Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's Charles Schwab Challenge Tips 2024

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Congratulations if you were on-board Xander Schauffele at best Monday prices of 18/1 with BetVictor. You have to be happy for Xander, a good guy who led from start to finish and showed plenty of determination and grit to get over the line for his first Major Championship victory. He deserved it!  I’ll have to settle for another runner-up finish – my eighth of 2024 – with Bryson DeChambeau at 25/1.

Plenty of the Valhalla field have travelled south to Fort Worth, Texas for the final leg of the Texas Swing. The Charles Schwab Challenge takes place at the classical Colonial Country Club and is well-respected on the PGA Tour. Defending champion Emiliano Grillo, Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Tony Finau, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler headline.

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Course Guide: Colonial CC, or “Hogan’s Alley” as it’s known, sits in the same classical course category as Riviera Country Club, Augusta National and Muirfield Village, although it’s a far tighter affair from tee to green than most. At a freshly extended 7,289 yards, this Bredemus and Maxwell-designed Par 70 is a parkland classic and it will be fascinating to see if it plays differently post last year’s Gil Hanse-inspired restoration.

Colonial will be only the third tournament on pure Bentgrass greens of 2024 on the PGA Tour. Naturally now as the PGA Tour moves into summer, Bentgrass putting surfaces will be more regularly seen from week to week.

Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas: Designer: Bredemus/Maxwell 1936 with 2023 Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner renovation; Course Type: Classical, Medium Length, Texas; Par: 70; Length: 7,289 yards; Holes with Water Hazards In-Play: 6; Number of Sand Bunkers: 64; Acres of Fairway: 28; Fairways TifTuf 419 Bermudagrass; Rough: TifTuf 419 Bermudagrass 2.5; Greens: 007XL Bentgrass, 5,000 sq.ft average; Tournament Stimp: 12ft.

Course Scoring Average:

  • 2023: 70.73 (+0.73), Difficulty Rank 9 of 49 courses.
  • 2022: 70.72 (+0.72), Difficulty Rank 11 of 50 courses.
  • 2021: 70.21 (+0.21), Difficulty Rank 18 of 51 courses.
  • 2020: 69.57 (-0.43), Difficulty Rank 13 of 41 courses.
  • 2019: 70.86 (+0.86), Difficulty Rank 7 of 49 courses.
  • 2018: 69.83 (-0.17), Difficulty Rank 20 of 51 courses.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Gil Hanse designs (including re-renovations/restorations) include:

  • Aronimink Golf Club – 2019 BMW Championship
  • Los Angeles Country Club – 2023 U.S. Open
  • Merion – 2013 U.S. Open
  • Oakmont – 2016 U.S. Open
  • Plainfield CC – The Barclays – 2011 & 2015
  • Ridgewood CC – The Barclays / Northern Trust 2010, 2014 & 2018
  • Southern Hills CC – 2022 PGA Championship
  • The Country Club, Brookline – 2022 U.S. Open
  • Trump National Doral – 2014 through 2016 WGC Cadillac Championship
  • TPC Boston – Deutsche Bank / Dell Technologies Championship through 2018 plus 2020 Northern Trust
  • Winged Foot – 2020 U.S. Open

Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Colonial Country Club and how they compare to recent courses that we’ve seen on Tour:

  • Colonial: Average 25-30 yards wide.
  • Quail Hollow: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:32; 300:31; 325:30; 350:29.
  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.
  • Oaks Course: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:34; 300:29; 325:27; 350:26.
  • Memorial Park: 30–40 yards at 300 yards.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • TPC Sawgrass: 250 yards from the tee: 31 yards wide; 275:32; 300:30; 325:28 350:20.
  • Bay Hill: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:33; 300:33; 325:39 350:29.
  • PGA National: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:27 350:25.
  • Riviera: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26 350:28.
  • TPC Scottsdale: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:30; 300:28; 325:27; 350:27.
  • Pebble Beach: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:30 350:26.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • Pete Dye Stadium: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26; 350:24.
  • Waialae: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:34; 325:37; 350:34.
  • Plantation Course: 250 yards from the tee: 59 yards wide; 275:61; 300:65; 325:60; 350:62.

Course Overview: Colonial provides its winners with a plaid jacket that’s extremely similar to those handed to the champions at Harbour Town. The similarities don’t end there as the two courses share traditional values in the modern world of the PGA Tour. 2024 though will see a new Colonial Country Club before our very eyes as Gil Hanse has designed and overseen one of his now famous renovations. We’ve seen Hanse’s work at Southern Hills, Brookline Country Club and Los Angeles Country Club, with these courses hosting the 2022 PGA Championship and the 2022 and 2023 U.S. Opens respectively. PGA Tour pro and Colonial member Ryan Palmer has also has input into the course update, which has seen the course go back towards how it was in the 1940s.

Summary information: the course has been lengthened by 89 yards and will this week play as a 7,289 yard, Par 70. This renovation began in June 2023 and has included all new grass, irrigation, drainage, subterranean cooling and heating systems for the green complexes, as well as Hanse’s architectural improvements.

