Charles Schwab Challenge Key Fantasy Stats

Charles Schwab Challenge

May 23rd – 26th, 2024

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, TX

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,289

Purse: $9.1 Million

with $1,566,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Emiliano Grillo

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on Colonial’s most important stats, based on data from last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge, and data from all players in the field with 2024 stats. We take their rank for each statistic and then add up the four categories.
Colonial Country Club is a relic of a bygone era, where accuracy off the tee makes precision shotmaking on the greens essential. On top of that, when the course is dry with firm fairways and greens, add some wind, and it can play tough, as it has in recent years. But with no or little wind, along with dry conditions, you will see a lot of birdies and eagles, which has happened over the years. You can’t overpower this course. In years past, you have yet to see the long ball hitters of the gameplay. This year, Rory McIlroy, Cameron Champ, Byeong Hun An, Wyndham Clark, and Kevin Dougherty, the top five in driving distance, are missing this year.
Now, Bryson DeChambeau has shown the vulnerability of Colonial Country Club in 2020. DeChambeau could fly over the trees and cut off the doglegs with his newfound power. Over four days at Colonial Country Club, DeChambeau flexed his muscles with 19 drives of 330 yards or more. DeChambeau missed a short putt on the 17th for bogey, and by the end of the day, he was one shot behind in a playoff with Daniel Berger and Collin Morikawa. DeChambeau laid the groundwork for an all-out assault on Colonial Country Club. Surprisingly, after what happened in 2020, DeChambeau did not return to Colonial with him on LIV.

Every great shotmaker in the last 75 years has won at Colonial (except Tiger Woods, as Justin Rose was added to the list in 2018), including Hogan, Nicklaus, Snead, Boros, Littler, Wadkins, Price, Trevino, Casper, Watson, Scott and Mickelson, to name a few. When looking at the key to playing well at Colonial, the most important statistic is ball striking (which the PGA Tour doesn’t include in course stats). Looking at the list for 2024, the odds of a player finishing in the top 30 of this list will finish at the top this week. Check out the list of players in the field this week: Scottie Scheffler (1st), Tony Finau (7th), Kevin Yu (7th), Keith Mitchell (10th), Daniel Berger (T-12th), Rafael Campos (15th), Aaron Rai (17th), Vincent Norrman (18th), Harris English (22nd) and Taylor Moore (23rd) to name those in the top 25.
So, who will win this week? I can tell you this: it will be a guy with much conditioning and a sharp iron. Look at the last 2022 winner, Sam Burns, who fits the bill perfectly when you see that Burns was 1st in Strokes Gained Total at Colonial. So why is this so important in an era where overpowered courses are the norm? Only after the new renovation was there room to add yardage at 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. This is why players like Corey Pavin, Rory Sabbatini, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Zach Johnson, Kevin Na, and Daniel Berger have won this event.
How does Gil Hanse’s renovation change that this year? He added 80 yards from last year, primarily by moving the greens around. Here are the holes that gained yardage:

  • 1st – par 5 Went from 565 to 581, adding 16 yards
    2nd – par 4 Went from 389 to 385, 4 yards shorter
    3rd – par 4 Went from 483 to 475, 8 yards shorter
    4th – par 3 Went from 247 to 248, adding 1 yardage
    5th – par 4 Went from 481 to 476, 5 yards shorter
    6th – par 4 Went from 406 to 410, adding 4 yards
    7th – par 4 Went from 440 to 480, adding 40 yards
    8th – par 3 Went from 199 to 194, 5 yards shorter
    9th – par 4 Went from 407 to 413, 1 yard shorter
    Front nine went from 3,617 to 3,662 with 45 yards added, 40 of that on the 7th hole
    10th – par 4 Went from 408 to 407, 1 yard shorter
    11th – par 5 Went from 635 to 639, adding 4 yards
    12th – par 4 Went from 445 to 457, adding 12 yards
    13th – par 3 Went from 190 to 199, adding 9 yards
    14th – par 4 Went from 464 to 456, 8 yards shorter
    15th – par 4 Went from 430 to 431, adding 1 yard
    16th – par 3 Went from 192 to 197, adding 5 yards
    17th – par 4 Went from 387 to 399, adding 12 yards
    18th – par 4 Went from 441 to 442, adding 1 yard
    Back nine went from 3,592 to 3,627, adding 35 yards

The renovations added little to the yardage, 80 yards, with 40 of them on the 7th hole. Another thing Hanse should have done was remove any trees, which is becoming a big deal with course renovations. So what Hanse did was add a few yards, ever so slightly. Seven of the holes are now shorter than last year. So where is the change?

