We are now past the PGA Championship and onto the Charles Schwab Challenge. It is a light field in terms of superstar players compared to last weekend’s major event.
Justin Thomas won his second PGA Championship with a three hole aggregate playoff win over Will Zalatoris. This week, Thomas is back in the fold and is one of the favorites to win.
There are about five golfers who have much better odds than anyone else this weekend. What about the underdogs? Who do we think that we can see make a run and win this weekend?
There are two golfers who we feel are suitable to make a run and blow past the favorites this weekend.
Victor Hovland +2200
I never thought of Southern Hills as a course that would suit Hovland, and he continued to struggle to make a huge cut.
Fortunately for him, I believe Colonial is an ideal venue for another rising PGA Tour star. You don’t need to chip well to win here, as we saw with Kokrak last year, and that’s Hovland’s only real issue.
The putter has performed well for the most part of the year, and he also putts well on bent grass greens compared to the Bermuda greens, which can be problematic at times. Hovland hit it nicely in his sole start at Colonial, but he lacked the true potential to contend in a 23rd place finish.
He’s hitting his irons better than anybody in the world two years later, and with his precise driving and ability to generate birdie opportunities, he projects to be a huge force here.
Hovland is ranked first in the strokes gained: approach category and 12th in the strokes gained: greens category. This all fits this course very nicely.
Justin Rose +6500
Rose finished 13th at the PGA last week after a strong week with the irons and putter. That’s precisely what you’ll need at Colonial, and it just so happens that Rose has a long history of success here.
He won here in 2018, placed third in the packed 2020 field, and even finished 20th last year despite some major setbacks. On these pristine greens, his putter appears to catch fire, and the technical difficulty of the irons brings out some of his finest.
Rose has been really bad all year, but he normally goes on streaks, so I expect him to come in confident this week after having his best week in a long time. This occurred in a tough major as well, so this may be the start of Rose’s comeback.
He’s a guy who plays well on certain courses, so I’m prepared to take a chance on this one after he hit it so hard last week and on a track he obviously enjoys.
Rose is one of the top players on tour in playing short par 4’s and is one of the better putters on tour this year. Look for him to make a quick run for a title this weekend.