Fresh off of an exhilarating end to the PGA Championship, the PGA Tour rolls on to the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club. It’s a course that has a 70-year history on the PGA Tour, meaning that there is plenty of data for us to pull from in order to find the best betting selections for you.
Our picks so far
I tipped Max Homa at 40/1 3 weeks ago, and nailed Justin Thomas at 16/1 this past weekend, although his win was somewhat miraculous coming from 8 strokes back. However, the model I’m building is clearly doing something right.
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As far as the field goes, withdrawals will be the name of the game. Justin Thomas may be the highest-profile golfer here, but he’s coming off of a grueling playoff with Will Zalatoris and both have the US Open in their sights less than a month down the line. It would not be surprising to see either player pull their hat from this week’s tournament. If you are planning to bet either, make sure you do it when they’re confirmed to play!
Mito Pireira is also a name to watch. He ended up choking his lead on the final hole of the final round, not only surrendering it, but also the chance to earn it back in a playoff. It was a heartbreaking day for the 27-year-old and he may want to take a week to gather himself mentally after what must have been an emotional rollercoaster.
The course itself
Colonial Country Club is a par 70 designed by Perry Maxwell. it’s hosted a PGA Tour event every year since 1946 and has become renowned for its challenging twists and turns. There are water hazards on 6 of the 18 holes and it’s one of the more difficult courses on Tour due to its wide variety of hole designs and narrow fairways. Accuracy off the tee is an important metric here, and very few courses are this punishing off the tee. Golfers who are able to shot shape with ease should have success around here.
Shots gained on approach
Shots gained total
With our template in mind, it’s time to evaluate the field’s recent form in these metrics and how they’ve fared around here and similar courses historically.
If we assume Justin Thomas isn’t playing, that leaves Scottie Scheffler (+1000) as favorite. The world #1 had an uncharacteristically bad tournament at the PGA Championship, but I did say in last week’s article that fading him was the play. Surprisingly, I believe it is here too. He grades out as my 32nd best overall fit for this course. I’m all for backing Scottie to bounce back from such a poor week, but in terms of value, you’re paying a premium for his hot 2022 season and we have now seen both extremes in play. I think he finishes inside the top-20, but those odds just aren’t enticing as an outright favorite.
Jordan Spieth (+1200) on the other hand was again disappointing, but from one lens and one lens only – his putter. He’s been atrocious with the putter over the past month and despite this has not only won an event, but finished 2nd one week later and even managed 32nd this past weekend despite a woeful putting weekend. Despite being so bad with the putter, he grades out as my seventh-best fit. If he can find any kind of form on the greens, (these are smaller and should help) then he is absolutely going to be in the running.
The next tier
The two names I really like from the top tier are Sam Burns (+3000) and Viktor Hovland (+2000).
Burns grades out as my second-best fit for this course and this is where the value comes in. He’s been putting really well and that’s a trend that carries over into the historical model too. He’s not the most accurate driver of the golf ball, but he is gaining 1.96 strokes on the field in total over his last 24 rounds. He should be in the mix here.
Hovland is just a dreamy ball-striker and is only getting better. He’s only 24 and already has 3 PGA Tour wins to his name. If you want a golfer with a firm floor which is a top-30 player who could rally deep inside the top-10, Hovland is your man.
Brian Harman is a name that sticks out like a sore thumb. He graded out as my 8th-best golfer and is +6500 to win the event. While that is unlikely, he’s had a tremendous record at this course, registering 3 top-10’s and 6 top-25’s. Oh, and he’s also the third-most accurate driver off the tee in this field. I LOVE this pick.
Tommy Fleetwood +4000 isn’t much of a sleeper in terms of form, because he is a very complete golfer, but perhaps it’s his quiet persona that keeps him out of the bigger conversations. He grades out as my sixth-best golfer and his exceptional round on Sunday was representative of a huge leap in form that maybe hasn’t been backed by scores up to this point. If he can stay hot, look out.
Best betting picks
Colin Morikawa +1200
Viktor Hovland +2000
Tommy Fleetwood +4000
Brian Harman +6500
Justin Rose +7700
Custom model top-10
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki