but ended up with T-55s. Sungjae Im (22-1) struggled last weekend after winning the Korean Tour in his hometown two weeks ago.

Justin Rose (30-1) won the 2018 Colonial by three shots over Koepka and played well in the PGA last week before falling to T-9 on Sunday.

Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler (both 33-1) are both looking to return to the winners' circle and end their winless streak.

Cam Davis (40-1) was never looking for a win last weekend, but he gave this column the top PGA finisher with a T-4 as a 250-1 shot.

Other former Colonial champions in this week's field include Chris Kirk (50-1), this year's Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson (400-1), Kevin Kisner (500-1) and Rory Sabbatini (500-1).

With solid star power at the head of this field, the player who's grabbing the most attention from a fan perspective is likely to be 46-year-old PGA club pro Michael Block (300-1), who hasn't taken the golfing world by storm only the only one of the club's 20 professionals included in the selection was actually top of the rankings at Sunday's major championship. Block eventually reached T-15 and, thanks to some great up-and-down play on the last hole, secured his return to the PGA at Valhalla the following year. He has been invited to play at the Colonial this week and will also be on the field at the RBC Canadian Open in two weeks time.

Overall, nine of the OWGR top 20 players are at Colonial this week.

An event

Originally created in 1946, the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club is the PGA Tour's longest running non-major event held at the same venue. Just as the memorial is dedicated to Jack Nicklaus and Bay Hill Arnold Palmer, the Colonial is associated with the late Ben Hogan, a Fort Worth resident who won the tournament five times (1946, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1959). Annika Sörenstam competed in the tournament in 2003, becoming the first woman in 58 years to compete in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias made three cuts as an amateur in 1945. Sorenstam's participation drew a lot of media attention, but she scored 71 and 74 points, respectively, missing the four-move cut. Due to its invitational status, the Charles Schwab Challenge field is only 120 players, with the weekend featuring 65 players and ties. In 2020, the June 11-14 tournament was the first PGA Tour event since the regular schedule was suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interest of maximum health and safety, there were no spectators at the event, which was initially a PGA Tour.

Charles Schwab took over the role of title sponsor from 2019 on a four-year deal. Past sponsors have included Dean & Deluca (2016–2017), Crowne Plaza (2007–2015), Bank of America (2003–2006), and MasterCard (1996–2017). 2002) and Southwest Bell (1989-1994).

Many golf legends have won this tournament including Ben Hogan (1946, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1959), Sam Snead (1950), Cary Middlecoff (1951), Roberto Di Vincenzo (1957), Tommy Bolt (1958) and Julius Boros ( 1960, 1963), Arnold Palmer (1962), Billy Casper (1964, 1968), Gene Littler (1971), Lee Trevino (1976, 1978), Ben Crenshaw (1977, 1990), Fuzzy Zoeller (1981), Jack Nicklaus ( 1982), Lanny Wadkins (1988), Nick Price (1994, 2002), Tom Watson (1998) and Phil Mickelson (2000).

Here are the criteria for entering the 120-player Charles Schwab Challenge field:

Colonial winners before 2000 and in the last five years

Colonial Winner in Top 150 of Last Year's FedEx Cup Scoreboard

The Players Championship and the big championship winners of the last five years

Winner of the Tour Championship and World Golf Championship for the last three years

Winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial for the past three years

PGA Tour tournament winner since last Colonial tournament

Members who play in the last US team. Ryder Cup

Current PGA Tour members who have played as members of the last European Ryder Cup team, US Presidents Cup team and International Presidents Cup team

Two Players Selected by Current and Former Colonial Tournament Champion (Champions Choices)

The top 15 players and ties from last year's Colonial tournament

12 sponsor exemptions – two among Tour Finals graduates, six non-exempt members and four full members

The 50 best official golf world rankings from the Masters

Top 80 from last year's FedEx Cup points list

The top 125 non-members whose non-WGC points for the previous season equal or exceed the points of a player who finished 80th on the previous year's FedEx Cup points list

The top 80 FedEx Cup points list for the current year up to the tournament two weeks earlier

If a field of 120 players needs to be filled, all remaining spots will be filled from the current year's FedEx Cup scoreboard.

a course

The Colonial Country Club was designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell in 1936 and redesigned by Keith Foster in 2008. It is located in Fort Worth, just five minutes northwest of Texas Christian University (TCU). The track is nicknamed "Hogan's Alley" in honor of Ben Hogan, who won five times at his home track here. The Colonial is 7,209 yards of classic par 70 tree-lined parkland. Played with a point average of 70.24 (+0.24) and has been the 10th hardest place on the PGA Tour for the past five years.

