FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge Cash and GPP Strategy

FanDuel PGA DFS Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge Cash and GPP Strategy

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA DFS Picks series.

Charles Schwab Challenge 

Course: Colonial Country Club (7,289 yards, par 70)
Purse: $9,100,000
Winner: $1,638,000 and 500 FedExCup points

Tournament Preview

Colonial Country Club is the longest-running host venue among non-majors on the PGA Tour schedule and the 2024 edition will be throwing back to the club's roots. After the final putt dropped last year, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner began a complete restoration of Colonial to try to bring the course back to the original 1936 Perry Maxwell design. Hanse and Wagner have become one of the premier restoration projects leaders in the world having also restored recent major championship courses in Winged Foot, Southern Hills, The Country Club and Los Angeles Country Club. The difference with the Colonial restoration is that the duo only had 11 months to complete. Their whole crew worked tirelessly and was able to pull off every deadline to give one of the great courses on the PGA Tour a new, classic look that will be able to challenge the best in the world for years to come starting with the 77th Charles Schwab Challenge this week. 

While this isn't a Signature Event, it is still a pretty strong field given it is coming the week after a major championship. That speaks a lot to just how much players love Colonial. Even after a chaotic week at the PGA Championship for Scottie Scheffler, he will tee it up again this week. The good news is that Dallas native will be able to stay at home with his newborn son during the tournament. The other local hero will be Jordan Spieth who is looking to get his season back on track. Spieth won at Colonial in 2016 and has finished runner-up on three other occasions. Collin Morikawa will also tee it up coming off a disappointing Sunday at the PGA Championship. The Cal product lost in a playoff here in 2020. Max Homa, Brian Harman, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Tom Kim and Rickie Fowler make up some of the other notables slated to compete the week after a major. 

While it still seems far away with two more majors remaining in 2024, this is Week 21 of 31 in the PGA Tour regular season. The playoff cutline is approaching and with only the top-70 making it, the pressure is starting to ramp up for players who have had a slow start to the season. A playoff appearance ensures players will lock up a PGA Tour card for 2025 and won't have to stress during the FedExCup Fall. Getting inside the top-50 is also a target for players to guarantee a birth in all the Signature Events next season. 

Speaking of Signature Events, the Aon Next 10 and Aon Swing 5 will also be on the minds of many players in this field at the Charles Schwab Challenge. This is the second of three events that will determine the Aon Swing 5 to get spots at the final two Signature Events of the season, the Memorial Tournament (June 6-9) and the Travelers Championship (June 20-23). Chris Gotterup leads the way in the Swing 5 after his victory at the Myrtle Beach Classic. Next week's RBC Canadian Open will be the final event for players to lock up a place in these two big events sandwiching the U.S. Open. With no alternate-field event for Memorial or Travelers week, failing to qualify could leave players with FedExCup Playoff hopes in a tough hole having to sit out for possibly three straight weeks. That would give only six more opportunities to play and earn a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. 

We don't know exactly how the scoring will be impacted after the Colonial restoration, but it's more likely than not that the scoring isn't as good as the PGA Championship last week at Valhalla, which turned out a major championship record 21-under-par (263) by Xander Schauffele to win by a single shot over Bryson DeChambeau. Zach Johnson holds the tournament record 72-hole score of 21-under-par (259) in 2010, but each of the last two editions of the Charles Schwab Challenge have had a winning score at single-digits under-par. We can probably expect a great finish as well with playoffs required to determine a champion in three of the last four years. The course will likely be softer than tournament officials would like with good chances for storms on both Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately, the traditional Texas winds will be present  with gusts up over 20 mph each of the four tournament rounds. That along with temperatures in the 90s should help to dry the course out by Sunday. 

Recent Champions

2023 - Emiliano Grillo (-8)
2022 - Sam Burns (-9)
2021 - Jason Kokrak (-14)
2020 - Daniel Berger (-15)
2019 - Kevin Na (-13)
2018 - Justin Rose (-20)
2017 - Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016 - Jordan Spieth (-17)
2015 - Chris Kirk (-12)
2014 - Adam Scott (-9)

Key Stats to Victory

  • SG: Approach/GIR Percentage
  • SG: Off-the-Tee/Driving Accuracy
  • SG: Around-the-Green/Scrambling
  • Par 4 Scoring/Par 4 BOB%

Champion's Profile

Colonial is one of the ultimate shotmaker's courses on Tour. Players will be asked to move the ball in both directions both off the tee and into the greens. It's a course that is mostly tree-lined and features the fourth-narrowest fairways and fifth-smallest greens on the PGA Tour. The rough won't be anything like we saw at Valhalla, but the 2-3 inch bermuda will certainly create a challenge for players controlling the ball into these small targets. It's a course where you don't need to hit a lot of drivers, as accuracy takes precedent over distance. That alone is a big reason why we see so many different types of players win here. 

There are a number of differences after the restoration. Some of the greens were relocated to try to bring some trouble more into play, there were some greenside bunkers completely removed and a lot of the elevated greens were lowered. It may all net out as a wash in regards to how scoring is affected, but I do think scrambling may be slightly easier this time around than in years past. Pitching off tight lies to elevated greens creates the biggest opportunity for good short game players to gain shots around the greens. With a lot of the greens now being lowered and a number of greenside bunkers being taken out in favor of bermuda rough, I think it could make things easier if you aren't the best short-game player in the world. 