Most greens have now been lowered and some have shifted slightly back or to either side a few yards. Other significant changes are that barrancas have been incorporated throughout the course. The new barrancas will be seen on holes 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17, and 18 ― making the most of the existing, natural drainage channels on the property. Also many of the greenside bunkers at Colonial have been taken out and replaced with grass bunkers. The makeover has cost around $21 million. Greens remain as Bentgrass, but as we saw at Quail Hollow a fortnight ago are likely to be firm and reject approach shots.

In the past, experienced players with a liking for tight, tree-lined layouts have tended to thrive here. We shall see if that is the case ongoing.

charles schwab challenge tips

Charles Schwab Challenge Winners: 2023: Emiliano Grillo (-8); 2022: Sam Burns (-9); 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); 2011: David Toms (-13); 2010: Zach Johnson (-21).

  • 2023: Emiliano Grillo 67-65-72-68 -8/272 – PM/AM Wave
  • 2022: Sam Burns 71-68-67-65 -9/271 – AM/PM Wave
  • 2021: Jason Kokrak 65-65-66-70 -14/266 – PM/AM Wave
  • 2020: Daniel Berger 65-67-67-66 -15/265 – AM/PM Wave
  • 2019: Kevin Na 70-62-69-66 -13/267 – PM/AM Wave
  • 2018: Justin Rose 66-64-66-64 -20/260 – PM/AM Wave

OWGR of Charles Schwab Challenge Winners: 2023: Grillo 80; 2022: Burns 10; 2021: Kokrak 35; 2020: Berger 107; 2019: Na 52; 2018: Rose 5.

Cut Line: 2023: +1; 2022: +1; 2021: -2; 2020: -4; 2019: -2; 2018: -2.

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2023: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -10; Round 4 -8.
  • 2022: Round 1 -4; Round 2 -9; Round 3 -11; Round 4 -9.
  • 2021: Round 1 -7; Round 2 -11; Round 3 -15; Round 4 -14.
  • 2020: Round 1 -7; Round 2 -11; Round 3 -13; Round 4 -15.
  • 2019: Round 1 -6; Round 2 -9; Round 3 -9; Round 4 -13.
  • 2018: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -10; Round 3 -14; Round 4 -20.

Path to Victory: Below are end of round positions for Charles Schwab Challenge winners since 2010:

  • 2023 – Emiliano Grillo: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2022 – Sam Burns: Round 1: 57th, Round 2: 40th, Round 3: 21st.
  • 2021 – Jason Kokrak: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2020 – Daniel Berger: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 7th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2019 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 38th, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 8th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Kevin Kisner: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2016 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 9th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2015 – Chris Kirk: Round 1: 26th, Round 2: 15th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2014 – Adam Scott: Round 1: 64th, Round 2: 36th, Round 3: 11th.
  • 2013 – Boo Weekley: Round 1: 23rd, Round 2: 9th, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2012 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2011 – David Toms: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2010 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 5th, Round 2: 7th, Round 3: 3rd.

Shots From the Lead: Below are Charles Schwab Challenge winners and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2023 – Emiliano Grillo: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2022 – Sam Burns: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 8 back, Round 3: 7 back.
  • 2021 – Jason Kokrak: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2020 – Daniel Berger: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2019 – Kevin Na: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 2 ahead.
  • 2018 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 4 ahead.
  • 2017 – Kevin Kisner: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2016 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2015 – Chris Kirk: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 7 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2014 – Adam Scott: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2013 – Boo Weekley: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2012 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 1 ahead, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2011 – David Toms: Round 1: level, Round 2: 7 ahead, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2010 – Zach Johnson: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 1 back.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Denny McCarthy, Sungjae Im, Billy Horschel and Justin Rose.

Charles Schwab Challenge Winners & Prices: 2023: Grillo 80/1; 2022: Burns 30/1; 2021: Kokrak 60/1; 2020: Berger 70/1; 2019: Na 70/1; 2018: Rose 20/1; 2017: Kisner 33/1; 2016: Spieth 7/1F; 2015: Kirk 35/1; 2014: Scott 18/1; 2013: Weekley 100/1; 2012: Z Johnson 16/1; 2011: Toms 33/1; 2010: Z Johnson 50/1. Past 5 Renewals Average: 62/1; Average: 44/1.

Historical Weather:

