The PGA TOUR hit the restart button last year with the Charles Schwab Challenge following a three-month shutdown by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 event returns to its May schedule slot and follows the PGA Championship. Navigating Charles Schwab Challenge odds this year in Fort Worth, Texas will coincide with the famed tournament’s 75th anniversary at Colonial Country Club – the longest standing non-major course on the PGA TOUR.
Fans will be back in attendance, and so will 24 of the top 50 in the world golf rankings, headlined by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, last year’s playoff runner-up Collin Morikawa and defending champion Daniel Berger.
Charles Schwab Challenge Odds 2021
Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa were both +4000 to start last year’s tournament, as Spieth was struggling with his game and more top-ranked pros played in the first event following the PGA TOUR’s three-month shutdown.
Spieth won this event in 2016, and also has a pair of runner-up finishes and two additional top-10’s since 2013.
Notable Players in the Field
Phil Mickelson is scheduled to play as a popular player following his PGA Championship success. Mickelson won this event at Colonial in 2000 and 2008 with a runner-up in 2001. Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa headline the event as three of the favorites, along with top-10 finisher last year Patrick Reed and 2019 runner-up Tony Finau.
Top players in the field include: World Golf Ranking (OWGR)
- Justin Thomas (No. 2)
- Collin Morikawa (6)
- Patrick Reed (8)
- Tony Finau (14)
- Daniel Berger (16) *
- Billy Horschel (18)
- Abraham Ancer (19)
- Lee Westwood (21)
- Sungjae Im (23)
- Scottie Scheffler (24)
- Jordan Spieth (26) *
- Joaquin Niemann (29)
- Will Zalatoris (30)
- Louis Oosthuizen (31)
- Ryan Palmer (32)
- Kevin Na (34) *
- Jason Kokrak (35)
- Corey Connors (39)
- Justin Rose (42) *
- Kevin Kisner (44) *
- Sergio Garcia (46) *
- Brian Harman (47)
- Matt Kuchar (49)
- SiWoo Kim (50)
* Past champions at Colonial
Also, major champion Gary Woodland is in the field, and he’ll move into the top-50 of the world golf rankings following his strong finish at the PGA Championship. Same with Phil Mickelson, who is outside the top-100 but will move up significantly. The 2012 Colonial champion Zach Johnson will also play.
Players who finished top-15 in last year’s event and returning in 2021 include:
- Daniel Berger (Winner)
- Collin Morikawa (2)
- Jason Kokrak (T3)
- Justin Rose (T3)
- Patrick Reed (T7)
- Gary Woodland (9)
- Sunjae Im (T10)
- Justin Thomas (T10)
- T. Poston (T10)
- Abraham Ancer (T14)
- Cameron Champ (T14)
- Patrick Rodgers (T14)
- Rory Sabbatini (T14)
- Peter Uihlein (T14)
Charles Scwab Challenge Winners and Runner-ups:
- 2020 – Daniel Berger (-15), Collin Morikawa
- 2019 – Kevin Na (-13), Tony Finau
- 2018 – Justin Rose (-20), Brooks Koepka
- 2017 – Kevin Kisner (-10), Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair
- 2016 – Jordan Spieth (-17), Harris English
* The 2020 event was won in a playoff
The importance of course form at Colonial has been underlined over the past decade. Last year was an exception following the three-month break from competition. However, since 2010, seven champions at Colonial had a top-15 finish the year before they won.
COURSE AND TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
- Course: Colonial Country Club
- Location: Fort Worth, Texas
- Date: May 27-30
- Par: 70 / Yardage 7,209
- Purse: $7.5 Million / Winner $1.35 M
- Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass
- Greens: : Bentgrass
- TV/Online: Golf Channel, CBS (Sat/Sun), PGA Tour Live
- Twitter & Hashtag: @CSChallengeFW
- Defending Champion: Daniel Berger
Nicknamed ‘Hogan’s Alley’ after five-time Colonial winner Ben Hogan, Colonial Country Club is an old-fashioned style course that requires an emphasis on tee-ball and ball-striking accuracy and strategy. Sharp iron players and ball strikers succeed – shot-makers and shot-shapers – and strokes gained Putting becomes a more important stat this week. Golfers with the best short games have typically done well, and the list of winners at Colonial is filled with top ball strikers.
There are a number of tree-lined holes and doglegs (12 of the 14 par-4s and 5s), starting with the ‘Horrible Horseshoe’ at holes 3, 4 and 5. All the A-4 bentgrass greens were rebuilt in 2000, along with more than 80 sand bunkers that dot the course with many protecting the flatter and smaller-than-average sized greens.