Hanse took it back to the way it was when the course opened in 1736. He moved most of the 27 fairway bunkers, so they come into play more. Hanse also significantly changed the par-3 holes, altering the 8th, 13th and 16th. On the 8th, he moved the green 30 yards to the left, bringing the creek back into play on the left side. The other change that will be widely recognized is the removal of the concrete spillway that runs from the par-3 16th and intersects between the 17th and 18th fairways. The stream will still be part of the drama on the home stretch. Hanse moved the 16th green to the left to put the creek into play. Water now guards the left and right sides of the green.
He left the famous “Horrible Horseshoe,” holes three, four, and five, untouched.
The biggest changes were cosmetic. He redid all the greens, again using photos from the early days of the course to make them look like they did in the 1930s and 1940s. They also installed a system that runs cold water under the greens to help preserve the bend during the hot summer months.
When the players return this week, they will be surprised to see a course that looks like it did in the past. However, the course will have more hazards that will come into play and make scoring tougher.

The scoring Average of the Colonial field last year was 70.73, and it was the 9th hardest course on the PGA Tour out of the 58 courses charted in 2023.

Here is a look at the scoring averages at Colonial over the last few years:
*2022 – Average was 70.72; it was the 11th hardest of the 50 courses that year.
*2021 – Averaged 70.21, was the 18th hardest of the 51 courses that year
*2020 – Averaged 69.57, was the 13th hardest of 41 courses that year. It played three-quarters of a shot easier at 69.57, mainly because it was played a month later when the course was dry with no wind. That is the key to this course. When there is no wind, it plays much easier, but when there is wind, as in 2019, it played to a 70.86 and was the 7th hardest course of the year.
*2019 – Averaged 70.86, was 7th hardest of 49 courses that year.
*2018 – With favorable wind conditions and a soft course, it played to a 69.83 average, T-20th in course rankings.
*2017 – Colonial played to an average of 71.15 (lots of wind every day), making it the 7th hardest course on tour that year as the course played over a shot over par per round.
*2016 – Colonial played to an average of 70.20, making it the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour, a quarter shot over par and almost 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? There was rain and wind in 2015; the week before the tournament, there were flooding conditions, and the course was very wet. On top of that, the wind averaged between 10-15 mph.
In 2016, the course received less rain, and the winds blew up to 20 mph for the first three days, then died down a bit for the final round.
But in 2017, the wind blew around 20 mph daily, making the course very tough to play, the toughest since 2002, when the course averaged 71.21 and ranked sixth on the tour.
As we can see, Mother Nature and the wind dictate how tough each Charles Schwab Challenge will be.
The big question is, with the renovations, how tough will Colonial play in 2024? Prior to 1990, with the advent of metal drivers, better irons, and golf balls, Colonial was considered one of the toughest non-major events of the year. Between 1970 and 1989, the average winning score was 7 under par. Between 1990 and 2023, the average winning score was 13 under par.

So, with thunderstorms on Thursday, conditions getting better each day, Sunday being sunny, and temperatures around 92 each day, this would set up for low scoring. But Mother Nature will help, as the wind will be blowing between 13 and 15 mph, making conditions more difficult.
Still, with the renovations, we will see a tougher course with the winning score in the 7 to 12 under range.

