Charles Schwab Challenge Key Fantasy Stats

Charles Schwab Challenge

May 25th – 28th, 2023

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, TX

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,209

Purse: $8.7 Million

with $1,566,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Sam Burns

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 data from all the players in the field with stats from 2023. We take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The field’s scoring average at Colonial was 70.72, making it the 11th hardest course last year. The year before, it played a half a shot easier, at 70.21, making it the 18th hardest course in 2021. The year before that, it played three-quarters of a shot easier at 69.57, mainly because it was played a month later as the course was dry, with no winds. That is the key to this course. If there is no wind, it plays much easier, but with wind, like in 2019, it played to a 70.86 and was the 7th hardest course of the year. In 2018 with favorable wind conditions and a soft course, it played 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, the hardest it’s played since 2002 when the course played to a 71.21 average and ranked 6th on Tour. So as we can see, mother nature and wind dictate how tough each Charles Schwab Challenge will be.
So how is the weather going to be for this Year? For this week, temperatures will be in the high 80s with winds of only 9 mph the first three days, going up to 11 mph on Sunday with temperature going up to 88.

Colonial Country Club is a relic of a bygone era in which accuracy off the tee makes precision shotmaking to the greens essential. On top of that, when the course is dry with lots of runs, put in some wind, and it can play tough. But with no or little wind and dry conditions, you will see many birdies and eagles, which has happened over the years. You can’t overpower this course. In past years, you didn’t see long-ball hitters like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Luke List, and J.B. Holmes here. This year only two players who are in the top ten of driving distance for 2023 are in the field, Cameron Champ and Byeong Hun An, are in the field. Bryson DeChambeau showed the vulnerability of Colonial Country Club in 2020. With his newfound power, DeChambeau could fly over the trees and cut off the doglegs. For four days at Colonial Country Club, DeChambeau flexed his muscles with 19 drives of 330 or more yards. DeChambeau missed a short putt at 17, making a bogey, and was a shot back of the Daniel Berger/Collin Morikawa playoff at the end of the day. What DeChambeau did was lay out the groundwork for an all-out assault on Colonial Country Club. Surprisingly after what happened in 2020, DaChambeau has not been back to Colonial, and with him being on LIV, golf will be playing in Washington, D.C., instead of Ft. Worth.

Every great shotmaker from the last 75 years has won at Colonial (except for 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 2023, the odds are a player in the top 30 of that list will come out on top this week. Just look at the list. Some of the players at the top in the field include Scottie Scheffler (1st), Will Gordon (6th), Hayden Buckley (7th), Akshay Bhatia (9th), and Collin Morikawa (T-10th), to name those in the top-12.

So who will win this week? Tell you this; it will be a guy with a lot of fitness and a sharp iron player. Look at last year’s winner Sam Burns who fit the bill perfectly when you see that in Strokes Gained Total, Burns was 1st last year at Colonial. So why is this so important in a time when overpowering courses are 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 must 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 why players like Corey Pavin, Rory Sabbatini, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Zach Johnson, Kevin Na, and Daniel Berger have won this event.

In looking at our four categories, Fairway Accuracy is crucial. Last year, Colonial was the 13th hardest course to get into the fairway, while last year’s winner Sam Burns was 38th in fairway hit. Our second stat is greens in regulation; last year, Colonial ranked 9th, while Burns ranked T-7th in this stat, hitting 48 of 72 greens. Since 2001, five winners have led this stat to show the importance. In the last six years, Kevin Na and Justin Rose led the stat; in 2017, Kevin Kisner was 2nd with Berger T-4th in 2020.
Our third stat is Par Breakers. Last year Colonial ranked 9th overall, while Burns was 1st in this stat. Our last stat is Strokes Gained Putting, as Burns was 6th in this stat. As Colonial doesn’t keep track of that stat tournament-wise, I can tell you this: six of the last 21 winners have led in the total number of strokes, so putting is very important.
So with perfect weather, you won’t have any “non-marquee” type of winner; the man who wins on Sunday will be a player who has won before and many times on the PGA Tour. To show how much this means something, since 1990, only one winner never won on the PGA Tour, and that was Sergio Garcia, who had won twice on the European Tour.

*Driving 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 112 of the 120 players from this year’s field with stats from 2023:

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

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