What makes Colonial difficult are the narrow fairways (average fairway width 28 yards - fourth smallest on tour) and smaller greens (5,000 square feet - sixth smallest on tour).

The fairways and rough (three inches) are Bermuda grass and the greens are bentgrass. The greens will roll quickly to around 12.5 to 13 on the barb meter.

Power and distance aren't necessarily a huge advantage. Also, players go in a different direction after each hole. The Colonial is a much tighter t-shirt style than what we see on other Maxwell designs like Augusta National and Southern Hills. Gil Hanse redesigned Southern Hills for last year's PGA and received rave reviews for it. The Colonial Country Club is hoping for the same, as Hanse will begin renovations here after this year's event.

The game features four water hazards on six holes with 84 bunkers. Twelve of the 18 holes are doglegs. Long history shows that the best way to win here is to hit the fairways, be precise with the irons, be able to shape shots in multiple directions, and play "lights out" as it is a "striker place".

Colonial begins with a par 5 and a short par 4, the two easiest holes on the course. Then the "Horrible Horseshoe" begins (holes 3-5) and these are the three most difficult holes on the board. As of 2003, this is the second hardest three hole course on the tour, playing a total of 0.49 strokes over par.

The two par 5s are the first (565 yards) and the 11th at over 635 yards, often played as a three putt hole to get to the green.

Courses associated with Colonial include Harbor Town, Sedgefield, Innisbrook, Pebble Beach, Southern Hills, TPC Sawgrass and Waialae.

Here is a route overview from the official scoreboard:

Best bets for the PGA Charles Schwab Challenge (1)

Recent Story/Winners

2022: Sam Burns (-9/271); 30-1*

2021: Jason Kokrak (-14/266); 50-1

2020: Daniel Berger (-15/265); 70-1**

2019: Kevin Na (-13/267); 70-1

2018: Justin Rose (-20/260); 20-1

2017: Kevin Kisner (-10/270); 33-1

2016: Jordan Spieth (-17/263); 7-1

2015: Chris Kirk (-12/268); 35-1

2014: Adam Scott (-9/271); 18-1**

2013: Boo Weekley (-14/266); 100-1

2012: Zach Johnson (-12/268); 16-1

2011: David Toms (-15/265); 33-1

2010: Zach Johnson (-21/259); 50-1***

Playoff win over Sam Burns - *

Playoff win over Collin Morikawa - **

Playoff win over Jason Dufner - ***

Record Tournament - ****

tournament trends

Age is more than a number

  • Aside from Sam Burns in 2022, Daniel Berger in 2020, and Jordan Spieth in 2016, 17 of the past 20 winners of the Colonial were over-30s.

Experience is essential

  • Of the last 13 winners, only Burns in 2022, Berger in 2020 and then-world No. 1 Adam Scott (2014) have had fewer than three career starts at the Colonial.
  • You have to go back to 2001 when the last time a player (Sergio Garcia) won his first PGA Tour title at Colonial.
  • Four of the last seven winners had a T-14 better result in the season prior to their victory at the Colonial.

Incoming form

  • Each of the last 10 Charles Schwab Challenge winners has finished in the top 8 in their last six starts en route to Colonial.

Statistical analysis

With the 6th fewest greens on the tour and the 5th most foul penalties, there is a heavy emphasis on strong approach play. Last year, Colonial was ranked the ninth most difficult course to hit on an approach shot.

