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BlogCharles Schwab Preview and Picks

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:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 69 of the top 100 and 36 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with seven players from the top-ten #1 Rory McIlroy, #2 Jon Rahm, #3 Brooks Koepka, #5 Dustin Johnson, #7 Patrick Reed and #9 Webb Simpson and #10 Rickie Fowler. The other top 50 players are #12 Xander Schauffele, #13 Bryson DeChambeau, #14 Justin Rose, #15 Marc Leishman, #16 Tony Finau, #17 Matt Kuchar, #18 Gary Woodland, #19 Louis Oosthuizen, #20 Steve Lowry, #23 Sungjae Im, #25 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #27 Rickie Fowler, #29 Abraham Ancer, #30 Kevin Na, #33 Danny Willett, #34 Billy Horschel, #35 Cameron Smith, #36 Kevin Kisner, #37 Chez Reavie, #38 Sergio Garcia, #39 Jazz Janewattananond, #40 Victor Perez, #43 Matt Wallace, #44 Collin Morikawa, #45 Scottie Scheffler, #46 Rafael Cabrera-Bello, #47 Christian Bezuidenhout, #49 Graeme McDowell and #50 Byeong Hun-An.

Those in the top-25 that are not in the field: #6 Adam Scott, #7 Patrick Cantlay, #10 Tommy Fleetwood, #11 Tiger Woods, #21 Hideki Matsuyama and #24 Paul Casey.

Last year there were 18 top-50 players in the field

The field includes 22 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2020.  Those players are  #1 Sungjae Im, # 2 Justin Thomas, # 3 Rory McIlroy, #4 Brendon Todd, #5 Webb Simpson, #6 Patrick Reed, #7 Marc Leishman, #8 Lanto Griffin, #9 Sebastian Munoz, #11 Kevin Na, #12 Xander Schauffele, #13 Cameron Smith, #15 Cameron Champ, #16 Bryson DeChambeau, #17 Joaquin Niemann, #18 Nick Taylor, #19 Scottie Scheffler, #21 Jon Rahm, #22 Tom Hoge, #23 Byeong Hun An, #24 Harris English and #25 Abraham Ancer.

The top 25 players not in the field are: #10 Hideki Matsuyama, #14 Tyrrell Hatton, and #20 Adam Scott.

The field includes 14 past champions: Kevin Na (2019), Justin Rose (2018), Kevin Kisner (2017),Jordan Spieth (2016), Chris Kirk (2015), Zach Johnson (2010, ’12), Steve Stricker (2009), Phil Mickelson (2008 & ’00), Rory Sabbatini (2007), Sergio Garcia (2001), Olin Browne (1999), David Frost (1997), Tom Lehman (1995) and Keith Clearwater (1987).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Charles Schwab field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Charles Schwab in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at Charles Schwab.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Charles Schwab Challenge