  • 2023: Thursday: Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 85. Wind ESE 8-13 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 86. Wind ESE 7-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 88. Wind SE 8-13 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 84. Wind S 7-13 mph.
  • 2022: Thursday: Sunny. High of 85. Wind SW 10-15, gusting to 22 mph. Friday: Sunny. High of 93. Wind Variable 3-10 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 97. Wind S 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Sunday: Sunny. High of 96. Wind S 16-22 mph, with gusts to 32 mph.
  • 2021: Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High of 89. Wind S 12-22 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy. High of 80. Wind NE 6-12 mph. Due to heavy rain and lightning, the second round was suspended from 1:49 – 4:15 p.m. CT (2 hours, 26 minutes). Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 79. Wind ENE 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 78. Wind ESE 10-18 mph.
  • 2020: Thursday: Sunny. High of 93. Wind E 6-12 mph. Friday: Sunny. High of 95. Wind ESE 5-10 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 97. Wind SE 6-12 mph. Sunday: Sunny. High of 97. Wind SE 6-12 mph.
  • 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 89. Wind SSE 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 90. Wind SSE 12-18 mph, with gusts to 25 mph. Saturday: Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 90. Wind SSE 7-14 mph, with gusts to 17 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High of 89. Winds S 10-16 mph, with gusts to 22 mph.
  • 2018: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High of 92. Wind SSE 6-12 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 94. Wind SSE 7-13 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High of 97. Wind SSE 7-14 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 99. Wind ESE 5-10 mph.
  • 2017: Thursday: Sunny with a high of 93. Wind S 20-25 mph, with gusts of 30 mph. Friday: Sunny with a high of 98. Wind SW 15-20 mph, with gusts of 25 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a high of 96. Wind SSW 15-20 mph, with gusts of 25 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 82. Wind N 10-15 mph.
  • 2016: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 83. Wind S at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy early turning to partly sunny skies in the afternoon. Warm and humid, with a high of 86. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy early turning to partly sunny skies in the afternoon. Warm and humid, with a high of 86. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph. Sunday: Due to early morning thunderstorms, the original tee times featuring twosomes off of one tee beginning at 7:30 a.m. were changed to a two-tee start with threesomes at 10:19 a.m. Mostly cloudy. High of 85. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph
  • 2015: Weather: Thursday: Cloudy, but drier in the afternoon, with highs reaching only into the lower 60s. North wind at 10-20 mph. A total of 1.3 inches of rain fell overnight and into the morning. Friday: Overcast, with intermittent rain throughout the day. High of 76, with N wind at 7-12 mph. Saturday: Overcast, with a high of 76. Wind SE at 15-25 mph. Sunday: Due to the likeliness of inclement weather, final-round tee times were between 7-9 a.m. Cloudy with rain most of the day and a high of 79. Wind SSW at 10-20 mph.

Weather Forecast: Latest weather forecast for Fort Worth, Texas is here.

Compared to Valhalla last week, expect far warmer with lots more wind. High humidity and temperatures searing to 32-35 degrees Celsius (90-95 Fahrenheit) will greet the players – that’s the hottest I have recorded in 2024 to date on the PGA Tour. The edge though will be taken off the heat by the standard Texas wind, with 15-25mph south to south-westerly gusts predicted across the whole tournament. There’s also an 80% chance of thunderstorms and rain on Thursday afternoon, which would of course soften the course and potentially interrupt play.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Houston Open / Indian Open which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Keith Mitchell / Scottie Scheffler; 3) Kevin Yu; 4) Collin Morikawa; 5) Sungjae Im / Jordan Spieth / Alejandro Tosti; 8) Taylor Moore / Jimmy Stanger; 10) Min Woo Lee / Davis Thompson; 12) Joseph Bramlett / Austin Eckroat; 14) Webb Simpson; 15) Daniel Berger / Chan Kim / Maverick McNealy; 18) Lee Hodges / Ryan Palmer / J.T. Poston / Adam Scott / Kevin Tway; 23) Tony Finau; 24) Austin Smotherman; 25) Chesson Hadley / Adam Schenk / Sepp Straka.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Scottie Scheffler / Sepp Straka; 3) Keegan Bradley; 4) Adam Svensson; 5) Lucas Glover; 6) Akshay Bhatia; 7) Tony Finau / Chan Kim; 9) Tom Hoge / Kevin Yu; 11) Gary Woodland; 12) Max Homa; 13) Aaron Rai; 14) Si Woo Kim; 15) Justin Lower; 16) Chris Kirk; 17) Andrew Putnam / Greyson Sigg / J.J. Spaun / Dylan Wu; 21) Lee Hodges / Nicolai Hojgaard; 23) Jorge Campillo; 24) Emiliano Grillo / Zach Johnson / Grayson Murray.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Chez Reavie; 2) Kevin Tway; 3) Rickie Fowler; 4) Webb Simpson; 5) Tyler Duncan; 6) Collin Morikawa; 7) Max Homa; 8) Sungjae Im / Taylor Moore; 10) Christiaan Bezuidenhout; 11) Brendon Todd; 12) Joseph Bramlett / Eric Cole / Denny McCarthy; 15) Ryan Moore / Robby Shelton; 17) Scottie Scheffler; 18) Beau Hossler / Si Woo Kim; 20) Billy Horschel; 21) Tony Finau / Ryo Hisatsune / Sam Stevens / Sami Valimaki; 25) Chris Gotterup / J.T. Poston.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Kevin Yu; 3) Chan Kim; 4) Tyler Duncan; 5) Max Homa / Collin Morikawa; 7) Tony Finau; 8) Lucas Glover; 9) Akshay Bhatia; 10) Sepp Straka; 11) Daniel Berger / Keegan Bradley / Si Woo Kim / Keith Mitchell; 15) Taylor Moore / Aaron Rai; 17) Tom Hoge / Webb Simpson; 19) Sungjae Im / Adam Svensson / Davis Thompson; 22) Jordan Spieth; 23) Min Woo Lee; 24) Lee Hodges; 25) Joseph Bramlett / Maverick McNealy / Andrew Novak
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Denny McCarthy; 2) Thomas Detry; 3) Brian Harman; 4) Harris English / Justin Rose; 6) Matt Kuchar; 7) Kevin Tway; 8) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Andrew Putnam; 10) Taylor Moore / Adam Schenk; 12) Billy Horschel / Robert MacIntyre; 14) Sam Stevens; 15) Max Homa / Tom Kim; 17) Min Woo Lee; 18) Harry Hall / Peter Malnati; 20) Tom Hoge; 21) Michael Kim / S.H. Kim; 23) Justin Lower / Ben Martin; 25) Tyson Alexander / Ben Griffin / Scottie Scheffler.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Kevin Tway; 3) Thomas Detry; 4) Min Woo Lee; 5) Max Homa; 6) Taylor Moore / Collin Morikawa; 8) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Lucas Glover / Tom Hoge; 11) Justin Lower; 12) Keegan Bradley / Andrew Putnam; 14) Tony Finau; 15) Sepp Straka; 16) Akshay Bhatia; 17) Billy Horschel; 18) Daniel Berger / Si Woo Kim; 20) Austin Eckroat / Brian Harman / Mark Hubbard / Webb Simpson; 24) Chan Kim / S.H. Kim / Ben Griffin / Adam Schenk.

