With the PGA Championship coming to a spectacular close on Sunday, the PGA Tour is back to its non-major slate this week with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. Colonial Country Club has claimed host to the event since 1946, serving as the PGA's longest-running non-major played on the same venue. The Charles Schwab Challenge marks the final time the PGA Tour will play in Texas this season.
Despite coming less than a week after the year's second major, the Charles Schwab Challeng sees yet another strong field this time around. 2022 PGA Champion Justin Thomas (+800), World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+1000), 2016-winner Jordan Spieth (+1400), and 2020 runner-up Collin Morikawa (+1400) enter the week as the betting favorites. All four players are currently ranked inside the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Will Zalatoris (+2000), Viktor Hovland (+2000), Max Homa (+2500), and Sam Burns (+3000) round out the group of players currently listed below 30/1 odds. Other notables such as Billy Horschel (+3500), 2020-winner Daniel Berger (+3500), Kevin Na (+3500), 2021-winner Jason Kokrak (+3500), Talor Gooch (+4000), and Sungjae Im (+4000) are part of the field as well.
Course & Field Breakdown
Colonial Country Club serves as another short par-70 track, with the course ranging just over 7,200 yards. Like last week at Southern Hills, there will only be two par-5s, which is where a lot of Colonial's distance lies. For instance, the tricky par-5 11th hole will play over 630 yards at times throughout the tournament. The par-5 first hole stretches over 550 yards as well, cumulating nearly 17 percent of the total yardage.
With the par-5s taking up a significant amount of the distance, the par-4s are where most of the scoring takes place at Colonial. Out of the course's 12 par-4s, only three range over 450 yards, with the average yardage being just 426 yards. Alas, players that consistently find the fairway and are accurate with their wedges should separate themselves from the pack.
Per usual, SG: Approach will be a key stat for the Charles Schwab Challenge. That's a given every week on the PGA Tour. However, with the par-4s being rather short, average proximity from 100-125 yards and 125-150 yards will be a pair of key metrics as well. For those that can find the fairway off the tee, 100-150 yards out will be where a majority of the scoring opportunities are generated.
Another interesting course tidbit is that SG: Around-The-Green doesn't tend to matter much at Colonial Country Club. Chipping isn't necessarily all that difficult at this course, which allows for short-game strugglers to remain in the mix.
Hole Nos. 3-5, nicknamed the Horrible Horseshoe, serves as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour. In 2019, the Horrible Horseshoe played 284 over par, which was the most difficult trio of holes on Tour that season.
Only 120 players will be part of the field this week, with the top-65 and ties making the cut after two rounds.
Other than the players previously mentioned, Tommy Fleetwood (+4000), Harold Varner III (+4000), Abraham Ancer (+4000), Webb Simpson (+4000), Tony Finau (+4500), Brian Harman (+5000), Mito Pereira (+5000), and Gary Woodland (+5000) are also in the field this week. Davis Riley (+5000), Cameron Tringale (+5000), Chris Kirk (+5000), Troy Merritt (+5000), Christian Bezuidenhout (+6000), Sebastian Munoz (+6000), and Justin Rose (+6500) round out the players currently listed below 70/1 odds.
2021: Jason Kokrak (-14)
2020: Daniel Berger (-15)
2019: Kevin Na (-13)
2018: Justin Rose (-20)
2017: Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016: Jordan Spieth (-17)
Jordan Spieth (+1400)
Spieth is coming off a disappointing week at the PGA Championship, where he failed to achieve the career Grand Slam yet again. But the 28-year-old still has a win and a runner-up finish in his past three events, plus, an unbelievable track record at Colonial. Since 2013, Spieth has a win (2016), three runner-ups (2015, 2017, 2021), and seven top-10 finishes at the event. No one has better course history than Jordan.
Despite a poor showing at Southern Hills, Spieth still gained 8.6 strokes from tee to green and 4.7 strokes on approach. The ball striking numbers continue to pop, and the resurgence of his driver takes his game to another level.
Spieth's notable issues with the putter are certainly of concern, but the Texas native's ability to flip the switch on Colonial's bentgrass greens is nothing short of remarkable. In his past four starts, Spieth has gained 7.1 (2021), 8.6 (2020), and 7.5 (2019) strokes putting. If there is any place for Spieth to turn it around with the flat stick, it's here in Texas.
Collin Morikawa (+1400)
Morikawa is one of several top-tier players that were wiped out by the am/pm wave at Southern Hills last week. Coming back to Texas for a short par-70 feels like the perfect spot for the two-timer major-winner to bounce back.
In his only two previous starts at Colonial, Morikawa lost to Daniel Berger in a playoff and finished T-14 last year. Course history tends to play a bit of a factor here, with the same players continuing to perform well at the event over the years. Morikawa certainly checks that box in his short PGA Tour career and will be coming for revenge after letting his hand slip off the trophy in 2020.
Not only is Morikawa one of the premier iron players on Tour, but he's also exceptionally accurate off the tee. Morikawa comes into this week ranked 16th in driving accuracy percentage (68.22 percent), while also being 10th in SG: Off-The-Tee (.608). The 25-year-old superstar frequently leaves himself in prime position off the tee box and hits more greens in regulation than anyone. Both are necessary to compete for the plaid jacket at Colonial.
Long Shot Picks
Tom Hoge (+7000)
While Hoge has cooled off a bit since his astonishing start to the new year, the 33-year-old continues to rattle off solid finishes. Hoge capped off the PGA Championship with a final-round 69 en route to his first top-10 at a major championship. He also finished T-17 at the Byron Nelson after shooting all four rounds in the 60s.
Hoge hasn't been able to find much success at Colonial, with a career-best finish of T-17 (2016) and back-to-back missed cuts the past two years. However, Hoge's game has been rejuvenated this season, leading to his first PGA Tour win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Pebble Beach and Colonial have been dubbed as similar short-style tracks, with both courses requiring players to hit the fairway and perform well on approach.
The putter remains a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Hoge, but he has gained strokes in that department each of the last two weeks. If Hoge has found something with the flat stick, that could be massive at Colonial. In the eight events this season where Hoge has gained strokes putting, the nearby TCU grad has posted SIX top-20 finishes.
Stewart Cink (+13000)
The 49-year-old veteran still knows his way around the top of the leaderboard. Cink flirted with a top-10 finish at Southern Hills last week before shooting a final-round 74, ultimately coming T-23. In his previous four events to the PGA Championship, Cink finished in the top-10 twice, while only missing the cut at Augusta National.
Cink hasn't played at Colonial since 2018 but has found success on the course over the years. Since 2010, Cink has three finishes of T-22 or better in five appearances, including a T-10 in 2017.
Both of Cink's victories last season came at courses that were roughly 7,200 yards, with the RBC Heritage also playing the next week after a major. Could the eight-time PGA Tour winner follow the trend once again this year? 130/1 odds are simply too juicy to pass up given how well Cink has been playing recently.