The weeks surrounding major tournaments on the PGA Tour have historically been relative letdowns, but those days are over. With the advent of the LIV Tour and the changes the PGA is making in response, every week offers something to get a little excited about – even if it’s not quite on par with an unheard-of club pro (here’s the obligatory Michael Block mention) dunking an ace in front of Rory and winning the hearts of the rest of the golf world. This week’s stop at the historic Colonial Country Club brings another loaded field along with a few lesser-known sleeper picks for the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Charles Schwab Challenge Sleeper Picks
Burns is coming off an absolutely atrocious week at the PGA Championship. The treacherous Oak Hill layout had its way with him. It’s pretty tough to trust a guy who just fired a couple of rounds that landed him with a missed cut at +14, but Burns is better than that. He’s way better than that on the greens, currently sitting at 4th in Stokes Gained Putting. Maybe he putts for dough this week. He’s the reigning Charles Schwab Challenge champ, and he typically plays the course well. There’s a good chance for a rebound after last week’s dreadful showing. Plus, he got a couple extra days off to work on the game.
Cole is coming off a decent showing at the PGA Championship, where he finished T15 (tied with the Club Pro Guy). He’s 44th in the Fed Ex Cup standings at this point in the season, right around – and even ahead of – a bunch of players with much more name recognition. Standing at 31st in Total Strokes Gained, Cole’s a good player who has shown he can contend against the top of the PGA Tour. If you’re looking for a value bet for the Charles Schwab Challenge, Cole at +12,000 is hard to beat.
The Bucket Hat has to break out at some point, right? Coming off a T69 (nice) finish at the PGA Championship, Dahmen’s game doesn’t seem to be where it needs to be to contend. There are no underlying statistics that point to Dahmen turning it around this week. His Strokes Gained profile is pretty ugly. This pick is all about his mental makeup. Even through the struggles, Dahmen enjoys every minute on the course and keeps the positive vibes flowing. Another value bet (+15,000), this is all about the scrappy underdog having a chance to shock the world. Michael Block did it. Why not Joel Dahmen? And if it doesn’t work out, at least you get to pull for a guy everybody loves.
Davis is a really interesting play this week. While this year has been a real struggle for him (which his ranking of 71st in the Fed Ex Cup proves), he’s one of the best drivers of the ball on tour (8th in Strokes Gained Off The Tee). The putter is what’s letting him down. But Davis plays Colonial well. Last year, he finished with a T7 in the Charles Schwab Challenge, so the greens didn’t give him too much trouble a year ago. Maybe he figures them out again. Coming off a strong showing at the PGA Championship last week (T4), Davis’ game may be peaking just as he heads to a course he’s played well in the past.
It’s hard to call a guy who’s top 10 in the Fed Ex Cup standings a sleeper, but his +5,500 odds warrant his inclusion here. He’s having a great year and is coming off a solid week at the PGA. His driving accuracy is currently putting him in difficult positions and hurting the rest of his game. If he can find a little more accuracy off the tee this week, we may be watching him compete for the win on the back nine Sunday.
Straka struggled at the PGA Championship, especially when the weather made the course absolutely miserable. But on Sunday, Straka fired a 65 on a super difficult layout. The guy can play, and if that final round is any indication of the state of his game right now, the Charles Schwab Challenge may turn into his proving ground. Straka’s currently ranked 13th in Strokes Gained Approach, so he’s consistently putting himself in positions to score. If he can get the driver working a little better, It could be a good week for him. He’s a great value bet as well at +12,000.
Suh is another guy coming off a nice showing at the PGA Championship, where he finished T26. He’s a great putter, sitting at 17th in Strokes Gained Putting. His ranking of 75th in the Fed Ex Cup shows that he’s had an up-and-down year so far, but he offers great value (+10,000) if you want to take a shot and see if he’s getting hot again.