Player Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Beach Phoenix Open Saudi International Farmers Insurance Open Dubai Desert Classic American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open
Sungjae Im
(114.17 pts)
3
(30)
Win
(44)
T29
(10.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T34
(5.33)
DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP T21
(9.67)
Bryson DeChambeau
(113.33 pts)
4
(26.67)
DNP 2
(50)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rory McIlroy
(111.67 pts)
T5
(23.33)
DNP 5
(35)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jon Rahm
(104.33 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Reed
(91 pts)
T15
(11.67)
DNP Win
(66)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Marc Leishman
(91 pts)
2
(33.33)
DNP T42
(4)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Max Homa
(79.67 pts)
T24
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T14
(12)
T6
(20)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP
Abraham Ancer
(78.67 pts)
T56
(0)
DNP T12
(19)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T38
(4)
Daniel Berger
(76 pts)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
DNP T38
(4)
Webb Simpson
(74 pts)
DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
Tom Hoge
(72.67 pts)
T15
(11.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
T25
(8.33)
DNP 5
(23.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP T12
(12.67)
Graeme McDowell
(70 pts)
T32
(6)
DNP T69
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP Win
(44)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Joel Dahmen
(69.67 pts)
T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T14
(12)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
(64.17 pts)
T18
(10.67)
DNP T29
(10.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(63.17 pts)
T9
(15)
DNP T37
(6.5)
DNP T30
(6.67)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Tony Finau
(62 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(59.33 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(14)
DNP T2
(33.33)
T38
(4)
T16
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Bubba Watson
(59.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T18
(16)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matthew NeSmith
(57.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP T32
(6)
Patrick Rodgers
(57 pts)
T24
(8.67)
T21
(9.67)
DNP T35
(5)
T30
(6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T16
(11.33)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP T38
(4)
Maverick McNealy
(56.67 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T11
(13)
DNP T27
(7.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP 15
(11.67)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(56.5 pts)
DNP DNP T37
(6.5)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Cameron Davis
(55 pts)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T27
(7.67)
DNP T38
(4)
DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP T9
(15)
Collin Morikawa
(54.67 pts)
T9
(15)
DNP T42
(4)
DNP T26
(8)
DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
Dustin Johnson
(53.67 pts)
DNP DNP T48
(1)
DNP T10
(13.33)
T32
(6)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scottie Scheffler
(53.67 pts)
T15
(11.67)
DNP T26
(12)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP 3
(30)
DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(53.33 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sung Kang
(53 pts)
T9
(15)
DNP 71
(0)
DNP T2
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T52
(0)
DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brendan Steele
(52.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP 2
(33.33)
Erik Van Rooyen
(52 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T3
(45)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP
Cameron Smith
(51.33 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(14)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Viktor Hovland
(49.67 pts)
T42
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP Win
(44)
DNP T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Byeong Hun An
(48.83 pts)
T56
(0)
T4
(26.67)
T29
(10.5)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Victor Perez
(48.67 pts)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(4)
DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(46.67 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
3
(30)
DNP T3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Charles Schwab Challenge

Player Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Beach Phoenix Open Saudi International Farmers Insurance Open Dubai Desert Classic American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open
Jim Herman
(-16.67 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Tyler Duncan
(-16.67 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Harrington
(-15.67 pts)
T47
(1)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T57
(0)
C.T. Pan
(-13.33 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chris Kirk
(-13.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brian Gay
(-12.67 pts)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Si Woo Kim
(-10.67 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(-10 pts)
DNP 68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Justin Rose
(-10 pts)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jim Furyk
(-10 pts)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So golf is back and we are looking forward to it.  If everything goes ok we will have 14 events over the next 13 weeks.  After the Tour Championship ends the 2020 season, the 2021 season begins the next week in Napa, California for the Safeway Open.  The week after is the U.S. Open still planned to be played at Winged Foot and the week after is the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.  There will be 13 events over the 12 weeks and the last event will be the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico ending on December 6th.  Before that on November 12th – 15th will be the Masters.

Hard to believe:

In just 67 days we’ll have the start of the first major of the year, the PGA Championship being played at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.  In 81 days the FedEx Playoffs will begin.  So after a three-month break we will have a lot of golf action.

Things you need to know about The Charles Schwab Challenge and Colonial:

This is the 74th year of Charles Schwab Challenge. Commonly referred to as the Colonial National, it’s not the oldest event on the PGA Tour in longevity several events have been played longer.  As for the same course, Augusta National, and the Masters can claim to have been played on the same course longer on the PGA Tour, with Colonial being the second longest length of a course for a tournament.  Colonial does have one distinction it’s the only course in America that has hosted the U.S. Open (1941), the Players Championship (1975), and the U.S. Women’s Open (1991).

The tournament got started in 1946 when it was apparent that the USGA wasn’t going to make Colonial an annual stop.  The event was the inspiration of John Marvin Leonard, who operated a store in downtown Fort Worth and wanted to see the best golfers in the world play on his course.  Having Ben Hogan win its first two events, gave the event and the course the recognition that it needed.

