This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Charles Schwab Challenge
Colonial Country Club (7,209 yards, par-70)
$1,314,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
On the heels of a chilly spring week in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the AT&T Byron Nelson, the PGA Tour's two-event Texas swing was briefly interrupted by the PGA Championship's transition to May, and Brooks Koepka turned the calendar's second major into a one-man show right off the bat. The CBS producers must have been in his ear Sunday afternoon before he eventually let up on the back nine to give Dustin Johnson a slim chance, but Koepka quickly returned to form and won a fourth major in his last eight appearances. According to the newly crowned World No. 1, majors are simply easier to win, so earning the Scottish plaid jacket at the upcoming Charles Schwab Challenge might be a more daunting task in his eyes. Koepka won't be in attendance at Colonial Country Club this week, but the field does include five of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking. As for the weather, expect highs to reach near 90 degrees but much like Round 4 at Bethpage Black, the potential for a multiple-club wind could be the story this week.
Recent Past Champions
Key Stats to Victory
Strokes Gained: Putting
P4: 400-450 scoring
Taking a look at the list of recent past champions, there's a mixture of dominant iron players such as Justin Rose or Adam Scott and elite putters like Kevin Kisner and Steve Stricker. What you won't find is an absolute bomber of the golf ball. Colonial Country Club is old fashioned in the sense that it caters to precision off the tee, while power plays such an insignificant role due to a myriad of doglegs spread throughout the grounds. Iron play will be the key factor in terms of boosting one's GIR percentage throughout the tournament, while seven of Colonial's 18 holes are par-4s measuring between 400 and 450 yards. Those who finished in the top-3 of par-4 scoring during last year's edition were Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm in that order on the way to finishes of 2-Win-T5.
FanDuel Value Picks
Jon Rahm, $12,000 - Right about now I'm really wishing I had remembered just how good Rahm has been at Colonial CC the past two years before burning him in a One and Done Pool last week en route to his missed cut at the PGA Championship. The Spaniard has gone T5-T2 in his first two looks at Colonial, also ranking second among the field in GIR percentage here last year. Over his past 24 rounds, Rahm is fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green, second in SG: Total and second in SG: Off-the-Tee.
Rickie Fowler, $11,800 - Breaking par in all four rounds during what was then the Fort Worth Invitational last year, Fowler collected a T14 in his first appearance at Colonial CC since 2014 as he averaged less than 28 putts per round. He exudes confidence with the flat stick on a weekly basis, but he's also gained strokes on his approach shots in six consecutive starts. Fowler hasn't lost strokes in any single category since the PLAYERS Championship in mid-March.
Francesco Molinari, $11,600 - If Molinari manages to come out of the short-game slump that he's in, the Italian's game sets up well for Colonial CC as he makes his debut at the venue this week. He lost 4.4 strokes putting in each of his last two starts, but he also ranked sixth in SG: Approach, T7 in driving accuracy and T9 in GIR percentage at the PGA Championship.
Jordan Spieth, $11,400 - This is less of a recommendation and more of a 'proceed with caution.' Spieth's absurd run at Colonial CC from 2015-2017 included results of T2-Win-T2 and his ownership this week will be inflated because of it, but his ball striking did not look promising at the PGA Championship despite ultimately tying for third. He was setting records from a SG: Putting perspective as he gained over 10 strokes with the flat stick, but Spieth hit just 27 of 56 fairways in regulation and he's now lost strokes on his approach shots in five of his last six starts as well. Keeping driver in the bag at Colonial should help with his accuracy issues off the tee, but significant Texas winds won't bode well for his wayward shots.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Brandt Snedeker, $10,100 - Sneds has never missed a cut in eight career appearances at Colonial CC, a stretch highlighted by a T2 in 2015 when he finished 11-under. He's coming off quite a respectable top-20 result at the PGA Championship on a track that isn't anywhere near a good fit for his game, but he persevered at Bethpage Black by ranking second in SG: Around-the-Green, 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green, T3 in driving accuracy and 11th in putts per GIR.
Brian Stuard, $8,600 - Finishing top-20 in four of seven starts dating to the Honda Classic, Stuard resides 11th on Tour in driving accuracy, 45th in SG: Approach, 20th in proximity and eighth in scrambling this season. The short and straight blueprint is key at Colonial, where he just so happens to have made the cut in four consecutive appearances.
Ryan Armour, $7,400 - Back-to-back missed cuts at the PGA Championship and Wells Fargo Championship should scare the average gamer away from selecting Armour this week, but those venues are horrible setups for someone who ranks just 202nd on Tour in driving distance. That power won't be necessary at Colonial, but finding the fairways in regulation sure will be. Armour ranks fourth on Tour in driving accuracy, ninth in proximity and posted a T14 here in 2018.
Nate Lashley, $7,400 - A late addition to this week's field, Lashley earned a spot following former champion Steve Stricker's decision to play in the Senior PGA Championship instead. The former fits the mold at Colonial CC, ranking top-30 in driving accuracy, GIR percentage and SG: Approach through 25 measured rounds. Additionally, Lashley has made the cut in 80 percent of his stroke-play events this season.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
There are several players in the sub-$8k range who are more than capable of making the cut, especially in a 122-entrant invitational setting as the top 70 and ties constitutes a larger percentage of the player pool than an average PGA Tour stop consisting of 156 competitors. This outlook would improve the expected value of additional risk taking as a studs and duds approach becomes entirely plausible for a second straight week, given the massive spread of talent throughout the PGA Championship field last week and the consequently softer pricing.