For a summary of the Strokes Gained Performances from this week’s field here at Colonial Country Club click here.

Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the Strokes Gained Stats of the Charles Schwab Challenge winners here at Colonial since 2010 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this classical test:

  • 2023, Emiliano Grillo (-8). SG Off the Tee: 41st, SG Approach: 6th, SG Around the Green: 43rd, SG Tee to Green: 20th, SG Putting: 2nd.
  • 2022, Sam Burns (-9). SG Off the Tee: 6th, SG Approach: 12th, SG Around the Green: 38th, SG Tee to Green: 9th, SG Putting: 6th.
  • 2021, Jason Kokrak (-14). SG Off the Tee: 1st, SG Approach: 8th, SG Around the Green: 61st, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 7th.
  • 2020, Daniel Berger (-15). SG Off the Tee: 31st, SG Approach: 5th, SG Around the Green: 27th, SG Tee to Green: 4th, SG Putting: 8th.
  • 2019, Kevin Na (-13). SG Off the Tee: 18th, SG Approach: 1st, SG Around the Green: 58th, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 2nd.
  • 2018, Justin Rose (-20). SG Off the Tee: 4th, SG Approach: 1st, SG Around the Green: 19th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 21st.
  • 2017, Kevin Kisner (-10). SG Off the Tee: 30th, SG Approach: 23rd, SG Around the Green: 2nd, SG Tee to Green: 5th, SG Putting: 3rd.
  • 2016, Jordan Spieth (-17). SG Off the Tee: 5th, SG Approach: 30th, SG Around the Green: 6th, SG Tee to Green: 7th, SG Putting: 2nd.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 17th, SG Approach: 11th, SG Around the Green: 32nd, SG Tee to Green: 6th, SG Putting: 6th.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of Charles Schwab Challenge winners since 2010 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this classical test:

  • 2023, Emiliano Grillo (-8). 283 yards (66th), 60.7% fairways (25th), 65.3% greens in regulation (8th), 36’10” proximity to hole (51st), 60.0 % scrambling (46th), 1.62 putts per GIR (4th).
  • 2022, Sam Burns (-9). 321 yards (4th), 53.6% fairways (38th), 66.7% greens in regulation (7th), 36’4″ proximity to hole (47th), 62.5 % scrambling (32nd), 1.67 putts per GIR (4th).
  • 2021, Jason Kokrak (-14). 321 yards (1st), 73.2% fairways (4th), 75.0% greens in regulation (2nd), 29’7″ proximity to hole (9th), 61.1 % scrambling (42nd), 1.67 putts per GIR (9th).
  • 2020, Daniel Berger (-15). 308 yards (23rd), 62.5% fairways (17th), 77.8% greens in regulation (4th), 28’1″ proximity to hole (4th), 68.8 % scrambling (25th), 1.64 putts per GIR (8th).
  • 2019, Kevin Na (-13). 292 yards (58th), 60.7% fairways (17th), 77.8% greens in regulation (1st), 29’1″ proximity to hole (1st), 68.8 % scrambling (15th), 1.68 putts per GIR (5th).
  • 2018, Justin Rose (-20). 306 yards (17th), 66.1% fairways (6th), 79.2% greens in regulation (1st), 25’3″ proximity to hole (2nd), 66.7% scrambling (30th), 1.61 putts per GIR (5th).
  • 2017, Kevin Kisner (-10). 293 yards (39th), 71.4% fairways (1st), 73.6% greens in regulation (2nd), 33’3″ proximity to hole (21st), 78.9 % scrambling (2nd), 1.76 putts per GIR (28th).
  • 2016, Jordan Spieth (-17). 299 yards (14th), 50.0% fairways (54th), 70.8% greens in regulation (17th), proximity to hole 34’8″ (59th), 85.7 % scrambling (1st), 1.65 putts per GIR (4th).
  • 2015, Chris Kirk (-12). 277 yards (41st), 50.0% fairways (60th), 63.9% greens in regulation (62nd), proximity to hole 33’9″ (57th), 61.5 % scrambling (39th), 1.57 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2014, Adam Scott (-9). 290 yards (52nd), 66.1% fairways (8th), 72.2% greens in regulation (13th), proximity to hole 29’2″ (4th), 70.0 % scrambling (16th), 1.73 putts per GIR (17th).
  • 2013, Boo Weekley (-14). 299 yards (17th), 71.4% fairways (6th), 75.0% greens in regulation (5th), proximity to hole 25’9″ (1st), 61.1% scrambling (40th), 1.65 putts per GIR (5th).
  • 2012, Zach Johnson (-12). 289 yards (51st), 58.9% fairways (26th), 62.5% greens in regulation (38th), proximity to hole 35’3″ (26th), 70.4% scrambling (3rd), 1.62 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2011, David Toms (-15). 299 yards (28th), 67.9% fairways (4th), 72.2% greens in regulation (4th), proximity to hole 28’1″ (2nd), 70.0% scrambling (5th), 1.58 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2010, Zach Johnson (-21). 291 yards (45th), 69.6% fairways (10th), 84.7% greens in regulation (1st), proximity to hole 25’10” (6th), 72.7% scrambling (13th), 1.66 putts per GIR (11th).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 33rd, Driving Accuracy: 20th, Greens in Regulation: 12th, Proximity to Hole: 21st, Scrambling: 22nd, Putting Average 7th.

