When the PGA Tour makes a stop at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas this week, it will be with an absolutely loaded field for the Charles Schwab Challenge. We’ve hit on a few names who could be good sleeper picks this week, and now we turn our attention to the headliners. These are the favorites this week, with a bit of information about why.
5 Favorites For The Charles Schwab Challenge (And Why)
It’s never wrong to bet on Scottie Scheffler. This week, the Texan returns home to take on Colonial in the Charles Schwab Challenge, a tournament he narrowly lost in a playoff last year (to Sam Burns, one of our sleeper picks). That second-place finish a year ago and his T2 finish in the PGA last week are proof that Scheffler’s game is ready to take on a course that fits his game well.
If you need more reason to trust Scottie this week, he’s second on tour this year in Total Strokes Gained, picking up strokes on the field in virtually every measurable category. Scheffler has already won twice this year, but his xWins (expected wins, an advanced metric that utilizes Strokes Gained and removes randomness to distill a golfer’s expected performance) sits at 2.88, showing that he’s underperformed thus far. The hottest player in the world has actually been better than his scores indicate. He’s a good bet this week with a strong chance to win and a virtual lock for a top-10 finish.
Current Odds to Win: +450
Spieth is another Texan heading back home to fight for the Charles Schwab Challenge. He’s coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes in this tournament, including a second place finish in 2021. The hometown guy must love the home course. Spieth played pretty well in last week’s PGA Championship, finishing with a T21.
Jordan currently sits at 21st in the Fed Ex Cup standings, but he’s 13th in Total Strokes Gained this year. That likely indicates that while he’s played relatively well compared to the field, he’s getting a bit unlucky at times. He’s winless on the year, but his xWins again prove that he’s underperformed.
This week, the Texas kid gets to show out at a Texas course on which he’s had great results in the past. Another solid chance to win and another great bet for a top-10.
Current Odds to Win: +1200
Finau is coming off a rough week at the PGA, but I’m going to assume that last week was an outlier. For the year, Finau sits in fourth place in the Fed Ex Cup standings. He’s already won twice this year, and he notched a fourth place finish in last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
Tony currently sits at 6th in Total Strokes Gained, his high standing carried mainly by his approach shots and wedge game. If everything is bigger in Texas, including the fairways, maybe this is the week Finau gets the drives in spots that provide better scoring opportunities. Watch out if he does.
Current Odds to Win: +1400
After being in contention all week at the PGA and ending with a T2 finish, Hovland is primed to compete at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Last year at this tournament, he finished outside the top 20, but he’s made some tweaks to his game that are setting him up for a bit more success.
Hovland has always been a strong player tee to green, and this year is no different. He’s 7th in Total Strokes Gained. The difference is what he’s doing around the green. Last year, Hovland lost nearly half a stroke to the field around the green. This year, he’s essentially breaking even with the field. The adjustments have already yielded a win, and there will no doubt be more in the near future. Maybe the really near future. Like this week.
Current Odds to Win: +1400
Homa has had a great year on tour, but I do have doubts about his chances at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He’s coming off a tough week at the PGA, where he finished with a T55. He didn’t have a great week at the Charles Schwab last year either, finishing outside the top 20. The numbers don’t look great, but it’s still hard to doubt the guy sitting at #3 in the Fed Ex Cup standings.
Homa already has a couple of wins on tour this year, so the confidence should be there. He’s sitting at 16th in Total Strokes Gained, so the skills are there, too. When he’s struggled, it’s largely been with his drives. If he can put himself in good spots off the tee at Colonial, he’s going to have a good week in Fort Worth.
Current Odds to Win: +2200
A Couple That Just Missed The Cut
Everybody has a bad week, and Im definitely had his last week, missing the cut at the PGA at +13. He’s still top-25 in the Fed Ex Cup Standings and had a top-15 finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge a year ago. His Strokes Gained profile shows that he’s better than he showed last week, but I’m not comfortable recommending a player who struggled so badly just a couple of days ago.
Current Odds to Win: +2000
Morikawa is still hitting the ball solidly, just as he’s always done. But when the putter comes out, it’s a different story. He’s currently losing strokes to the field on the green, and it’s hard to win with that stat looming on the greens. He’s winless on the year, and that won’t likely change until he gets the putter straightened out. There’s just not enough value in the pick for me to recommend him this week.
Current Odds to Win: +1600