Driving distance is mostly irrelevant at Colonial, as the driver is neutralized. The ability to shape shots and manage your golf game with solid ball striking sets you up for more success. Strength on putting inside 15-20 feet and bogey avoidance are added profiles and stats to monitor.
The Colonial course sits next to the Trinty River on the north, and the PGA pros tear it apart unless the wind blows. There is no acreage to add distance to the course, and Colonial is a relic to a bygone era in which accuracy off the tee and precision shot-making to the greens is most important.
You can’t overpower the course, and thus many of the game’s power players are often absent from competing. That’s the case again this year, despite all these top pros playing in last year’s event, as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele skip the tournament and prepare for next week’s Memorial Tournament – Jack Nicklaus’ event at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Some of the top par 4 efficiency leaders from 350 to 400 and 400 to 450 yards are the favorites this week – Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Reed and Corey Connors. Also, Abraham Ancer is in there and he’s among the betting favorites this week as well.
But looking down the odds board, you’ll see some golfers at more favorable prices that could cash in with proven profiles from par 4 efficiency to strokes gained approach and off-the-tee. Ball strikers, shot-makers and shot-shapers can excel this week at Colonial.
Here are four golfers outside of the leading favorites to consider to win or for a top finishing position payoff at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Referenced stats taken from Fantasy National database.
Leaders in Par 4 scoring and efficiency over their last 36 rounds combining the distances from 350-450 include: Jordan Spieth, Corey Conners, Chase Seiffert, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Collin Morikawa, KH Lee, Charley Hoffman, Si Woo Kim, and Scottie Scheffler.
Golfers To Watch
Joaquin Niemann (): There are eight other golfers with lower odds than Niemann, but the Chilean has a solid shot to continue his good play at Colonial. Niemann finished T8 on debut in 2018, and top 35 the last two years. Niemann has shot 65 three times in twelve rounds at Colonial. He’s top five in this field in ball striking and off-the-tee over his last 50 rounds on TOUR, and top-10 in tee-to-green and strokes gained, total. Niemann is also top-15 on TOUR this season in greens-in-regulation and No. 2 in scoring average. Consistent play from one of the game’s brightest young stars at age 22, Niemann has finished top 30 in seven of his last eight PGA TOUR events with many stronger fields.
Si Woo Kim (): Kim has won three times on TOUR, and his odds continue to hang high, even in more moderate fields. Kim ranks No. 3 in this field on Par-4 efficiency from 350-400 yards, and he’s top 21 in ball striking, approach, tee-to-green and total strokes gained over his last 36 rounds. Those stats are even stronger on shorter courses like Colonial. Because the 25-year-old South Korean’s putting is a weak part of his game, his scoring can suffer. So while his stats profile seems to be a good fit for Colonial, it’s difficult to figure out why the Dallas resident has missed the cut in 4-of-5 starts in the event. Two young guns profiled as Golfers to Watch, yet experience still comes in handy when getting around a Colonial course that requires more shot making and ability to hit fairways without relying on the driver.
Brian Harman (): Harman is getting more respect in the betting market this week, but still outside the top-10 players in the outright win market. His short game, putting and around the green play including from the sand is exceptional, ranking top 10 in all categories in this field. His off-the-tee stats are top 20 and tee-to-green top 30, and Harman has had success at Colonial with seven straight made cuts. That includes a pair of top 10s and another top-15 finish. He’s gone low in a number of rounds at Colonial at 66 or better, and ranked top five in greens hit in three of his last six starts in the event. The shorter-hitting Harman had six straight top-20 finishes on TOUR until missing the cut last week at the super long Ocean Course at the PGA Championship. That included a T3 at THE PLAYERS Championship, where shot making and approach play are a prerequisite for success. Now the lefty is back on a course he can handle and succeed.
Sergio Garcia (): Here’s a proven veteran at Colonial, who also won his first PGA TOUR event at Colonial at age 21. Garcia has played in the event nine times, but only twice in the last eight years when he finished T12 and then missed the cut last year after the restart following the COVID shutdown of TOUR. Garcia certainly fits the profile of a shot-shaper and shot-maker, and is among the best ball strikers while ranking top 10 in that category over his last 36 rounds. He’s also No. 2 off-the-tee, No. 9 tee-to-green, and his putting still sucks, ranking outside the top 100 in this field of 121. Yet despite some pretty solid stats, the Spaniard has missed four straight cuts in his last four TOUR events. He now lives in Texas after getting married, and this course fits his game much better. Note his top-10 finish at THE PLAYERS Championship which is a ball-strikers course and approach course. Before you give up on Sergio, see Mickelson’s win last week after finishing top-10 in just two of his last 30 PGA TOUR events. A potential top-20 or top-30 rebound, but not much else for the 41-year-old Garcia.