This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Preview
The PGA Tour returns to Texas for the final time this season for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
As one of five invitational tournaments on Tour, the elevated status brings in a strong field for a non-major event, and a larger percentage of players will make the cut in the limited 120-player field. Tournament favorite and PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas, at 8-1 odds, headlines a field that includes six of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Last year, Jason Kokrak, at 50-1, beat Jordan Spieth by two strokes to pick up his second PGA Tour victory.
Colonial has been a mainstay on Tour and plays as a traditional par-70 at approximately 7,200 yards. Most known for the "Horrible Horseshoe," Colonial boasts a difficult three-hole stretch over which Nos. 3 and 5 are par-4s longer than 480 yards and the hole in the middle is a mammoth 250-yard par-3. Outside of that, nine of the 12 par-4s play shorter than 450 yards and there are only a pair of par-5s, so driving distance provides little advantage this week. We've seen precision players and strong putters like Kevin Kisner and Kevin Na win here recently, and the champion ranked first or second in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green three of the last four years.
The course tends to play relatively difficult, with the winner finishing between 13-to-15 under each of the last three years. As such, I'm targeting players who avoid bogeys and approach it well from 100-150 yards, as many second shots will come in that range.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 11:00 AM ET Tuesday.
The following five golfers, with a minimum of eight rounds played, have the lowest scoring average at Colonial Country Club since 2017.
Morikawa has only made two trips to Colonial, but he has made a quick impression, falling to Daniel Berger in a playoff in his maiden appearance and following that up with a T14 last year in which he was second in SG: Approach. He finished a disappointing T55 at last week's PGA Championship due to continued struggles with his short game, but if there's a place for him to right the ship, this is it. Another player in the field with a runner-up here is Finau, who has never finished worse than T34 in his six appearances. He's starting to round back into form after a tough start to his season, having made five consecutive cuts and storming back in Mexico a few weeks back to finish tied for second. There is some value on betting Finau to win, as he checks in with 40-1 odds.
Trending in Tee-to-Green
These players, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes from tee to green over their last 20 rounds.
The lone player to show up on both lists is Spieth. The Dallas native has not only dominated at Colonial but enters in excellent form, as in recent weeks he gained nearly two shots per round on the field from the tee box to the putting surface. While he has struggled with the flat stick this season, something will have to give, as he gained 1.89 strokes with the putter over his last 12 rounds at Colonial. Spieth comes in at 12-1 alongside Morikawa, and that gives them both the third best odds on the board. Further down the list is Kirk, who is probably the most surprising name to pop up here. He has been inconsistent, notching three top-10s and three missed cuts over his last seven starts, but he's seventh this season in SG: Tee-to-Green and was second in the category at the PGA Championship. At 50-1, he's a viable dark horse if he can have a solid week on the greens.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Outright Picks
Scottie Scheffler (10-1)
This maybe is not the most exciting pick, but the price is intriguing for someone who racked up four wins over his last eight starts. Scheffler was on the wrong side of things weather-wise last week, and after missing the cut he decided to tee it up here. As such, don't expect motivation to be an issue. Scheffler's biggest weakness tends to be an inaccurate driver, but that shouldn't be much of a factor at a course where even the straightest golfers off the tee struggle to hit fairways consistently.
Billy Horschel (35-1)
Horschel has let some bettors down recently, but he's never been one to show up in the majors, and let's not forget he posted four top-20s over a six-tournament stretch earlier this year. He's a great putter and his lack of distance off the tee won't be a detriment this week.
Sebastian Munoz (60-1)
The North Texas graduate has been trending upward over the past four months, and he has played some of his best golf in the Lone Star State. Munoz led by four after shooting a first-round 60 at the AT&T Byron Nelson several weeks back before ultimately settling for a share of third. He also finished T3 in this event last year.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Top-10 Wagers
Brian Harman (5-1)
Coming off a hot week with a pair of top-10 wins, I'll look to keep the momentum going with Harman, who is a top target if you like playing the course history angle. He has made seven straight made cuts at Colonial and has recorded three top-10s over that stretch. He also has posted three top-10s since the calendar flipped to 2022.
Adam Long (8-1)
Long is easy to overlook considering his last top-10 came in the fall of 2020, but it's not like he hasn't been close, as he posted a pair of top-15 results over his last three starts. With two top-20s at this event over the last three years, I expect to see him in the mix over the weekend. That provides a nice payoff at reasonable odds.
Doug Ghim (12-1)
The Texas grad has tallied just five top-15 finishes in his brief PGA Tour career, but two of them have come in Texas, and one of them came at Colonial. He posted three top-35 finishes in his last five starts – including a top-10 at THE PLAYERS – showing he's trending in the right direction. Ghim ranks a solid 38th in SG: Approach this season.
Charles Schwab Challenge Bets: Head-to-Head Matchups
Two similar playing styles square off here. While this course should be a good fit for Simpson, his ball-striking numbers have dipped, as he ranks outside the top 70 in both SG: Off-the-Tee and Approach this season. Plus, his best finish in 2022 was the T20 he posted last week. With consecutive top-15 finishes at Colonial, Ancer is the reliable option in this matchup.
This is an interesting one-on-one, and I'll fade the defending champion and go with the player I view as the better golfer. Gooch has played well here, with three straight made cuts at Colonial. Kokrak got hot last season, but he has failed to record anything better than a T14 in his 12 starts in 2022.