Hogan went on to win five times at Colonial, and the course got the name “Hogan’s Alley.”  At one time, Hogan practically held every record of the tournament.  In the 21 times Hogan played at Colonial, his highest finish was a T-56th in his last appearance in 1970 at the age of 58.  Over Hogan’s career, he won 54 tournaments, with the last victory coming in the 1959 Colonial.  One of Hogan’s most enduring records at Colonial was the 65 he shot in the 3rd round in 1948.  It took seven years for someone to tie the record when Chandler Harper did it in 1955, and it took 22 years for someone to beat the record when Dale Douglass did it with his 63 in 1970.  Hogan loved Colonial and became a due paying member of the club.  So it’s no surprise that the greatest of Ben Hogan’s life and golf career is celebrated in the Hogan Room with an audio-visual presentation of his career and some memories of his career including clubs and replicas of all the trophies and medals.

Now the history of Ben Hogan and Colonial didn’t start with his win in 1946.  It was started in the early 1930s when a young Ben Hogan decided to play on the PGA Tour. He received financial backing from Marvin Leonard, the man who built Colonial.  Hogan wasn’t a big success; many times he was forced to drop off tour and take a job to earn enough money to rejoin the tour.  However, as soon as Hogan began making money on tour he offered to settle his account with Leonard, who told him to forget about the money.  However, in the 1950s Hogan was able to pay back Leonard in an even bigger way.  After Hogan launched the Ben Hogan golf equipment company, he offered Leonard the opportunity to purchase 50 percent of the company.  Leonard seized the opportunity and along with Hogan made a handsome profit when the company was sold to AMF in 1960.

The Colonial Country Club was the vision of Leonard, a native of Fort Worth.  He was considered a “workaholic” in the 1920s when his doctor told him he needed to slow down his pace.  Leonard turned to golf and joined Glen Garden Golf Club and Rivercrest Country Club, the best courses of the time in Fort Worth. As Leonards’s interest in golf grew, he became more interested in all aspects of the course, including the types of grass.  In the south, Bentgrass was thought to be impossible to grow, so all of the courses in Texas were Bermuda, which tended to be bumpy.  Leonard thought it would be a good idea to have bent grass and in trying to get Rivercrest to change the club president got tired of the requests and told him, Marvin, if you’re so sold on bentgrass, why don’t you go build your own golf course and put it on that course?”  So in 1934, Leonard did just that.

He acquired 157 acres in Southwest Fort Worth and hired golf architect John Bredemus to build him a championship course.  On January 29, 1936, the course was opened, and many thought it could be one of the most magnificent courses in the world. In the late 30s, Leonard also felt that Colonial was the best and lobbied the USGA to hold the U.S. Open at Colonial.  Even though the Open was never played in the South, when Leonard offered $25,000 to hold the event at Colonial it was given the 1941 Open.  To make sure that the course withstood the challenge of the best players in the world in 1940 he called in Perry Maxwell to redo holes 3, 4 & 5.

Even with the rain that hampered the Open it was a big success and plans to start a yearly tournament at Colonial were talked about but plans were put on hold because of World War II.  When the war ended, the club decided to hold the Colonial National Invitational and to add some prestige offered a purse of $15,000, the third-largest sum on the PGA Tour.  With a first-place check of $3,000 awaiting the winner, a field of 32 players teed off with Ben Hogan winning.  Since then 74 Colonial’s have been held with the course pretty much the same as it was in 1941, with some minor revisions that were implemented in 1969 when several holes along the Trinity River were damaged by flooding.

