2021 Charles Schwab Challenge Preview

Charles Schwab Challenge | Colonial Country Club | Fort Worth, TX

Defending Champion: Daniel Berger (-15 in playoff versus Collin Morikowa)

FedEx Cup Points: 500

Past Champions

2019: Kevin Na

2018: Justin Rose (Fort Worth Invitational)

2017: Kevin Kisner (Dean & DeLuca Invitational)

2016: Jordan Spieth (Dean & DeLuca Invitational)

2015: Chris Kirk (Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial)

History of the Tournament

The Colonial Tournament has a rich, 75 year history with deep, yet unofficial ties to the golfing legend, Ben Hogan. The longtime Fort Worth resident won the tournament 5 times in his illustrious career, more than any other golfer in the history of the event. Despite many name changes over the years, the Colonial Country Club has remained a staple on tour since 1946 (however, there was no tournament in 1949 due to severe flooding). The champion of the tournament has historically been gifted a tartan plaid jacket, a nod to the Scottish heritage of the great game that began in 1952. The course has also played host to the 1975 Tournament Players Championship, 1941 U.S. Open and 1991 U.S. Women’s Open.

You may remember the Charles Schwab Challenge from last year as one of the first sporting events to be played following the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The tournament, which was rescheduled to June 11-14, did not disappoint as two of the top young golfers battled it out in a playoff. Daniel Berger prevailed as the champion following an epic horseshoe from Collin Morikawa.

Through the tournament’s rich history we have seen other legends such as Phil Mickelson (x2), Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino (x2), Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan (x5) and Sam Snead become champions. In 2003, we also saw history made when Annika Sörenstam became the first woman in over 50 years to play on the PGA Tour.

Greatest Moments

With the tournament being the oldest non-Major on tour, there are so many to choose. In 2016, Spieth’s final nine was one of the most memorable of his career. He sank a 20 footer to gain the solo lead on 16 then followed that with a hole-out on 17 to not only get himself out of a pickle, but gain a 2 stroke lead to all but ice the tournament. On 18, Spieth found himself 60 feet away with 3 putts to win but instead went out in style and sank it.

In 2008, Phil finished the 72nd hole in typical Phil fashion. He sliced his drive into the trees but bounced back with a 140 yard wedge shot over the trees to within 8 feet. He sank the putt for birdie and to win the tournament.

Course Breakdown

Colonial Country Club is a private country club in Fort Worth Texas located right off the Trinity River. The club opened in 1936 to roughly 100 members and had the initial plan of hosting a future U.S. Open, which it did in 1941 and was won by Craig Wood.

The course was designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell. It is a Par 70 that is 7,209 yards with a course rating of 75.1 and slope rating of 138. The Tees are moved back roughly an extra 150+ yards from the club’s tips. The Greens are Bentgrass and the Fairways are Bermuda Grass.

The course record is 61 and held by 7 PGA Tour Pros, including Kevin Na in 2018 where he posted both a 62 and 61 that weekend before finishing in 4th place.

The course is ranked 73rd in Golf Digest’s 100 greatest courses in America.

The course is most notable for its brutal start, specifically holes 3, 4, and 5, which are nicknamed The Horrible Horseshoe. Hole 3 is a long dogleg left Par 4 with fairway bunkers down the left side of the landing area. Players will be forced to either carry it over the bunkers or play it safe to the right side and potentially have to hit more than a long iron. Hole 4 is a 240+ yard uphill par 3…one that most amateur golfers would require a driver for. Hole 5 concludes the stretch with another long 480+ yard Par 4. The Horrible Horseshoe is typically amongst the most brutal 3 hole stretch on tour. The course is also nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley” due to its tight layout that forces players to make shots and favors the most creative. It has also been a course where the hottest putters on Sunday usually prevail.

Field

There are just 4 out of the world’s top 15 golfers that will be playing this weekend but is headlined by No. 2 Justin Thomas and No. 5 Collin Morikawa. World No. 8 Patrick Reed will be there and No. 13 Tony Finau rounds out the group. Despite the low attendance from the top 15, there will be plenty of star-power from guys looking to get a win and join that group. Jordan Spieth sits at 28th in the world but has been steadily climbing the ranks. Phil Mickelson is up to 32nd following his win that has boosted him from 115. Other notable players include the reigning champ, Daniel Berger, as well as big names like Cameron Champ, Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood. Newly popular and highly meme-able fan favorite Will Zalatoris will also be playing.

