Charles Schwab Odds and Picks
June 8, 2020
Thirteen weeks have passed since the Players was called off after round one. Various charity events have taken place since, which proved to be entertaining.
But all golf fans have been waiting for this week's return of competitive PGA tournament golf.
Never has there been such a long break from the PGA Tour. The COVID-19 enforced break has led to a blockbuster field assembling this week.
All of the world's top 5 appear and are supported by other big names including Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, and Sungjae Im.
After featuring in ‘The Match’ charity event with Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods does not line up this week, although he is sure to be back soon.
There are various questions for golf bettors looking to get involved this week.
Has the layoff affected the form players from early 2020? Who may have benefited from the layoff? Who has been able to get the most practice in?
We hope to be able to point you towards our ideas of who should be fancied this week.
This Week's Action
The Charles Schwab is not usually a headline Tour event, but it has thrown up some big-name winners over the years.
Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson have both won here twice since 2000. Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, and Sergio Garcia have also triumphed. Last year Kevin Na won by four, ahead of Tony Finau.
This event has finished.
No futures events in this sport.
Colonial Country Club plays host to the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, Colonial is a par 70, 7209-yard test. It opened in 1936 and has played host to the US Open. Other than the US Masters, no one event has been held at a single course for a longer period of time.
It is a tight, tree-lined track with 12 dog legged holes and six holes where water comes into play. The fairways are littered with defensive bunkers on many holes.
One statistic that has to be highlighted is that unusually, driving distance is not a key metric to consider, based on the winner’s stats over the last 10 years.
Winners have ranked 104th, 156th, 175th, 168th, 66th, 13th, 131st, and 51st, 120th, 34th and 132nd in driving distance.
With such a tight layout it is not a surprise to consider that driving distance is not a stat of huge importance.
With just two par 5s - and irons being used off many tees - it is actually driving accuracy that should be considered a key stat. Six of the last ten winners ranked inside the top 10 for accuracy off the tee.
Nine of the last 12 winners have ranked top 10 in Greens in regulation (GIR), so we should focus on accuracy over length here this week. In fact, the last two winners have both ranked first in GIR.
Colonial is a difficult course to navigate and debut players often struggle. In order to narrow down the field, we are considering course experience, GIR stats and driving accuracy.
Players To Focus On
After the 13 week break, it is difficult to establish exactly who may be the form players. So, looking at finding value is the approach to take. We have selected three players on this basis.
Sometimes the prices available for a particular player stand out. This week, