This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Preview
Following an exciting PGA Championship that saw Brooks Koepka take home his fifth major championship, the Tour takes its last trip to Texas this year for the annual Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth.
One of five invitationals on the schedule, it's the only one that wasn't given designated status, but that doesn't mean the field isn't strong, as favorite and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler -- listed at 4-1 odds -- is one of nine top-20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking who will tee it up.
Last year, Sam Burns -- at 25-1 -- defeated Scheffler with a birdie on the first playoff hole for his fourth PGA Tour victory.
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Par 70, 7,209 yards
Average Strokes Gained Rankings: Winners at Colonial CC Since 2018
- SG: Off-the-Tee: 12.0
- SG: Approach: 5.4
- SG: Around-the-Green: 41.8
- SG: Putting: 9.6
- SG: Tee-to-Green: 3.6
- Driving Distance: 24.0
- Driving Accuracy: 17.0
Colonial has typically been one of the more difficult venues players see, with Burns reaching just 9-under-par in last year's victory and no one best 15-under since 2018. It's not a particularly long track at approximately 7,200 yards, and with narrow, tree-lined fairways, there is a premium on precision over distance off the tee. A three-hole stretch known as the "Horrible Horseshoe" will test players on holes 3-5, as they will see two par-4s of at least 470 yards and a 250-yard par-3 in between. Along with driving accuracy, approach play -- especially from 125-175 yards -- will be a key statistic to hone in on, with the winner finishing 12th or better in Strokes Gained: Approach each of the past five years.
The following five golfers have the lowest scoring average in this event over the last five years.
Not surprisingly, Dallas resident Spieth has feasted at this course, and it's not easy to understate how good he's been at Colonial. He has played this event every year since 2013 and hasn't missed a cut while recording a win and eight top-10s over 10 appearances. Questions about his wrist injury appeared to be put to rest last week, and he will be a popular choice at 14-1 odds. Another player with success here that's much further down the betting board is Todd, who is listed at 70-1, finished one shot out of the playoff last year and has three top-10s over his last six trips to Colonial. He may be one of the shortest hitters on Tour, but that won't hurt him all that much here, and he makes up for it by hitting it as straight as they come andalso with an elite short game.
The Proper Form
These players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes on approach over their last 20 rounds.
- Viktor Hovland: 1.17
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 0.99
- Scottie Scheffler: 0.98
- Tony Finau: 0.84
- Nate Lashley: 0.83
Hovland tops the list by a wide margin, and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds from his near-miss at Oak Hill, where he led the field in SG: Approach. He has been one of the most consistent golfers going, with his last missed cut coming at the Scottish Open last July. Hovland has finished top-25 in both of his two appearances at Colonial. Meanwhile, Finau is the only player to make both lists, and his success at Colonial and form with his irons makes him one of the top contenders. His struggles in majors continued last week, but he should feel much more comfortable here, as he's posted a pair of top-5s since 2019. Finau and Hovland are both listed at 14-1 alongside Spieth.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Outright Picks
Justin Rose (25-1)
Rose's resurgent 2023 campaign continued last week with a top-10 at the PGA Championship -- his first such result in a major in two years. Now he heads to Colonial and feels slightly under the radar despite winning in 2018 and finishing T3 in 2020. He has been solid across the board this season, gaining shots in every category and sitting 14th in SG: Total.
Cam Davis (35-1)
Speaking of players finding their form, Davis has sprung with three top-10 finishes over his last five starts -- all in elite fields. He was fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green last week and posted a top-10 here last year. He's playing too well not to win again soon.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (65-1)
We saw from the list above that he is dialed in with his irons, and this is one of the courses that the short-hitting Bezuidenhout can contend at. He posted a top-15 at Colonial last year and has been in the mix regularly of late, posting four top-25s over his last 10 starts.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Top-10 Wagers
Tom Hoge (13-2)
Hoge ranks third in SG: Approach and 43rd in driving accuracy this season, so I'm surprised Hoge hasn't had much success in this event considering the course fits his style of play. His results have been mediocre lately but that's providing some value as a result.
Hayden Buckley (7-1)
Buckley struggled through most of last season but is having a fantastic sophomore campaign with a runner-up and three top-5s -- two of which came against strong fields. He's faring well when it comes to ball striking, gaining strokes off the tee and on approach in each of his last five tournaments.
Dylan Wu (12-1)
Wu will be making his debut here, and the second-year Tour pro should be a good course fit, with his strengths being approach play and driving accuracy. He's in good form as well, with three of his four top-25s this year coming over his last five starts.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Head-to-Head Matchups
I was surprised to see Henley open as just a slight favorite over Jaeger, as I view him as the superior golfer and a better course fit as the better iron player and more accurate driver. Well, Henley is already a bigger favorite than he was when I started writing. Henley has rounded back into form after a slow start to the year with three top-20s over his last four starts. Jaeger missed the cut here last year in his only appearance.
This is a ball striker's course, and that isn't McCarthy's specialty, as he relies heavily on his exceptional short game. His results here have been far from impressive, with a best finish of T27 and two missed cuts in four tries. Putnam, meanwhile, has a T3 and three top-20s over five appearances. Take the value.