Now, this event almost was lost when tournament host Dean & Deluca begged out of their sponsorship a few years early.  Frankly, when I heard that Dean & Deluca was sponsoring a tournament in Texas, it made no sense.  You see Dean & Deluca is a bunch of high-end stores like Whole Foods or Wegmans, but they are mostly in the New York area.  They were planning on putting one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but when those plans went away, so did Dean & Deluca on the PGA Tour.  As we can see with tournaments like Houston, you could be rolling along in great shape, but then your sponsor decides it’s not worth the $10 million a year investment, that event is in trouble.  The good news, the Colonial found a new sponsor in time for 2018 and with Charles Schwab will continue on the PGA Tour.

 

  • Course information:
  • Colonial Country Club
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • 7,209 yards     Par 35-35–70
  • The Colonial has a 75.1 rating and slope rating of 138 from the championship tees. The course is very private. The tees, Fairways and rough are BermudaGrass while the greens are Bent.
  • It was designed and built by John Bredemus, with Perry Maxwell doing some touch-up work and opened in 1936.  There were some minor revisions in 1969 to some of the holes to prevent flooding from the nearby Trinity River.
  • In 2000, the club completed a two-year course renovation, which started in November of 1998 when they installed a new irrigation system.  The primary work was done in rebuilding all 18 greens with new A-4 bentgrass.  They also redesigned and rebuilt all the 84 bunkers, giving them a new definition so that they will be seen from tees and fairways.
  • All of the green and bunker work was done three weeks after the 1999 tournament ended with the membership not having the full course reopen until April 1st of 2000. Club has also planted close to hundred trees that won’t be in play but in years to come will help define the holes.
  • We usually don’t talk about technology in golf but when we talk about Colonial one of the reasons for it losing its fear factor is technology.  Colonial is one of golf’s treasured layouts that can’t keep up with technology.  The course sits next to the Trinty River on the north and houses on the East, South, and West of it, so there is no way to add any yardage.  So the course is at the mercy of mother nature, if it gets windy the course will play tough, but if not it’s easy.  We go more into detail on this later.
  • This course for years was feared by all the touring pros; if you look at the winning score pre-1996, you saw years in which the winner was 7, 8, 9, and 10 under.  However, starting in 1997 every year but two (8 under in 1999 and 9 under in 2014) saw scores in the double digits for the winners showing how easy the course got.
  • One advantage the course has being short, most of the holes at Colonial are doglegs so the driver is taken out of the hands of players which means most of the holes you have to lay up meaning more players hit more fairways.  Many players are balking about playing Colonial, two past champions Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson have played sparsely in past years because they don’t like the driver taken out of their hands. We have seen bits and pieces of the proud history of this event crumbling.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Colonial.

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.

Here is a link to the other 123 player stats from the Charles Schwab

DraftKings tips

Of the 148 in the field, 108 have played at least once at Colonial in the Charles Schwab since 2015.