So let’s take a view from players as to how Colonial (pre-renovation) sets up and what skill sets the course favours:

Emiliano Grillo (2023): “Colonial is a lot of different clubs off the tee. Got to keep it in the fairway, got to keep it on the green. I would think that’s my strong part of the game. I was lucky enough to make a few good putts on the back nine, there on 13 and 16. So happy to finish with a great shot on 18 and a good putt.

One bad swing all day. I didn’t have my driver today. It’s usually the strongest part of my game, and I didn’t have it today. I hit perfect 3-woods all week. I look at James and said, hey, we should hit a 3-wood on 18. It’s downwind. I’m still going to hit a wedge on the second shot, and we kind of did that. Perfect putt, but it didn’t go in. The rest is history, I guess.”

Sam Burns (2022): “It felt like somewhat of a major championship type conditions where you’re just going to have those stretches where it’s really hard. But the way that we were able to just get the ball in position and get it around here in 5-under par today I thought was a really good score.

“The thing a lot of people don’t understand is the putting is just as difficult. You see these guys missing these short putts and it was like, it’s not that they’re nervous, it’s just that hard when the wind is blowing 30 miles an hour. It’s moving those golf balls on the green. That’s the most difficult part is just because you’re lying up there in two and a half, three feet, it’s not just go up there and brush it in. It’s going to have your full attention.

Well, I think a lot of different areas, but from a golf course standpoint, just for this week, for example, when I played here in the past, I have not hit enough drivers. I always try to lay back a little bit. We talked about that early in the week, the advantage does not match up to laying back. You need to push it around this golf course. That’s what we did. Even if it was uncomfortable or whatever it was, we just tried to hit the correct shots at the right times and tried to execute as best as possible.”

Jason Kokrak (2021): “I’m comfortable around this golf course. A lot of the harder holes, I can hit shorter clubs off of. Doesn’t really bode well when I hit 4-iron in the middle of the trees on the last hole but overall I can take advantage of my length but also hit irons off a couple of tees where I’m uncomfortable. I think it’s just I’m able to take advantage of the shorter clubs I have in on some of these holes and then I’m also able to take advantage of the harder holes, I can hit iron or I have a 7-wood in the bag, I think on what is it, 4 or 5, the tough par 4, I hit 7-wood, 7-iron in there so I didn’t have to hit 3-wood or driver off there to hit a mid-iron into that green. I tend to like tougher golf courses that I know it’s soft this week and I know it’s quite a few under is going to win. But I’m comfortable here.”

Kevin Na (2019): “Yeah, I like this golf course. One of those golf courses I look forward to coming to. Fits my game; I’ve got a good record. You got to take advantage of those weeks because there is not too many golf courses like this on tour anymore. I’d rank Colonial in the top 3 of PGA Tour courses with Riviera and Hilton Head.

Yeah, 1st hole (par-5) I hit a good drive off the tee. Keeping in the fairway is huge there. I had a biggest cut. 3-wood was too much and my hybrid is enough, so I had a big cut. Ended up about three feet and felt like a bonus starting day. This is a golf course you don’t do anything different. You play your game. You see that white stone in the middle of the fairway? That’s where I’m trying to be every hole.

It’s a great designed golf course. You got to hit a lot of draws off the tee. Just some of the way the hole sits, I like it. Few cut holes. I can cut it when I need to. Mostly I think a lot of my draws work out here.

And I mentioned this many times, I feel like it’s a second-shot-in golf course. The golf course, everyone kind of puts it in the same position off the tee and same spot. It’s about how good you can hit it with the irons and how well you can putt. I’m a pretty good player fairway in.”

Justin Rose (2018): “Every hole tempts you to hit driver in a way, you know. Every hole is just wide enough to hit driver, but it’s narrow enough if you miss it it’s going to be,  you’re going to have some type of challenge. The fairway bunkers are so good here you can almost challenge them and feel like if you’re in them it’s not such a penalty because they play firm. You don’t get many balls that sit down in these bunkers. I think that’s why guys do tend to be aggressive. It’s the type of rough here where you catch a lot of fliers and the greens are small and tricky. So catching fliers into these greens you’ll make a lot bogeys. For me, keeping it in play. I’m pretty confident in my iron play right now. If I am around that 150, then I’m pretty comfortable right now.

