Golfbet Insider: Charles Schwab Challenge
7 Min Read
Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf
For several years through 2022, my Power Rankings and other preview material for the Charles Schwab Challenge were led by age and number of appearances for every golfer reviewed. For example, the capsule beside Sam Burns at No. 6 in the PR last year opened, “Age 25; third appearance.”
If that seems odd, it’s only because you weren’t familiar with it. It was an annual tradition because it was relevant. A high percentage of winners at Colonial were right around 36 years of age and in their seventh appearance. Because Burns was the second winner in the last three editions to fall well short of both averages – Daniel Berger was 27 and in his third start in 2020 – I eliminated that angle as an opener this week. Looking ahead, because Colonial will be undergoing a complete restoration, it’s all but a certainty that the consideration never will apply again in earnest.
Still, it’s an uncommon data set to inject into the model to generate shortlists for your purposes. Yes, the Schwab is an invitational with an experienced field of only 120, but it’s been an oasis for veterans beginning the slide on the career bell curve to take a swig from the Fountain of Youth.
At the end of the day, it’s not directly about age at Colonial but it still should be slapped with a multiplier when compared directly to however you grade talent. Experience is even more important because when and where old bones creak is predictable. Lean into it in tiebreaker situations in DFS.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Chris Kirk (-175 = Top 40) … The 2015 champ presents as a classic Wild Card in that he’s reliable for fantasy considerations and a positive contribution in other pursuits, but I’m not going to endorse a top 20, especially since he’s just +150 for that. Split the difference and toss a unit into a top-30 market where available. He’s perfect in a dozen trips with seven top 20s, including a T15 last year.
Odds were sourced on Wednesday, May 24, at 3:30 a.m. ET. For live odds, visit BetMGM.
NOTE: These are notables who are not included in my Power Rankings or Sleepers. Connect with me on Twitter if you want analysis, insight and opinion for anyone else.
Min Woo Lee (+180 = Top 20) … There are so many outstanding reasons to go hard on the guy. For starters, he qualified for Special Temporary Membership [STM] with a T18 at the PGA Championship. While it tends to benefit American-based non-members who achieve the status more than highly ranked internationals, it’s incentive to stay in the U.S. and chase fully exempt status for 2024, not to mention a breakthrough victory on the PGA TOUR. He also qualified for the U.S. Open as the top-ranked golfer in the 2023 Race to Dubai standings not already exempt, so that eases an immediate burden. Last but not least, he’s grouped with golf’s latest sensation and buddy, Michael Block, during the first two rounds, so the positive vibes are promised to continue. (Pierceson Coody, who received one of the two Champions’ Choices, rounds out a grouping bursting with narratives. The storyline for Coody is that he needs a solo fifth for STM.)
Ryan Fox (+165 = Miss the Cut) … Like Lee, Fox also achieved STM at Oak Hill. Unlike Lee, the Kiwi is a debutant at Colonial that not only rewards experience but also tee-to-green proficiency (because of smaller targets) over a short game, which is his strength. He doesn’t miss many cuts regardless on which continent he’s competing, but his odds to do just that are second-shortest available only to Block (at -350).
Si Woo Kim (+230 = Miss the Cut) … No one is immune to missing cuts but he’s swerved around most snips over the last 10 months. He’s missed only three in the interim, but two have occurred in his last five starts, including at the PGA Championship. Now, loyal readers know that I dismiss negative results on the biggest stages, and I will, albeit in dutiful deference to acknowledging his most recent performance, but he’s just 1-for-6 at Colonial with a T66 in 2018. So, while experience on this week’s host course is key and while his recent trending suggests that he’ll turn it around, I’d simply like to see it happen where it’s been rare. Consider hedging by investing only a fraction of a unit.
NOTE: Not everything needs a setup. For a variety of reasons, these lines are too enticing to ignore.
HOLE-IN-ONE (-145 = No) … In the last five editions of the tournament, there has been only one ace, and it came in the June edition during the Return to Golf following the three-month shutdown in 2020. (Sung Kang connected on the par-3 13th hole in the first round.)