Shots Received (Last 36 Rounds)

  1. Scottie Scheffler 39,5
  2. Collin Morikawa 39.4
  3. Tony Finau 34.4
  4. Tom Hoge 31.8
  5. Rickie Fowler 31.5
  6. Viktor Hovland 28.4
  7. Max Homa 25.3
  8. Nate Lashley 24.9
  9. Sepp Straka 24.8
  10. Tommy Fleetwood 22.5
  11. Jordan Spieth 22.4
  12. Stephen Jaeger 21
  13. Ben Martin 20.1
  14. Scott Piercy 19.7
  15. Ryan Palmer 19.5
  16. Eric Cole 18.8
  17. Davis Riley 18.6
  18. Alex Smalley 17.5
  19. Erik Van Rooyen 17.3
  20. Emiliano Grillo 15.9

12 of the last 15 winners ranked in the top 10 for GIR% and 11 of those 12 ranked in the top 7 for Colonial.

GIR Score (last 36 laps)

  1. Scottie Scheffler 69,9
  2. Stephen Jaeger 55.3
  3. Joseph Bramlett 44,5
  4. Collin Morikawa 38.1
  5. Hayden Buckley 36,3
  6. Will Gordon 36.1
  7. Tyler Duncan 34,8
  8. Lukaslist 32,4
  9. Jordan Spieth 30.3
  10. Dylan Wu 29.7
  11. Viktor Hovland 29.4
  12. Nate Lashley 28.4
  13. Akshay Bhatia 28.1
  14. Tony Finau 27.8
  15. Sepp Straka 27.8
  16. Michael Kim 27.4
  17. Aron Rai 25.4
  18. Sungjae U 25.1
  19. Tommy Fleetwood 22.2
  20. Rickie Fowler 21.8

Colonial is the fifth hardest course on the tour to hit shots off the tee. It also has the fourth narrowest fairway, averaging just 28 yards, making it unbeatable.

Good runs scored (last 36 laps)

  1. Russell Henley 39,3
  2. Scottie Scheffler 39.1
  3. Tyler Duncan 38,8
  4. Collin Morikawa 38,5
  5. Hayden Buckley 37.1
  6. Matej NeSmith 28.6
  7. Stephan Jaeger 27.3
  8. Nate Lashley 25.6
  9. Luke Liste 25
  10. Denny McCarthy 24.9
  11. Brian Harman 24.7
  12. Viktor Hovland 24
  13. Akshay Bhatia 23.5
  14. Sungjae U 23.4
  15. Am Reavie 22.7
  16. Carson Young 22.4
  17. Michael Kim 22
  18. Aron Rai 20.5
  19. Will Gordon 20.4
  20. Ben Martin 19.5

Accuracy is usually very important in Colonial, although bombers like Burns and Kokrak have won here in the last two years.

Fairways won (last 36 rounds)

  1. Russell Henley 73
  2. Adam Long 55,8
  3. Tyler Duncan 47,5
  4. Zac Blair 44,7
  5. David Lingmerth 43,4
  6. Brendon Todd 43,2
  7. Collin Morikawa 41.1
  8. Brian Harman 38.3
  9. Kod Reavie 38.1
  10. Sungjae U 37.6
  11. Aaron Rai36.2
  12. Austin Eckroat 35,9
  13. Hayden Buckley 33,5
  14. Carson Young 32.7
  15. Si Woo Kim 32.5
  16. Scottie Scheffler 32.2
  17. Zach Johnson 32.2
  18. Mark Hubbard 31.1
  19. Ben Martin 30.9
  20. Kramer Hickok 30.6

12 of the 18 holes at Colonial are par 4 holes with a par 70 layout.

Par 4 shots received (last 36 rounds)

  1. Scottie Scheffler 65,7
  2. Max Homa 44,6
  3. Viktor Hovland 42.4
  4. Taylor Moore 37,6
  5. Chris Kirk 36.1
  6. Jordan Spieth 35,8
  7. Akshay Bhatia 33.6
  8. Stephan Jäger 32.9
  9. Denny McCarthy 32,7
  10. Thomas Detry 31.3
  11. Nick Taylor 31.2
  12. Tony Finau 30.8
  13. Eric Cole 30.4
  14. Justin Rose 29.8
  15. Collin Morikawa 29.4
  16. Tommy Fleetwood 28.6
  17. Michael Kim 28.4
  18. Ben Martin 27.9
  19. Joseph Bramlett 26.8
  20. Dylan Wu 26.8

Since Colonial's GIR rate is only 62.8%, players need to regularly grind pars and avoid plus numbers as they can quickly add up.