I think the rough is tough enough around here if you catch a bad lie it’s hard to get it to the green. If you have a decent lie, huge fliers in play around here. The greens are small. If the ball is in play it takes it out of the equation. I chanced my luck a little bit. Hit a bad tee shot on 18. I did the right things at the right time today. I was getting a little frustrated early in my round not making a few putts, and then made a putt at the right time, which kind of just kept my head up and kept things moving forward.”

Kevin Kisner (2017): “Played nicely coming down the fairway, which you got to do around here. I’ve played really conservative on the pins I didn’t like. I just love the golf course. I feel super comfortable. I know the pins I wants to go after and the pins I don’t. It’s just like what I grew up on, so that’s why I love it. Most important thing about playing well around here is getting the ball in the fairway, because you just can’t get to the small greens out of the rough. You get so blocked out with the trees if you’re in the rough that you hit so many run-up shots you’re just not going to hit the greens with. Probably hit 11, 12 fairways both days. You’re going to hit some short irons. If you hit the green, you don’t have more than about a 25-footer for birdie.

Chris Kirk (2016): “I’ve played well here over the years, but I don’t think people would consider me an elite ball striker or shot maker necessarily. It’s been a course that’s suited guys who hit the ball right to left over the years, Zach Johnson, Kenny Perry, Stricker, some other guys like that, and I definitely fit in that category. I think that I’ve always been a very good iron player. I may not have driven the ball as well as some guys over the years, but I’ve always been a very good, solid iron player and control my distance really well and usually play well in the wind, and if you pair that with making a putt here or there, that usually does well around here.

The course appeals to more of a feel player. If you can kind of flight your shots and work the ball with the wind here and there, you’re going to have a big advantage out here because there’s a ton of cross-winds that you play in on this course. You’ll get a lot of off the left and a little in or maybe a little help. It’s just a lot of sort of calculating exactly what that wind is doing on those iron shots, and you have to be very precise with how small the greens are here. So yeah, I would think that a feel player and being able to judge those distances and judge that wind just right is crucial here.

Jordan Spieth (2015): “I think it’s going to be easier to hit fairways because one of the harder parts when this is firm and fast is holding the fairway. So it’s going to be easier to hit fairways, but I think if you don’t hit the fairway, I would imagine the rough’s going to be very healthy. You’re going to have to judge if it’s going to come out fat or if it’s going to come out as a flyer. And if you get above the hole around here, it doesn’t matter if they’re wet or not, they’re going to be fast, and you’re going to struggle. So it’s still going to be a test. I think that, yes, I think that the scores, if it’s moist, they’ll be lower. I don’t know about record setting, but doesn’t really change much about the tournament, though. It doesn’t make it a bomber’s course. It doesn’t make it favour I don’t think any type of player. It’s just going to be more of a premium on hitting fairway.

Adam Scott (2015): “But this is going to be a really good week to, you know, really play within myself. You can’t be wild around this golf course. You have to really hit the fairway this week. There’s a premium on that. The rough is up. It will be very hard to score well playing from off the fairway this week. So I think it’s a good week for me to really, you know, kind of tone things down a little bit and be very patient, which is pretty much how I played last year and it worked well. Well, the course is not too soft at the moment. So it’s in good shape. But ideally it would stay this way. When the course gets soft and quite soggy, it plays a lot easier for us because the ball doesn’t run so far off line as fairways get wider, greens become bigger. So I would say scoring is better. And certainly around this course, when this gets firm, it presents challenges, because you can’t bite off corners on holes that dogleg because the fairways are so narrow if the ball is running, and you have to be very precise into the greens when it’s firm as well leaving it under the hole. It’s the old style of golf that will prevail over 72 holes if you’re fairly cautious and make few mistakes, you’ll have a good score.

Matt Kuchar (2014): “It was interesting watching Ryan Palmer go around last year, being a local guy that plays here quite a bit. When you feel like it’s more your home course when you’re playing just for fun, you’re not playing out of irons, irons just aren’t that much fun to hit off the tee. So Ryan is used to hitting driver off most tees. So hitting drivers off the tee, I flip flop every now and then between a driver, sometimes as a 3 wood. Watching a local guy pull driver there, maybe there is something to it. I hit driver there a bit, but that being said, my drive is a little different than some of the longer guys. But my driving accuracy is pretty strong. I think that’s a strength of mine. I try to use those strengths on certain holes where I can take an advantage. Maybe 9, if I’m feeling good with the driver to make that into a birdie hole and try to turn what a lot of times to get a par and get out of there into a legitimate shot at making birdie.