When looking at our four categories, fairway accuracy is critical. In 2022, Colonial was the 13th hardest course to get to the fairway, while 2022 winner Sam Burns was 38th in fairway accuracy. Our second statistic is greens in Regulation; last year, Colonial ranked 5th, while winner Emiliano Grillo ranked T-8th in this statistic, hitting 47 of 72 greens. Since 2001, five winners have led this statistic, showing its importance. In the last seven years, Kevin Na and Justin Rose led the stat; in 2017, Kevin Kisner was 2nd, while Berger was T-4th in 2020.
Our third statistic is Par Breakers. Last year, Colonial was 1st overall, while Grillo and Burns were both 1st in this stat. Our final stat is Strokes Gained Putting, as Grillo and Burns were 6th in this stat. Since Colonial doesn’t keep track of this stat on a tournament basis, I can tell you this: six of the last 22 winners have led in total strokes, so putting is very important.
So if the weather is perfect, you’re not going to have a “non-marquee” type of winner; the man who wins on Sunday will be a player who has won before and won many times on the PGA Tour. To give you an idea of how important this is, since 1990, only one winner has never won on the PGA Tour, and that was Sergio Garcia, who had won twice on the European Tour.

Driving is essential, so our first category combines driving distance but mostly driving accuracy for the Charles Schwab. In 2023, the course ranked 7th on the PGA Tour in driving distance (all holes) and 25th in driving accuracy (out of 58 courses). Winner Emiliano Grillo ranked T-53rd in driving distance (all holes) and T-25th in driving accuracy (34 of 56).

Here is a look at the driving Average at Charles Schwab for the last few years:
*2022 – Colonial ranked 1st in driving distance and 13th in driving accuracy.
Winner Sam Burns was 12th in driving distance and T-38th (30 of 56) in accuracy.
*2021 –Colonial ranked 5th in driving distance and 16th in driving accuracy.
Winner Jason Kokrak was 8th in driving distance and 4th (41 of 56) in accuracy.
*2020 – Colonial ranked 8th in driving distance and 15th in driving accuracy.
Winner Daniel Berger was 24th in driving distance and T-17th (35 of 56) in accuracy.
*2019 – Colonial ranked 13th in driving distance and 3rd in driving accuracy.
Winner Kevin Na was 55th in driving distance and T-17th (34 of 56) in accuracy.
So driving it far and straight is important.

Our second category Greens in Regulation is a critical one for Colonial: getting the ball close to the hole from the fairway. If you look at the winners at Colonial, hitting the greens is something all the winners have in common. Since 2017, seven of the seven have finished in the top eight, and 12 of the 27 have finished in the top five. Additionally, over the past 27 years, five winners have led greens in Regulation.
Last year, Colonial ranked 5th out of 58 courses in Greens in Regulation as the field hit 57.51% of the greens. Last year’s winner, Emiliano Grillo, hit 47 of 72 greens (70.83%) for a T-8th place finish.

Here is a look at the Greens in Regulation at the Charles Schwab over the years:
2022 – Greens in Regulation was 59.59%, the 15th hardest of the 50 courses that year.
Winner Sam Burns hit 48 of 72 greens (66.67%) and finished T-7th.
2021 – Greens in Regulation was 61.27%, the 15th hardest of the 51 courses this year.
Winner Jason Kokrak shot 54 of 72 (75.00%) and finished 2nd.
2020 – Greens in Regulation was 67.45%, the 24th hardest of 41 courses this year.
Winner Daniel Berger hit 56 of 72 greens (77.78%) and finished T-4th.
2019 – Greens in Regulation was 60.17%, the 8th hardest of the 49 courses this year.
Winner Kevin Na hit 56 of 72 greens (77.78%) and finished 1st.
Again, I can’t stress how important it is to hit many greens.

Our third category is Par Breakers because making eagles and birdies is essential. Last year, Charles Schwab had 1,079 birdies, tied for 3rd in birdie average, and 12 eagles, tied for 5th. Winner Emiliano Grillo was T-1st in the field with 18 birdies and T-2nd with an eagle. He was 1st in Par Breakers with 26.39%.