  • Jordan Spieth is 47 under in 20 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Kevin Na is 36 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Kevin Kisner is 27 under in 18 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Brian Harman is 24 under in 20 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Danny Lee is 24 under in 20 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Harris English is 20 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Chris Kirk is 18 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Webb Simpson is 18 under in 10 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Brooks Koepka is 17 under in 4 rounds, playing 1 years
  • Charley Hoffman is 17 under in 20 rounds, playing 5 years
  • Emiliano Grillo is 17 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Matt Kuchar is 17 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Russell Knox is 17 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Tony Finau is 17 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Rory Sabbatini is 16 under in 14 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Justin Rose is 15 under in 8 rounds, playing 2 years
  • Steve Stricker is 15 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Andrew Putnam is 14 under in 8 rounds, playing 2 years
  • Kevin Tway is 14 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Adam Hadwin is 13 under in 16 rounds, playing 4 years
  • Jon Rahm is 13 under in 10 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Marc Leishman is 11 under in 12 rounds, playing 3 years
  • Patrick Reed is 10 under in 8 rounds, playing 2 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Jordan Spieth is 47 under playing 5 years (-9.4)
  • Kevin Na is 36 under playing 4 years (-9.0)
  • Justin Rose is 15 under playing 2 years (-7.5)
  • Andrew Putnam is 14 under playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Harris English is 20 under playing 3 years (-6.7)
  • Webb Simpson is 18 under playing 3 years (-6.0)
  • Matt Kuchar is 17 under playing 3 years (-5.7)
  • Russell Knox is 17 under playing 3 years (-5.7)
  • Kevin Kisner is 27 under playing 5 years (-5.4)
  • Patrick Reed is 10 under playing 2 years (-5.0)
  • Brian Harman is 24 under playing 5 years (-4.8)
  • Danny Lee is 24 under playing 5 years (-4.8)
  • Kevin Tway is 14 under playing 3 years (-4.7)
  • Chris Kirk is 18 under playing 4 years (-4.5)
  • Emiliano Grillo is 17 under playing 4 years (-4.3)
  • Tony Finau is 17 under playing 4 years (-4.3)
  • Jon Rahm is 13 under playing 3 years (-4.3)
  • Rory Sabbatini is 16 under playing 4 years (-4.0)
  • Corey Conners is 8 under playing 2 years (-4.0)
  • Joaquin Niemann is 8 under playing 2 years (-4.0)
  • Steve Stricker is 15 under playing 4 years (-3.8)
  • Marc Leishman is 11 under playing 3 years (-3.7)
  • Charley Hoffman is 17 under playing 5 years (-3.4)
  • Adam Hadwin is 13 under playing 4 years (-3.3)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies at Colonial since 2015:

 

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Rory McIlroy – $11,800
  • Jon Rahm – $11,000
  • Justin Thomas – $10,600
  • Bryson DeChambeau – $10,100
  • Webb Simpson – $9,800
  • Brooks Koepka – $9,700
  • Xander Schauffele – $9,600
  • Dustin Johnson – $9,500
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,400
  • Sungjae Im – $9,300
  • Patrick Reed – $9,200
  • Collin Morikawa – $9,100
  • Justin Rose – $9,000

Ok, it’s back to Draftkings after three months off.  In skimming through the list and prices of the players, some very interesting picks and bargains out there.  Here are those on top of the list:

