The 75th Charles Schwab Challenge at the 7,209 yards, par 70 Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, is this week’s PGA Tour stop following the thrilling and historic PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Phil Mickelson, who is in the field at the Charles Schwab, became the oldest major championship winner at the age of 50 with a two stroke victory over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.
The 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge was the first tournament played when the PGA Tour resumed events after pausing for Covid-19 and was won by Daniel Berger in a playoff over Collin Morikawa. This year’s tournament returns to its traditional May date, except that the PGA Championship was played in between the AT&T Byron Nelson and this week’s event, instead of the two taking place in consecutive weeks.
Although this week’s tournament follows a major championship half a continent away, there will be a quality field assembled in Fort Worth, including top ten players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Reed. Dallas natives Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler are also on hand, giving the tournament a markedly Texas feel.
Rose’s accuracy and length off the tee served him well in 2018 and could be the key to another win in Fort Worth.
Spieth, the 2016 Charles Schwab Challenge winner who finally broke a three plus year victory drought earlier this year at the Valero Texas Open, is the tournament favorite with odds of +1000. Morikawa is next at +1200, Justin Thomas follows at odds +1300 with Berger at +1900 to successfully defend his title.
Texas native Abraham Ancer, who plays under the flag of Mexico, has odds of +2100, and Reed, Scheffler, and Dallas resident Will Zalatoris head a large group of players at +2300. Mickelson, after winning as a +28000 longshot in the PGA Championship, is at +4300 this week, and AT&T Byron Nelson winner K.H. Lee two weeks ago in McKinney, Texas is at +8000.
Underdog Picks at Colonial Country Club
The 2018 Charles Schwab winner Justin Rose at +3500 closed well last week with a final round 67 to finish in a tie for eighth and could be rounding into form to join Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelson, and Zach Johnson as recent two-time winners of the event. Rose’s accuracy and length off the tee served him well in 2018 and could be the key to another win in Fort Worth.
Colonial Country club is an old course with narrow fairways, and it puts a premium on shot making rather than length. A player who has been having a good season is Brian Harman at +5000, who has three top ten finishes in 2020-2021, including third place at The Players Championship. Although he missed the cut at last week’s PGA Championship, Colonial offers a different challenge that suits Harman’s game much better.
Gary Woodland is at +4300 and the four time winner on Tour, including the 2019 U.S. Open champion, has been battling some injuries but seems healthier, with two top ten finishes in his last five events, including a fifth place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship. He started Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship in a tie for sixth but faded to a share of 38th after a closing 77.