The PGA Tour returns to action this week making it the first major sport in the U.S. to do so since everything shut down in March. The field will assemble in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this week at Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge. Players will begin teeing off at 7:50am eastern on Thursday morning.
The Course: Colonial Country Club
Some keys to note about the golf course that will play into our thinking when it comes to picking the players with good value and worth consideration of a few bucks.
Length 7209 yards
Bentgrass tees, fairways and greens.
As we look at the history of this event with those features of the course in mind, things become very clear. This golf course rewards short game and ball striking. There is very little opportunity to overpower the course with length. Inaccuracy, especially off the tee, is generally penalized heavily due to the large, mature trees lining the fairways at Colonial.
This formula for success at Colonial has been proven year after year. Recent winners include names such as Kevin Na, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth, Boo Weekley and Zach Johnson. This group of players won’t be winning any long drive contests soon, but they can all put on a show from 125 and in, as well as on the greens when they get the putters out.
Now, to be fair, this course doesn’t eliminate the longer players as Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau have proven the last 2 years, each notching runner-up finishes. Colonial simply forces these longer players to be effective in ways that aren’t typical for them. Should they prove that they can “tighten things up” so to speak, there may be a bomber or two near the lead on Sunday. The question will be, can they resist their instincts to try to bite off a little extra as they come down the stretch?
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Picks to Win
We’ll just come right out and say it; this is going to be the most difficult golf event to handicap ever. The three month layoff all but eliminates using recent results as an indicator of anything. The policies and procedures put in place by the tour in order to make this event safe for all those involved will make this week anything but normal. Some players wont’t bat an eye or be affected at all, while others-golfers being creatures of habit-could be thrown off their typical processes enough to result in less than ideal performances when they finally do tee it up.
As a result, we’ve decided not make any hard and fast picks this week, but rather assemble a list a players that fit two criteria: Their game has the traits that are generally rewarded at Colonial and their odds to win produce enough value that a few bucks would be worth it.
Webb Simpson 25-1
Prototypical style of game that is effective at Colonial
Brooks Koepka 25-1
Hard to know if he’s completely healthy as this price hasn’t been available on Koepka since before he decided to start winning majors.
Jordan Spieth 30-1
Previous winner, game fits the course.
Kevin Na 40-1
Same reasons as Spieth
Jason Day 50-1
His ability on and around the greens is second to none. The 3 month layoff has likely benefited him and his ongoing back issues.
Justin Rose 50-1
See Spieth and Na
Marc Leishman 50-1
Tends to keep the ball in the fairway and pays it off with his putter. Good combo for Colonial.
Keivn Kisner 75-1
Again, see Spieth, Na and Rose.
It should be noted that we aren’t advocating betting all eight of these players to win this week. If you’re trying to narrow down the field to decide on a couple players worthy of a few bucks, this list is a good place to start. Welcome back PGA Tour!
*Odds provided by William Hill