Incoming Form of Charles Schwab Challenge winners since 2010:

  • Emiliano Grillo: MC PGA/23rd Quail/5th Mexico/7th Harbour Town.
  • Sam Burns: 20th PGA/MC Craig Ranch/2nd New Orleans/MC Augusta.
  • Jason Kokrak: 49th PGA/13th Copperhead/21st New Orleans /49th Augusta.
  • Daniel Berger: 4th PGA National/5th Pebble/9th TPC Scottsdale/29th PGA West.
  • Kevin Na: MC PGA/38th Trinity Forest/10th Heritage/46th Augusta.
  • Justin Rose: 23rd Sawgrass/19th New Orleans/12th Augusta/52nd Houston.
  • Kevin Kisner: 56th Sawgrass/MC Eagle Point/2nd New Orleans/11th Heritage.
  • Jordan Spieth: 18th TPC4S/MC Sawgrass/2nd Augusta/13th GC of Houston.
  • Chris Kirk: 13th Sawgrass/69th Heritage/33rd Augusta/8th TPC San Antonio.
  • Adam Scott: 38th Sawgrass/14th Augusta/3rd Bay Hill/25th Doral.
  • Boo Weekley: MC TPC4S/48th Sawgrass/58th Quail/6th New Orleans.
  • Zach Johnson: 2nd Sawgrass/69th Quail/2nd Heritage/32nd Augusta.
  • David Toms: 2nd Sawgrass/24th Quail/18th New Orleans/24th Augusta.
  • Zach Johnson: MC San Antonio/22nd Sawgrass/51st Quail/47th Heritage.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2023 – Hall – AM -8/62 -150/1.
  • 2022 – Davis/Hossler/Kirk/Reed/Scheffler/Simpson/N Taylor – 4AM/3PM  -4/66 – 100/1, 150/1, 55/1, 70/1, 25/1, 50/1, & 125/1.
  • 2021 – Garcia / Spieth – AM/PM  -7/63 – 66/1 & 25/1.
  • 2020 – Rose / Varner III – AM/PM  -7/63 – 50/1 & 125/1.
  • 2019 – Finau – AM -6/65 – 40/1.
  • 2018 – Na – PM -8/62 – 66/1.
  • 2017 – Fathauer / Kraft / Poston – 1AM/2PM -5/65.
  • 2016 – Molder – AM -6/64.
  • 2015 – Ishikawa / Na / Spieth / Weekley – 2AM/2PM -6/64.
  • 2014 – D Johnson – PM -5/65.
  • 2013 – Palmer – AM -8/62.
  • 2012 – Johnson – AM -6/64.
  • 2011 – Reavie / Toms – AM -8/62.
  • 2010 – Adams / Bohn / Overton – 2AM/1PM Split -7/63.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of pure Bentgrass green PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 7 – Justin Rose.
  • 5 – Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth.
  • 4 – Webb Simpson.
  • 3 – Lucas Glover, Ryan Moore, Adam Scott.
  • 2 – Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Tom Kim, Chris Kirk, Martin Laird, K.H. Lee, Troy Merritt, Scottie Scheffler.
  • 1 – Daniel Berger, Emiliano Grillo, Lee Hodges, Charley Hoffman, Max Homa, Viktor Hovland, Sungjae Im, Michael Kim, Kevin Kisner, Ben Martin, Collin Morikawa, Vincent Norrman, J.T. Poston, Chez Reavie, Rory Sabbatini, Brandt Snedeker, Sepp Straka, Brendon Todd, Camilo Villegas.

Colonial has a habit of producing shorter-priced winners. Triple-digit winners are a rarity.

Justin Rose won at 20/1 in 2018, whilst Kevin Kisner won at 33/1 in 2016 and Jordan Spieth was the 7/1 favourite in 2015. Chris Kirk delivered at 35/1 in 2015, whilst Adam Scott was 18/1 in 2014. Previous to that, winners’ prices at the Crowne Plaza Invitational read: 2009: 28/1; 2010: 50/1; 2011: 33/1; 2012: 16/1. Outside of that, the in-form Boo Weekley scored here in 2014 at a very nice 100/1. However there has been a change of pace when we look at the last 5 champions here

Kevin Na won this at 70/1 in 2019, Daniel Berger at 70/1, Jason Kokrak at 60/1, Sam Burns at 30/1 and Emiliano Grillo at 80/1 last year. Indeed across the last 5 renewals here we see an average winning price of 62/1.

It’s clear that experience wins around Colonial with all winners here since 2004 having played a minimum of 2 tournament appearances prior. But as with many a classical golf course, both short-game specialists or grinding ball-strikers can get the job done at Colonial Country Club, where scoring is generally low-teens to mid-teens under par unless the wind really blows.

From a course form perspective, we have seen mixed looks in terms of winners’ profiles here of late. Burns’ 2022 win here came in his third visit to Colonial with course form of MC/31. Berger’s win here in 2020 also came in his third appearance, where he had MC/53 to his name prior. Justin Rose’s victory here in 2018, was his first ever in Texas and came in his 5th appearance at Colonial. In those preceding visits to Fort Worth his best finish had been 13th way back on course debut in 2005. Adam Scott won here with nothing better than 64th and 65th in 2 previous appearances.

But conversely Grillo (3rd and 8th), Kokrak (3rd), Na (4th, 7th, 9th and 10th), Kisner (5th and 10th), Kirk (5th), Weekley (9th), Zach Johnson (1st, 4th, 9th) and Toms (2nd, 3rd, 4th) all had top 10 results here before triumphing since 2011.

My Final Charles Schwab Challenge Tips Are As Follows

Scottie Scheffler 6Pts Win Only 14/5 with Betfred

Let’s start with Scottie Scheffler who is going to take all the beating this week in his home town event. Clearly that’s an obvious statement, but looking at this week from a value perspective I’m fascinated to see the World Number 1 priced up at 14/5 for the Charles Schwab Challenge, when he’s currently as short as 7/2 with Paddy Power to win the U.S. Open. He was also 9/2 Favourite to win this 12 months ago – clearly this time around he arrives after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship, The Masters and the RBC Heritage.