Here is a look at the Par Breakers of the Charles Schwab winners in recent years:
2022 – Made 1,114 birdies (19th hardest) and 19 eagles (T-12th) as 19.70% of holes were under par, making it the 9th hardest of the 50 courses that year.
Winner Sam Burns made 20 birdies (his best) but no eagles, as 27.78% of the holes were under par, ranking him first in Par Breakers.
2021 – Made 1,230 birdies (21st toughest) and 14 eagles (T-5th) as 17.77% of holes played were under par, making it the 10th toughest of the 51 courses that year.
Winner Jason Kokrak made 23 birdies (best) but had no eagles as 31.94% of the holes were under par, ranking him 1st in Par Breakers.
2020 – Made 1,489 birdies (27th toughest) and had 20 eagles (9th) as 19.50% of holes played were under par, making it the 12th toughest of the 41 courses this year.
Winner Daniel Berger made 22 birdies (T-2nd) but had no eagles. As 30.56% of holes were played under par, he ranked T-2nd in Par Breakers.
2019 – Made 1,111 birdies (16th hardest) and 12 eagles (4th) as 16.20% of the holes played were under par, making it the 3rd hardest of the 49 courses that year.
Winner Kevin Na made 17 birdies (T-2nd) and one eagle, and 25.00% of holes were played under par, ranking him second in Par Breakers.
So the winner will have to make a lot of birdies and eagles.

Our final category is Strokes Gained Putting.
We chose this statistic because most past Charles Schwab winners are notoriously good putters. Last year, Colonial ranked T-19th in putting average, 46th in one-putt percentage, 253rd in three-putt Avoidance, and 37th in putting inside ten feet, making 89.27% of his putts in that range.
Last year’s winner, Emiliano Grillo, ranked 4th in Putting Average, T-18th in One-Putt Percentage, T-22nd in 3-putt Avoidance, and T-62nd in Putting Inside ten feet, making 59 of 68 putts in this range. With all these stats, he was 2nd in Strokes Gained Putting, with 7.439 strokes gained.

Here is a look at Colonial’s putting stats and the Charles Schwab winners over the past few years:
2022 – Colonial ranked T-17th in Putting Average, 34th in One-Putt Percentage, 31st in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 12th in Putting Inside Ten Feet, making 87.51% of their putts in this range.
Winner Sam Burns, one of the best putters in golf, ranked 4th in Putting Average, T-8th in One-Putt Percentage, T-55th in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 9th in Putting Inside ten feet, making 65 of 71 putts in this range. With all these stats, it is no surprise that he was 8th in Strokes Gained Putting with a 5.033 Strokes Gained.
2021 – Colonial ranked 29th in Putting Average, 37th in One-Putt Percentage, 47th in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 34th in Putting Inside Ten Feet, making 88.81% of his putts in this range.
Winner Jason Kokrak ranked T-9th in Putting Average, T-19th in One-Putt Percentage, T-45th in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 10th in Putting Inside ten feet, making 60 of 64 putts in this range. With these stats, he was 7th in Strokes Gained Putting, with 5.501 strokes gained.
2020 – Colonial ranked 27th in Putting Average, 22nd in One-Putt Percentage, 30th in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 21st in Putting Inside Ten Feet, making 88.24% of his putts in this range.
Winner Daniel Berger ranked 8th in Putting Average, T-11th in One-Putt Percentage, T-445th in 3-putt Avoidance, and 62nd in Putting Inside ten feet, making 56 of 66 putts in this range. With these stats, he was 8th in Strokes Gained Putting, with 5.168 strokes gained.
2019 – Colonial ranked T-12th in Putting Average, 30th in One-Putt Percentage, 37th in 3-Putt Avoidance, and 27th in Putting Inside ten feet, as he made 88.41% of the putts in this range.
Winner Kevin Na ranked 5th in Putting Average, T-25th in One-Putt Percentage, T-1st in 3-putt Avoidance, and T-12th in Putting Inside Ten Feet, making 61 of 66 putts in that range. With these stats, he was 2nd in Strokes Gained Putting with 7.033 strokes.

*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 are 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 122 of the 132 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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