Rory McIlroy at $11,800 is the right price for the number one player in golf.  The only problem I have, the course isn’t one for long hitters and if Rory isn’t smart off the tee, he could get himself in trouble.  As I say the price is fair, but since I am not 100% sure that he can play this course, I am passing on him.  I won’t pass on Jon Rahm at $11,000.  Yes, he missed the cut last year but was T-5th in 2018 and T-2nd in 2017.  That and the fact that he was one of the better players before the break makes you think his good play will continue.  Justin Thomas at $10,600 is a fair price, going into the break he was playing great but again like McIlroy, Thomas is playing at Colonial for the first time.  Since Thomas does it the ball long he will have to throttle back and that is the question, will Thomas pick this up and play well.  Next up is Bryson DeChambeau at $10,100, he is one to pass on.  DeChambeau has struggled a lot at Colonial, mostly due to poor driving, in four starts has missed the cut three times so yes you don’t want him.  Webb Simpson at $9,800 is a very good pick.  Was having a great 2020, won at Phoenix, was 2nd at the RSM Classic and 3rd at the Sony Open, plays well on ball-striker type of courses.  Has had mixed results at Colonial but in five starts was 5th in 2017 and T-3rd in 2016.  Now Brooks Koepka at $9,700 is a question mark.  Normally when Koepka’s name comes up on a ball-striker type of course, you say he is worth the cost.  But after he suffered a knee injury which took five months to heal, when he returned to golf in January his game wasn’t very.  Things got so bad before the Players Championship Koepka flew out to Las Vegas to work on his game with Butch Harman.  The legendary coach took about ten minutes to see the flaws Koepka was dealing with and were able to straighten him out.  Now Koepka was ready and able teeing it up at the Players Championship, but we know what happened and Brooks had more time off.   Honestly, he needed the time and I would think he is ready to go, so disregard what he did in January, February, and March and pick him this week.  Can’t say the same for Xander Schauffele at $9,600 or even Dustin Johnson at $9,500.  For Schauffele he has not played well at Colonial, missing the cut in 2019 and ’18.  As for Johnson, he didn’t look very sharp in the Skins game and I just think he may need some competitive rounds to get it back.  Check with me before the WGC-St. Jude on Johnson.  As for Rickie Fowler at $9,400, I liked what he did at the Skins Game and despite missing the cut at Colonial last year, was T-5th in 2012 so he can play the course.  Sungjae Im at $9,300 is another good buy, he was playing well before the break and says he has played hard during the break, so look for him to do well.  Patrick Reed at $9,200 is also ok, his game should be good for Colonial.  Collin Morikawa is at $9,100 and I think despite him being a good player, he has never played at Colonial and despite finishing T-9th in his last start at the Arnold Palmer I am not putting this much money into Morikawa.  Last we have Justin Rose at $9,000, now he has played terribly for the last year but he has since switched clubs returning to his TaylorMade clubs.  But at $9,000 he is a no for me.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Right off the bat, I see that Gary Woodland is at $8,900.  This is a steal, I think he will play well this week.  Yes, he only has played Colonial once and was T-73rd in that start in 2012, but Woodland has been working hard on his game in the break, and in his last two starts his game was coming around, so look for him to bust out.  Tony Finau at $8,700 is a toss-up, yes he was T-2nd last year but we really don’t know what he has been doing in the break, so to me he is a toss-up.  Shane Lowry is at $8,600 and I know he hasn’t played before at Colonial, but this is a course he can play well.  So yes, he is worth the money.  The same with Matt Kuchar at $8,500, solid record at Colonial, and his game showed promise before the break.  Another good pick and it seems that most of the good pick is in this 8,000 range is Matthew Fitzpatrick at $8,200.  If you look at his year he has been very consistent finishing T-2nd at Abu Dhabi and his last start before the break he was T-9th at the Arnold Palmer.  Another good pick could be Jordan Spieth at $8,000, yes he has regressed with his game since winning his three majors, as he made too many changes with his swing and didn’t play well.  But forget all that, I honestly think with the break-off it has done wonders to his mind and will play well this week.  I like him a lot with his record at Colonial, he won in 2016, was T-2nd in 2015 & ’17 and has been under par 21 of the 28 rounds.  Lastly, I like defending champion Kevin Na at $7,600.  The price is right and Na showed a lot last year.

Any bargains out there?

Looking for those diamonds in the rough?  Harris English is $7,500 and has played at Colonial five times, he was 2nd in 2016 and T-5th in 2012.  In the fall of the 2020 season, he played well, think after the break he will continue the good play. Another good bargain is Ryan Palmer at $7,400, he is a dues-paying member of Colonial and has a good record in his 16 Charles Schwab starts.  He was T-4th in January at the Sony Open in Hawaii, that course is a lot like Colonial so he will be a great pick for you.  Now if you are looking for some good player that will make the cut and get some birdies at a cheap price?  Jim Furyk at $7,100 is your man, he should do great with the dry conditions at Colonial  He hits it straight, hits lots of greens, and always does well at Colonial.  Going down the list is another great senior that should make the cut, Steve Stricker is a great bargain at $6,200 and one you should pick all the time.

 

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Charles Schwab Challenge

The key stat for the winner:

Experience at Colonial seems to be an essential part of winning.  Since 1996, 21 players have won at Colonial and have a total of 254 victories, so that means an average of 12.1 wins for each of the champions.  Last year’s winner Kevin Na won for the 3rd time and won again later in the year at the Shriners Hospitals.  2018 winner Justin Rose won two other times after winning the Colonial, 2016 champion Jordan Spieth won for the 8th time while 2014 champion Adam Scott won for the 11th time.  In 2012 Zach Johnson won for the 8th time in his career as winners range from Tom Watson with 34 wins and Nick Price with 18 to Sergio Garcia who made Colonial his first PGA Tour win in 2001.  The fact is rookies don’t win at Colonial.  Yes, Sergio Garcia got his first PGA Tour win at Colonial but he had won in Europe.  The same with the next first-time winner Ian Baker-Finch in 1989, he had won in Australia.  In looking at the 74-year history of the Charles Schwab, only eight first winners have done the deed, that tells us to look for an experienced person to win.