2nd (2022) and 3rd (2023) here at Colonial across his past 2 outings, new, potentially firmer, Bentgrass greens could reject more approach shots than standard this week, especially with a strongish breeze in play all week, so theoretically that will be an advantage for the World Number 1, who used to attend this tournament as a child with his father and who holds it dear to his heart. So Scottie will love the return home to the Dallas Fort Worth area this week both in terms of agronomy and his routine, plus the fact he gets caddie Ted Scott for all 4 days of competition.

Plus after recent goings-on, there would be nothing more Scottie Scheffler than him winning the Charles Schwab Challenge for the first time on a revised Hogan’s Alley, just over 2 weeks after the birth of his first son and just a week after getting arrested by Louisville Police.

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Harris English 1pt EW 50/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Harris English is another who is perfectly suited to the classical, Colonial test this week and his game is undoubtedly on the up. A top 20 at last week’s PGA Championship is not to be sniffed at and English has 8 top-35 finishes across his past 9 appearances including 7th at Riviera, 19th at TPC Sawgrass and 22nd at Augusta National. And at an event where, traditionally, Strokes Gained Putting is far more important than a standard week on the PGA Tour, the World Number 45 ranks 20th season-to-date with the flat stick.

Wins at TPC Southwind (2013), El Camaleon (2013) and TPC River Highlands (2021) – short- to medium-length non Par 72s – correlate well with Colonial, and his form here in Fort Worth is eye-catching. 5th on debut in 2012, Harris has finished 30th (2014), 2nd (2016), 29th (2017), 20th (2018) and 12th (2023) across 8 appearances. He was also the 36-hole leader here 12 months ago. English also ranks 2nd for Strokes Gained Total of players in this week’s field who have played Colonial multiple times. That’s behind only Jordan Spieth.

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Taylor Moore 1pt EW 60/1 (8EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Taylor Moore did well for us at the Houston Open back in March and I like his chances again this week on a return to Texas. A talented sort who won the Valspar Championship last year – decent form that when looking at recent Colonial champions Sam Burns, Jason Kokrak and Kevin Na – Moore seems to be there or thereabouts most times he tees it up and in the very best of company.

12th when defending his Valspar title at Copperhead, he went on to finish T2 (of course) at Memorial Park when we were on-board at 70/1. An impressive 20th at Augusta National, Taylor next showed up at Quail Hollow a fortnight ago where he was 4th after 36 holes, before a late Saturday tee-time the group before Rory and Xander did for him as he shot 76 (many did!) – he went on to finish 38th.

Moore’s good play though continued last week where 4 consecutive rounds in the 60s delivered a relatively pressure-free 12th place finish. That’s his best ever Major Championship finish following on from that top 20 at The Masters. Living just half an hour away from Colonial, this is very much a home game for Taylor who I fancy to go well in what could be stretching scoring conditions.

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Austin Eckroat 1pt EW 66/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Austin Eckroat continues to impress in his second season on the PGA Tour.  A maiden PGA Tour win at the Cognizant Classic has been followed up with some decent performances since. 17th at Harbour Town, 11th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with close friend Chris Gotterup, Austin last week showed he had Major Championship game by finishing 18th at Valhalla – that follows on from 10th at the Los Angeles Country Club-hosted U.S. Open last year.

18th here on debut 12 months ago, Austin has performed well in the Lone Star State over his last 3 appearances – that makes sense as Eckroat was born,  lives in and was educated in Oklahoma, which borders Texas. 2nd at the 2023 Byron Nelson Championship behind Jason Day, Austin then went on to finish 18th here before playing in San Antonio this year, sitting 18th after 36 holes and finishing 33rd at the Valero Texas Open.

A strong wind player who played beautifully in 15-25 mph gusts when winning at PGA National in March, I could see Eckroat taking positive vibes from Gotterup’s Myrtle Beach Classic victory 2 weeks ago and going close at Hogan’s Alley this week.

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Sepp Straka 1pt EW 66/1 (6EW, 1/5) with Unibet

Sepp Straka let me down last week at Valhalla where he missed the cut, but a short term view in golf betting has cost me numerous wins over the years. Over a larger pool of performances, Sepp is undoubtedly playing some great golf. 5th place at Harbour Town, 11th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event and 8th at Quail Hollow is great form, especially as the RBC Heritage and Wells Fargo Championship tournaments were Signature event level fields.

So I love the look of the Austrian this week on the Bermudagrass fairways and rough that he undoubtedly plays best on. I’d prefer Bermudagrass greens as well at Colonial, but it’s worth remembering that Straka has won on Bentgrass as well. Sepp won last year’s John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run; he’s also finished 3rd at Keene Trace (2019) and 7th at Oak Hill (2023). The mix of Bermudagrass up to the greens and Bentgrass on them shouldn’t be too detrimental to Sepp.

29th here 12 months ago, Straka ranks in this field across my 8-week skill-set trackers in the top 25 for Off the Tee, top 15 for Strokes Gained Current Form, top 10 for Tee to Green, and equal with the World Number 1 at the top of the Strokes Gained Approach metric.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 15:15BST 20.5.24 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.