The par-5 1st hole should play as the easiest hole on the course once again and the par-5 11th at 639 yards is one of the longest on the PGA Tour. Those are the only par-5s on this course. Combine that with some pretty big chances to all the par-3s, which I think will make them play even tougher, and a big focus this week has to be par-4 scoring. There's a nice mix at Colonial of longer and shorter par-4s and the players who are able to pick up birdies on those holes more consistently will have the best chance to be able to put their name up on the Wall of Champions alongside the likes of Ben Hogan who won at Colonial a record five times. 

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Collin Morikawa ($11,900)

Morikawa could not buy a putt on Sunday at Valhalla and had to watch while Schauffele and others ran away from him. Morikawa was still really strong in all other areas of the game and now has a pair of top-five finishes in the first two majors of the year. Those make up two of his five straight top-25 finishes. Morikawa was runner-up at Colonial in 2020 and followed that up with a T14 in 2021. He is the most accurate driver on Tour, has greatly improved his short game and is 17th in putts per GIR this season. 

Tony Finau ($11,100)

Finau was on track for a much better finish at the PGA Championship, but struggled over the weekend and had to settle for a T18. The good news is that he led the field in SG: Approach at Valhalla and now ranks fourth in that department on the season. Finau doesn't mind throttling down on a course like this and is probably a big reason why he has gone 7-for-8 here with two top-five finishes and five top-25s. The new greens will be an adjustment for everyone and that might actually help Finau to not lose as many strokes with the putter as he has been. 

Si Woo Kim ($10,800)

Kim is one of my favorite plays this week not because of his price, but because I think his ownership will be lower than it should because of his spotty course history that includes four missed cuts. The restoration should give Kim a new outlook on Colonial and should also help out his putting deficiencies as I touched on with Finau. Kim has racked up 11 top-30 finishes this season and ranks in the top-12 in par-4 scoring average, driving accuracy, SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green. 

The Middle Tier

Tom Hoge ($10,100)

Hoge hasn't had much success at Colonial, but the numbers line up beautifully for him to have a great week and these changes might suit his eye better. The TCU product hasn't missed a cut in an individual event all season to go along with eight top-25 finishes. Hoge is the best iron player in the world not named Scheffler and also has really improved his putting this year. That combination has led him to rank third in birdie average this season, which will certainly raise his floor in DFS contests. 

Aaron Rai ($9,600)

Rai rates out high in a lot of models because of how good he is on approach. He ranks top-15 in SG: Approach, GIR percentage and proximity. On top of that he is also top-10 on Tour in driving accuracy. Rai has a pretty solid short game and his putting isn't really as bad as people make it out to be. Over his last 10 starts he has made eight cuts along with five top-25 finishes. Rai was also T12 at Colonial last year. 

Austin Eckroat ($9,100)

Eckroat is coming off a good showing at the PGA Championship, his third top-20 in his last four starts. He also scored a top-20 in his first appearance at Colonial last year. Eckroat has become a very solid ball striker, ranking 28th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 42nd in SG: Approach. The lowering of the greens should help his short game and he is coming off a week that saw him rank seventh in SG: Putting. 

The Long Shots

Mark Hubbard ($8,700)

Hubbard presents great value down here. He is one of the most consistent players on Tour having made the cut in every start this season. Hubbard has also made the cut in each of his five career starts at Colonial, including a T9 last year. He's a bit of a poor man's Hoge in the sense that he is great on approach and with the putter, which makes him a great DFS player ranking 13th in birdie average. 

Andrew Novak ($8,200)

Novak might not have found the top-10 since he reeled off three straight earlier in the season, but he has still been pretty solid going 6-for-7 with a pair of top-25s. His iron play keeps his floor pretty high as he ranks top-35 in SG: Approach, GIR percentage and proximity. Combine that with his strong short game ranking 18th in SG: Around-the-Green and Novak should be in a pretty good test if Colonial plays tough like it has in years past. 

Michael Kim ($8,100)

Kim is worth a shot this week given his current form coming off top-20 finishes in three of his last four starts. He also rates out 10th in birdie average and 11th in par-4 BOB%. Both his iron play and putting are good enough to put him in contention this week. Kim just needs a solid week off the tee. He won't have to take out driver all the time at Colonial and maybe he'll be able to throttle back and hit more fairway finders. He played well here last year notching a T6 and was able to gain strokes in all areas. 

Strategy Tips This Week

Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap

Maybe it's the fact that Scheffler ($13,800) is in this field, but it does feel like more of a top-heavy field than a deep field. This is also an invitational event so the sponsors are allowed a lot of freedom in who they want in this field. I'm just not a fan of the $7K range this week, so I will likely be passing on Scheffler to give me more roster flexibility. Could he win by six? Sure. But I think I'll get access to a lot more strong course fits in the $9-10K range by dropping down and rostering a Morikawa or Finau instead at the top of my lineup. Last thing to keep in mind is to not be afraid of a player with bad history at Colonial. The changes will take some time for everyone to get used to and current form probably holds a little more weight this week. 

Checking into wagers for the Charles Schwab Challenge? Look at the FanDuel Promo Code!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Ryan Andrade plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Ku_Bball_Fan, FanDuel: ku_bball_fan.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan  Andrade
Ryan has covered golf, college basketball, and motorsports for RotoWire since 2016. He was nominated for "DFS Writer of the Year" in 2021 and 2023 by the FSWA.
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