Charles Schwab Challenge Best Bets

Mark Diana
Golf Analyst

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Following Phil Mickelson’s historic victory at the PGA Championship, the PGA Tour travels to Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge! Colonial Country Club is a classical course that has been a PGA Tour staple for over 75 years. Colonial is a classical course that measures close to 7,200 yards. As a Par 70, there are only two Par 5s which means Par 4 scoring will be crucial this week. Players need to have a good feel for this course, and be creative with their shot-making. Landing in the fairway, and getting onto the small greens will be the pathway to success. I will be targeting golfers who are elite approach players and have a scoring upside. 

Each week I will post some of my favorite bets of the week. I will focus on my two favorite outright bets, a couple of full tournament matchups, and a couple of top finishes bets! You can find my entire betting card on my Twitter account, @GolfBets101

Favorite Outrights

Charley Hoffman 45-1

Charley Hoffman has seen a resurgence in his game this year. Since February, Hoffman has played in ten events and has recorded eight Top 20 Finishes, including a Top 20 Finish last week at the PGA Championship. Hoffman has played this event twelve times in his career, where  he has recorded five Top 25 Finishes. Hoffman excels on Par 70/71 courses where the greens are small. On courses that fit these criteria, dating back to 2015, Hoffman has gained 1.11 Total Strokes per round, which is ninth best in this field. Over his last 36 rounds, Hoffman is gaining 1.49 strokes per round with his Ball-Striking, and gaining 1.79 Total Strokes per Round. During this span, Hoffman is positive in every major category. He has the overall completeness to his game to make him a contender this week.

Brian Harman 50-1

Brian Harman is a short-game specialist, and we’ve seen shorter hitters win at this event on the back of a ceiling putting week. Harman is the 15th best Putter on the PGA Tour season so he has the upside to start draining long putts and going on birdie-streaks. Harman has played at Colonial eight times in his career, finishing T31 or better seven times. Harman is another player who excels on Par 70/71s with small greens. On courses that fit these criteria, dating back to 2015, Harman has gained 1.32 Total Strokes per round, which is fourth best in this field. Harman has been in good form this season and this is the type of the course where he can find himself atop the leaderboard. 


Matchups

Justin Thomas -126 vs Daniel Berger 

The World’s second ranked player in the world coming in as a slight favorite at a course where he finished tenth last year. Berger is the defending champion, but at the end of the day Thomas is a better golfer. Thomas hasn’t been great since he won at the Players, but his struggles come mostly from his putter. This is a course where approach is uber important, and Thomas is one of the best iron players in the world.

Chris Kirk -120 vs Kevin Na

Former winner vs former winner. I like Kirk a lot this week and he’s on my outright card as well. Kirk has been trending all season and his best starts this year have come at the Sony Open and the RBC Heritage. Those two courses are short courses that are not Par 72s. Kirk fits really well on these types of courses and he has a balanced statistical profile which makes me think he will be in contention this week.

Matt Wallace -120 vs Talor Gooch

Matt Wallace is a guy who I’ve been on recently. He is a really good approach player, and he is great on Par 4s. Wallace is a birdie-maker and seems to be peaking. Gooch, on the other hand, has been running out of steam lately. Gooch put together a really good stretch of golf a few weeks back, but I think he is on the wrong side of a run.


Top Finishes

JT Poston Top 40 +190

JT Poston has played Colonial four times in his career, recording a Top 10 finish last year. Poston is an elite putter, ranking fifth among all PGA Tour players. Poston tends to play his best golf on shorter, Par 70 type of courses. We have seen elite putters pepper the top of the leaderboard at Colonial, and Poston finishing inside the Top 40 isn’t a big ask.

Matthew NeSmith Top 40 +210

I’ve mentioned the importance of Approach, GIRs, and Fairways. NeSmith does all of this. NeSmith has not had too many high finishes, and he struggled at some of the Florida events. He has scoring upside, as he has shot as low as -18 this season. NeSmith is first in GIRs Gained, fourth in Approach, and 16th in Fairways Gained among all PGA Tour players.

Russell Knox Top 30 +225

Russell Knox has been sneakily very good this season. Among this field, Knox is sixth in GIRs Gained, ninth in Opportunities Gained, and tenth in Fairways Gained. With fairways being relatively difficult to hit, I like Knox’s ability to avoid major mistakes. He has played well at Colonial in the past. In five total appearances at Colonial, Knox has four Top 25 Finishes. This is a good number on a guy who has shown to finish inside the Top 30 at this course.

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