This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Charles Schwab Challenge
Course: Colonial Country Club (7,209 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,512,000 and 500 FedExCup points
Sometimes the week after a major can be a bit of a let down, but that's not how things are lining up ahead of the Charles Schwab Challenge. Six of the top-10 in the OWGR will make the trip South from Southern Hills to tee it up at Colonial, which will host a PGA Tour event for the 77th time, making it the longest running non-major on Tour to be contested on the same course. The Perry Maxwell design remains unchanged in 2022 and tips at just over 7,200 yards.
All eyes this week will be on Justin Thomas who won his second PGA Championship in a playoff last week at Southern Hills. He has been a remarkably consistent player over the last several years and will look to pick up PGA Tour win No. 16. The man Thomas took down in a playoff will tee it up this week too, as Will Zalatoris looks to breakthrough for his first PGA Tour win in front of his home fans. Mito Pereira will also be looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking double-bogey on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship while holding a one-shot lead. Jason Kokrak got the better of Jordan Spieth in the final round of last year's Charles Schwab Challenge to notch his second of now three PGA Tour wins. Both Spieth and Kokrak will tee it up again at Colonial looking to notch their second wins of the season. Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland make up just a few of the many other notables in the field at one of the great classic golf courses in the U.S.
After enduring a chilly weekend at Southern Hills, it should be plenty warm enough for the four tournament rounds at Colonial this week. After some early-week rain, the course should be in pretty scorable conditions for the first two rounds. For those in this 120-man field fortunate enough to make the 36-hole cut, they will be greeted by very blustery conditions over the weekend. Even at 86 years old, Colonial still holds up year after year to challenge the best in the world in all aspects of the game.
2021 – Jason Kokrak (-14)
2020 – Daniel Berger (-15)
2019 – Kevin Na (-13)
2018 – Justin Rose (-20)
2017 – Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016 – Jordan Spieth (-17)
2015 – Chris Kirk (-12)
2014 – Adam Scott (-9)
2013 – Boo Weekley (-14)
2012 – Zach Johnson (-12)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- Driving Accuracy
Colonial challenges players to work the ball both directions both off the tees and into the greens. It's doesn't play overly long and gives players options off of the tees as far as club selection. The bermudagrass rough will play similar to what we saw last week at Southern Hills. It will allow you to advance it towards the green, but controlling the ball is another story. Accuracy off the tee should be much more key that distance this week. If you are fortunate enough to find the fairway, you work if far from over. The greens here are small for PGA Tour standards and last year the field averaged around just 11 greens in regulation per round. Throw in some gusty wind over the weekend and good luck giving yourself very many good birdie opportunities. That being said, there should be plenty of chances for players with a good short game to thrive this week. The bentgrass greens are still among some of the best on Tour and usually run around 13 on the Stimpmeter, though it may have to be slowed down a bit if the forecast for very windy conditions holds over the weekend. With just two par-5s and a quartet of challenging par-3s at Colonial, par-4 scoring average may be a sleeper stat to keep your eye on this week.
FanDuel Value Picks
Jordan Spieth ($11,400)
Colonial may very well be Spieth's best course on Tour with a win, three runner-ups, and eight top-15 finishes. He has been hitting the ball extremely well for the last couple months after a very slow start to the season in that department. Now he just needs his putter to start cooperating and there are no greens Spieth putts better than Colonial. The Dallas native owns a win and a runner-up in two of his last three starts.
Will Zalatoris ($11,100)
The only question here is how Zalatoris bounces back from the disappointment of losing in a playoff at the PGA. His game could not be more equipped to handle Colonial as he leads the PGA Tour in SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green. Zalatoris owns four top-six finishes in his last five starts.
Sungjae Im ($11,000)
It's not often that Im comes in as the most rested guy in the field, but that will be the case with him missing a month due to COVID-19. The 24-year-old already has racked up a win, five top-10s and 10 top-25s this season. Im ranks top-20 on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Around-the-Green, SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR percentage, total driving and scrambling. He also scored a top-10 at Colonial back in 2020.
Talor Gooch ($10,400)
Gooch is coming off yet another good showing at the PGA Championship, notching his 14th finish of T27-or-better this season. His combination of elite iron play and short game give him a pretty high floor anywhere, but Colonial could be a chance for his game to flourish, especially if the wind starts to kick up. Gooch scored a top-15 finish last year her and ranks top-30 on Tour in SG: Approach, SG: Around, SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR percentage and birdie average.
Longer Shots with Value
Justin Rose ($9,900)
Rose's price might be a bit high at first glance, but he is worth every penny this week. Veterans just do well at Colonial and the 2018 Champion has been as good as anyone here not named Spieth over the last handful of years. Rose is 8-for-8 at Colonial with four top-20's. The Englishman is righting the ship with three top-26 finishes over his last four starts.
Brian Harman ($9,500)
Sticking with the theme of veterans who have had success at Colonial, enter Harman. Since missing the cut in his first start here, Harman has not finished worse than a T31 in eight attempts. The 35-year-old is gaining strokes in every category this season and is top-10 this season in par-4 scoring average. Harman has also finished top-35 in five of his last six starts.
Sebastian Munoz ($9,000)
Munoz has been pretty consistent in 2022 and has made nine straight cuts and found himself in deep contention just two weeks ago the last time we were in Texas at the Byron Nelson. Munoz also finished third last year at Colonial. The 29-year-old has been very solid from tee to green all season and very rarely finds himself in a bad position.
Chris Kirk ($8,700)
The best value play of the week is Kirk at this price. He ranks seventh on the entire PGA Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, up with some of the biggest names in the sport. Kirk has been an accurate driver, good iron play, and had a strong short game for the last few years now. Those are all keys to success at Colonial and it's a reason why he has never missed a cut in 11 starts, including taking home the trophy in 2015.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Despite some pretty hefty names teeing it up, this is still a pretty deep field. That $8,500-$10,000 range will likely make the biggest difference in your lineup this week. Davis Riley ($9,800), Tom Hoge ($9,600), Gary Woodland ($9,300), and Russell Knox ($8,700) are some other players in that range not mentioned above that are excellent ball-strikers. He could certainly make me eat my words, but at $12,000 and coming off all the emotions of a major victory, I think it's best to fade Justin Thomas this week.