Another key:
  • Look at all of the champions; you will see one thing in common, they are accurate drivers of the ball, which historically has been very important in winning at Colonial.  The bottom line is wild drivers don’t win here.  Now, of course, there is always an exception to the rule, in 2016 Jordan Spieth only hit 38 fairways and ranked T-54th.  The previous year Chris Kirk only hit 28 fairways and ranked T-60th while in 2007 Rory Sabbatini only hit 29 fairways and ranked T60th.   However, last year Kevin Na was T-17th while in 2018 Justin Rose was 6th in driving accuracy, in 2017 Kevin Kisner hit 40 fairways and ranked 1st getting us back to the era of between 1998 and 2005 when all the winners didn’t rank higher than 9th in fairway accuracy, with seven of them being in the top-five. Driving accuracy is still critical in winning this event.
  • An important stat to look at to gauge the champion this week is strokes gained tee-to-green.
  • Look at this list of players for 2020 in strokes gained tee-to-green, I feel that one of those in the top-30 of this list will probably be the winner this week.  2nd on the list is Rory McIlroy, 5th on the list is Justin Thomas, and 7th on the list is Tony Finau.
  • Shot-making is almost a lost art, and if you look at all of the champions in this millennium, all of them were great shotmakers.
  • Hitting greens will be at a premium, just like in a U.S. Open hitting lots of greens goes a long way in this event.  Look for the winner to hit globs of greens this week.  Now there is another way, if you don’t hit greens, that is scrambling.  Last year Jordan Spieth may not have been among the leaders in greens hit, but he led in scrambling. Look at the chart below of the last ten winners, in looking at the two stats hitting greens or scrambling, and you will see a key for winning.

Winner                              Greens hit    Rank         Scrambling    Rank

2019-Kevin Na                  56 of 72         1st               11 of 16       T-15th

2018-Justin Rose             57 of 72          1st               10 of 15      T-30th

2017-Kevin Kisner           53 of 72         2nd              15 of 19        2nd

2016-Jordan Spieth         51 of 72       T-17th            18 of 21        1st

2015-Chris Kirk                46 of 72     T-62nd           17 of 26        39th

2014-Adam Scott              52 of 72      T10th            14 of 20       16th

2013-Boo Weekely            54 of 72       T5th             11 of 18       40th

2012-Zach Johnson          45 of 72      T37th            21 of 27         1st

2011-David Toms              52 of 72       T4th            14 of 20        12th

2010-Zach Johnson          61 of 72         1st              10 of 11          1st

2009-Steve Stricker         56 of 72       T-6th           12 of 16       T14th

2008-Phil Mickelson       52 of 72        T5th            14 of 20      T16th

 

Now I don’t want to jinx the tournament, but the weather in Texas can sometimes be iffy in May. But this week is going to be one of the most consistent weeks in the tournament history.  First the town of Ft. Worth hasn’t seen rain since May 26th so the course will be bone dry.  But during the week of the tournament, each day will be the same, in the mid-90s with no rain and winds between 19 and 13 mph.  So look for high scores this week as the course will be tough.

 

Who to watch for at the Charles Schwab Challenge

Best Bets:

Webb Simpson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT 5 T3 CUT CUT

Was having a great 2020 before the break, is 3rd in ball striking, and was playing great before the break. Colonial is a perfect course for his game, was 5th in 2017, and T-3rd in 2018.

Rory McIlroy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

The best player when the break came in March, his game looked good at Skins Game. Yes he has never played before at Colonial, but he knows when to throttle back and he should be fine.