TV Schedule

Thursday: 4-7pm on the Golf Channel

Friday: 4-7pm on the Golf Channel

Saturday: 1-3pm on the Golf Channel, then 3-6pm on CBS

Sunday: 1-3pm on the Golf Channel, then 3-6pm on CBS

Also on PGA Tour Live Thursday-Friday: 7:45 am-6:30 pm (Featured Groups)

Saturday & Sunday: 8 am-3 pm (Featured Groups), 3-6 pm (Featured Holes)

Weather

credit: Weather.com

The chance of rain is roughly just 40% for both days but we likely won’t see a fully sunny weekend.

The Odds

The Favorites:

Jordan Spieth 10-1
Justin Thomas 12-1
Collin Morikawa 14-1
Spieth has been hot this spring, especially in Texas. He has great memories at Colonial and enters the weekend as the favorite at a course that fits his skillset perfectly. Thomas is due for a win and also is the type of shotmaker that could put on a dominant performance. Morikawa had one of his best performances of his career at the tournament last year and comes in hot with a Top 10 finish at the PGA Championship. All three make a great case to win the tournament.

Favorite Value:

Tony Finau 22-1

Finau finished T8 for his 10th top 10 Major finish in his career. Finau is long overdue for his 2nd career win but this could be the week he does it.

Joaquin Niemann 30-1

Niemann was hot at times last week but ultimately finished outside the top 25. The 22 year old is still looking for that consistency but this could be the week he turns it on.

Phil Mickelson 50-1

50-1 odds are incredible for a two-time winner coming off of a Major victory. Don’t sleep on Phil.

Kevin Na 55-1

Kevin Na has been slumping hard but for a guy who is both a past winner and a course record holder, he very well could have a great weekend.

Predicted Outright Winner

Harris: Spieth has been so hot this year, especially in Texas. He hasn’t missed a cut this season and recorded 6 top 10 finishes. I think this is the week he bounces back to full strength following his COVID-19 diagnosis.

DFS Lineup*

As multiple players take a week off after the PGA Championship, the opportunity arises for lower salary golfers to score more points within the 6 man lineup. This week’s $50,000 salary cap allows multiple big name players to be entered into one single lineup. Jordan Speith is the favorite this week with a salary of $11,200. Speith, being from Dallas, regularly plays on Colonial CC so we are speculating Speith to be the #1 picked player this week in all DFS lineups. 

Last year’s winner, Daniel Berger, enters the lineup pool with a $10,000 salary, however, we are not a fan of picking the previous year’s winner in our lineup. When looking at stats, the odds are highly against players to do well in tournaments they won the year before. Just look at the 2019 Charles Schwab winner, Kevin Na. He came into the 2020 tournament and missed the cut. This recurring statistic draws us away from Berger. For those who were looking to put Berger in their lineup, I would recommend Will Zalatoris or Collin Morikawa instead. Both Zalatoris and Morikawa are coming off a top 10 finish at the PGA Championship. Morikawa was runner up in the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge and Zalatoris has been seen in more top 10 finishes this year than anyone else in the field. Both are due for a Win. 

For those in need of a lower salary player, look no further than Talor Gooch. The Goochinator is not only a fan favorite of ours but he can also be the wild card pick that can finish top 10. With so many players out this week, you need a lower salary player to score well in order to win big money. The $7,300 salary player is someone I have put my faith in before. Goochinator can get it done.  Another low salary player who has my attention this week is Sebastian Munoz. The Columbian golfer has multiple top 10 finishes and a majority of those have happened in the state of Texas. If you are running low on salary money, Munoz’s $7,000 salary may be the best pick for you.

John White’s top 3 picks:

  1. Collin Morikawa
  2. Jordan Speith
  3. Will Zalatoris

Wildcards:

  1. Sebastian Munoz
  2. Si Woo Kim
  3. Talor Gooch

This week’s fan favorite:

Harry Higgs.  

Favorite DFS Lineup:

  1. Collin Morikawa – 11,900
  2. Will Zalatorus – 11,200
  3. Lee Westwood – 9,400
  4. Carlos Ortiz – 8,700
  5. Talor Gooch – 8,800
  6. Sebastian Munoz – 8,200

*DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports and is a fantasy format that uses a salary cap style of picking a lineup. The salary cap figures are fictional and in no way represent real money or currency.

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All predictions are made on an entertainment basis and do not in any way equate to a recommendation. These are hypothetical predictions. Please see below for full disclaimer. All odds are not official, rather are just a consensus of outside probabilities.

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