Avoid bogeys (last 36 laps)

  1. Scottie Scheffler 44.2
  2. Eric Cole 27.6
  3. Alex Smalley 23.6
  4. Max Homa 22.7
  5. Jordan Spieth 22.7
  6. Brian Harman 21.7
  7. Sungjae u 21.4
  8. Thomas Detry 21.2
  9. Tony Finau 20.2
  10. Michael Kim 20.2
  11. Rickie Fowler 19.2
  12. Justin Rose 18.9
  13. Russell Henley 18.8
  14. Tommy Fleetwood 18.5
  15. Viktor Hovland 17.8
  16. Stephan Jaeger 17.5
  17. Joseph Bramlett 15.9
  18. JJ Spaun 15.5
  19. Aaron Baddeley 15.2
  20. Sam Ryder 15.2

Putting is fairly easy on these bentgrass greens, so the better players usually thrived on Colonial.

Shots Received Putting Bentgrass Greens (Last 36 Rounds)

  1. Maverick McNealy 30.4
  2. Justin Donji 30.4
  3. Beau Hossler 29.1
  4. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 28.8
  5. Justin Rose 28.7
  6. Brendon Todd 26.3
  7. Alex Noren 24.9
  8. Max Homa 24.3
  9. Adam Svensson 23
  10. Denny McCarthy 22
  11. Lucas Herbert 21.6
  12. Sam Burns 21.1
  13. Andrew Putnam 19.5
  14. Patrick Rodgers 19.5
  15. Harry Higgs 18
  16. Harris English 17
  17. Justin Suh 15.2
  18. Sungjae U 14.3
  19. Zach Johnson 12.8
  20. Tony Finau 12.1


Justin Rose (30-1, Circa Sports)

Rose finished T-9 at last weekend's PGA Championship but finished third in the field for Strokes Gained: Approach.

He placed 13th (2005), first (2018), and third (2020) at the Colonial.

Rose is fifth in the field for Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass and has won seven of his 11 PGA Tour titles on bentgrass greens.

Tommy Fleetwood (35-1, Circa Sports)

Fleetwood dropped out of the top 10 last weekend and finished a T-18 on the PGA, but looks closer to his first PGA Tour win in America with his third at Valspar and fifth at Wells Fargo in the past two months come.

He won all Strokes Gained categories at Oak Hill last weekend.

Fleetwood ranks ninth in total shots this season.

Chris Kirk (42-1, Circa Sports)

Kirk, the 2015 Colonial winner, returned to the winners' circle just under three months ago at the Honda Classic.

He has never missed a stage in Fort Worth, finishing 16th or better here seven times.

Kirk was also the first-round leader last year.

Harris English (90-1, Caesars Sportsbook)

While missing the cut at the PGA last week, English showed signs of returning to 2021 form with a second-place finish at Bay Hill and third-place finish at Wells Fargo.

English is better on these shorter courses, as evidenced by victories at TPC Southwind and TPC River Highlands.

He also fits into the veteran (now 33) winners category of this event.

Hayden Buckley (100-1, Caesars Sportsbook)

Buckley came through at the PGA last week and reached T-26.

For the last 36 laps he was fifth in this field in terms of both GIR earned and good rides.

Buckley has finished fifth at the RBC Heritage and tenth at the Valero Texas Open for the past two months, so he's been in top form lately.

Emiliano Grillo (100-1, PointsBet)

Grillo missed the cut at the PGA last week but has a good history here with a third-place finish in 2018 and an eighth-place finish in 2021.

He has good results too, with a fifth-place finish in Mexico and a seventh-place finish at the RBC Heritage.

Matches (27.19.5; 2-0 last week)

Chris Kirk -125 via Denny McCarthy (BetMGM)

KH Lee -150 nad Min Woo Lee Jem (BetMGM)

Emiliano Grillo -145 nad Ryanom Foxom (South Point)

Placement markets and other golf events (LIV DC, Senior PGA Championship, etc.) will be posted to later this week.

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