Jon Rahm

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T5 T2

Another that was playing well before the break, yes he missed the cut last year at Colonial but was T-5th in 2018 and runner-up in 2017.

Best of the rest:

Gary Woodland

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T73

Has not played much at Colonial, his only start was T-73rd in 2012. I like that he was playing well before the break and decided to move from Florida to Kansas so that he could work on his game.

Justin Thomas

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

A first-timer at Colonial, he is smart and will know how to throttle back off the tee. Has won twice in 2020 at CJ Cup and Sentry Tournament of Championship, in last start T-6th at WGC-Mexico

Matt Kuchar

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T32 T12 T6 CUT 2 T26 T16 T56 T27 9

A solid record at Colonial, three top-tens in 11 starts including a 2nd in 2013 and T-6th in 2016. His game showed promise before the break as he was T-2nd at Genesis Open.

Rickie Fowler

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T14 CUT T54 T5 T16 T38

Yes, he missed the cut last year at Colonial but he was T-5th in 2012 so knows how to play here. He showed something at the Skins Game a couple of weeks ago that showed he is ready to play well again.

Solid contenders:

Sungjae Im

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT

Another great player that did well before the break, in his last two weeks he won the Honda and finished 3rd at the Arnold Palmer. Missed the cut last year at Colonial, still, that doesn’t worry me because he will be refresh and ready to go after spending the three months off in Tampa working on his game.

Patrick Reed

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T15 T33 T46

Has played at Colonial three times, the last in 2016 he was T-15th. Still have to remember he won the WGC-Mexico Championship before the break.

Kevin Na

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
Win 4 T42 T10 CUT T13 T40 T22 T9 T59

Defending champion, he was 4th at Colonial in 2018. 15th in Strokes Gained tee-to-Green, 7th in Strokes Gained Putting, plays well in wind.

Players that have benefited the most from the break-off and could sparkle this week:

Brooks Koepka

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2

Two important items for him, first he has had lots of rest to heal his wounded knee and in his only start at Colonial was 2nd in 2018. Also, think that the trip to Las Vegas before the Players was important as coach Butch Harmon gave him a lot of confidence.

Ryan Palmer

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T6 CUT T70 T3 CUT T5 T14 T5 T31 CUT T34 T15

Is a dues playing member of Colonial, in 16 starts has four top-tens including a T-3rd in 2016 and T-6th last year. Was T-4th at the Sony Open of Hawaii, the course is a lot like Colonial in require one to hit drives in the fairway.

Jordan Spieth

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T8 T32 T2 Win T2 T14 T7

Has a great record at Colonial, won in 2016, was T-2nd in 2015 & ’17, in 28 rounds worst score is 73 as he has been under par 21 of the 28 rounds. The thinking is the break may help Spieth who needs to get back to the way he swung the club in 2015.

Justin Rose

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T58 Win T71 T34

After playing great in his career, he took big dollars last year to switch away from TaylorMade who he played with for 20 years and played with Honma clubs. Despite winning the 2019 Farmers, the move was terrible and he has since switched back to his TaylorMade clubs.

Those that could surprise us this week by not playing well:

Dustin Johnson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T14 T74

Has had mixed results in two tries at Colonial, T-14th in 2014, and T-74th in 2008. Just don’t think Colonial is one of his favorite courses. He hasn’t had an impressive year, plus he didn’t play well a couple of weeks ago at Skins Game.

Xander Schauffele

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT CUT T48

Has had a tough time at Colonial, missed the cut in 2019 and ’18. Had mixed results since he was runner-up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, his best finish is T-14th at Mexico.

Bryson DeChambeau

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T42 CUT CUT

He also has struggled a lot at Colonial mostly due to poor driving, in four starts has missed the cut three times so I think this isn’t the right event for him.

Comments

  1. Thanks Sal. Great to have your information packed previews and golf back. Looking forward to watching Colonial this weekend.

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