Colonial Key Fantasy Stats

Charles Schwab Challenge

June 11th – 14th, 2020

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, TX

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,209

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Na

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for Colonial, based on data from last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2020. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories. One thing to be careful about, it’s been 94 days or three months since an official PGA Tour event was played, so those that had a great first part of 2020 may not be sharp now, while those that played terrible may benefit from the time off, so bury beware on any stats.
The scoring average of the field at Colonial in 2019 was 70.86 making it the 7th hardest course last year. In 2018 with favorable wind conditions and a soft course it played to a 69.83 average, T-20th in course rankings. In 2017 Colonial was 71.15 (lots of wind every day) making it the 7th hardest course on Tour that year as the course played over a shot a round over par. In 2016 Colonial was 70.20 making it the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour, a quarter of a shot over par and almost a half a shot harder than the course played in 2015 when it was 69.78 and the 21st hardest course to score on in 2015. So why the difference? Rain and wind, in 2015 they had flooding conditions the week before the tournament and the course was very wet. On top of that winds averaged between 10-15 mph. In 2016 the course didn’t have as much rain and winds blew up to 20 mph the first three days and calmed a bit for the final round. But in 2017 winds blew each day at around 20 mph which made the course play very tough, a matter of fact the hardest it’s played since 2002 when the course played to a 71.21 average and ranked 6th on tour.

Colonial Country Club is a relic to a bygone era in which accuracy off the tee, precision shotmaking to the greens is important. On top of that when the course is dry and runs, put in some wind and it can play really tough. But with no wind, wet conditions you will see a lot of birdies and eagles and that’s what has happened over the years. You can’t overpower this course, that’s why in past years you didn’t see long ball hitters like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Gary Woodland, Luke List and J.B. Holmes here.
Every great shotmaker from the last 74 years has won at Colonial (with the exception of Tiger Woods) as Justin Rose was added to the list in 2018 which includes Hogan, Nicklaus, Snead, Boros, Littler, Wadkins, Price, Trevino, Casper, Watson, Scott and Mickelson to name a few. In looking at the key to playing well at Colonial, the most important stat is Ball Striking (which the PGA Tour doesn’t include in course stats), looking at the list for 2020 the odds are a player in the top-30 of that list will come out this week. Just look at the list, some of the players on it are Gary Woodland (who leads the list), Webb Simpson, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Ollin Morikawa, and Scottie Scheffler to name a few.

So who will win this week? Tell you this, it will be a guy with a lot of fitness and a sharp iron player. So why is this so important in a time when overpowering courses is the norm? There is no room to add yardage to Colonial. Since the course opened in 1946, only 169 yards have been added. With 12 of the 14 par 4s and 5s being doglegs, players have to throttle back and hit fairway woods and irons to keep it in play, especially when the course is dry with a lot of run. So hitting it long gives you no advantage because length means nothing when you have to lay up, so short drivers will be in the same part of the fairway as long hitters. That is the reason why players like Corey Pavin, Rory Sabbatini, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Zach Johnson, and last year Kevin Na have won this event.
In looking at our four categories, Fairway Accuracy is important, last year Colonial was the 3rd hardest course to get into the fairway, while last year’s winner Kevin Na was T-17th in fairway hit. Our second stat is greens in regulation, last year Colonial ranked 8th while Rose rank 1st in this stat hitting 56 of 72 greens. To show the importance of this stat since 2001, five of the winners have led this stat and in the last three years Na and Justin Rose led the stat and in 2017 Kevin Kisner was 2nd.
Our third stat is Par Breakers, last year Colonial ranked 3rd overall while Na was 2nd in this stat. Our last stat is Strokes-Gained Putting as Na was 2nd in this stat. As for Colonial, they don’t keep track of that stat tournament wise, but I can tell you this, six of the last 18 winners have led in a total number of strokes so putting is very important.
Now another important element for this year is the weather, last year it was good, but for this week coming up will see temperatures in the 90s with mild winds blowing between 10 and 13 mph. There is zero chance of rain for the whole week and we have a perfect storm brewing in which the area hasn’t had any rain since Tuesday, May 26th. So that will mean very fast, dry conditions and with some wind, the course will play super tough.

With conditions like this, you won’t have any “non-marquee” type of winner, the man that wins on Sunday will be a player that has won before and many times on the PGA Tour.

*Fairway Accuracy: Percentage of times a drive is in the fairway.

*Greens in Regulation: Tells us which players hit the most greens during the week

*Par Breakers: The course allows a lot of birdies and eagles to be made, so Parbreakers is the percent of time scores are under par.

*Strokes Gained Putting: The number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player’s strokes gained or lost on a hole.

The 136 of the 148 players from this year’s field with stats from 2020:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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