PARLAY: Stephan Jaeger, Min Woo Lee, Denny McCarthy (+150 = All to Make the Cut)
Michael Block (+225 = Make the Cut)
Hayden Buckley (-110 = Top 40)
Eric Cole (+100 = Top 40)
Lucas Herbert (-110 = Top 40)
Tom Hoge (+165 = Miss the Cut)
Ben Martin (+140 = Top 40)
Henrik Norlander #1 (+350 = Top Swedish)
Henrik Norlander #2 (+250 = Top 40)
Patrick Rodgers (+100 = Top 40)
Justin Suh (+120 = Top 40)
Dylan Wu (+160 = Top 40)
Carson Young (+138 = Top 40)
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Peter Malnati … Back at it since walking off Quail Hollow during his first round of the Wells Fargo Championship on May 4. An explanation wasn’t released. It was his third straight start without a payday and seventh in his last eight. He’s also just 1-for-4 at Colonial with a T40 in 2019, so the wise move is to bet against him in a matchup.
Keith Mitchell, Taylor Montgomery and Adam Svensson … All three automatically qualified for the U.S. Open via its series of checkpoints at the conclusion of the PGA Championship. Mitchell (55th) and Svensson (58th) gained entry via their position inside the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking, while Montgomery was among the top five not otherwise exempt from the FedExCup ranking.
Parker Coody … The non-member isn’t yet a notable at the professional level, but he’s the answer to the trivia question of who stepped aside to open the door for Michael Block to be extended the last sponsor exemption. Coody remained committed to the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open. He’s 85th on that circuit’s points list.
RECAP – PGA Championship
Power Ranking Golfer = Result
1 Scottie Scheffler = T2
2 Jon Rahm = T50
3 Brooks Koepka = Win
4 Xander Schauffele = T18
5 Tony Finau = T72
6 Patrick Cantlay = T9
7 Jason Day = MC
8 Cameron Smith = T9
9 Rory McIlroy = T7
10 Dustin Johnson = T55
11 Tyrrell Hatton = T15
12 Viktor Hovland = T2
13 Max Homa = T55
14 Justin Thomas = T65
15 Matt Fitzpatrick = MC
16 Tommy Fleetwood = T18
17 Sungjae Im = MC
18 Rickie Fowler = MC
19 Adam Scott = T29
20 Wyndham Clark = MC
* - For the recommendations below, an asterisk represents a bet that won.
Golfer (recommended bet, if applicable) = Result
*Thomas Detry (+225 = Top 40) = T40
*Lucas Herbert (+200 = Top 40) = T40
*Stephan Jaeger (-200 = Top German) = T50
Thorbjørn Olesen (+200 = Top Dane) = MC
Brandon Wu (+225 = Top 40) = MC
Team (recommended bet) = Result
Wild Card: Cameron Young (+120 = Top 20) = MC
Also Starring: Collin Morikawa (+138 = Top 20) = T26
Also Starring: Sam Burns (-145 = Top 40) = MC
Also Starring: PARLAY: Brandon Wu and Adam Svensson (+1000 = Both Top 40) = MC/T40
Tap-in: PARLAY: Justin Thomas, Max Homa and Matt Fitzpatrick (+115 = All to Make the Cut) = T65/T55/MC
Tap-in: PARLAY: Rickie Fowler, Wyndham Clark and Tom Kim (+165 = All to Make the Cut) = MC/MC/MC
*Tap-in: Corey Conners (+200 = Top Canadian) = T12
Tap-in: Russell Henley (-110 = Top 40) = MC
*Tap-in: Shane Lowry (+110 = Top 40) = T12
*Tap-in: Hideki Matsuyama #1 (-135 = Top 40) = T29
*Tap-in: Hideki Matsuyama #2 (-225 = Top Japanese) = T28
Tap-in: Seamus Power (+160 = Top 40) = MC
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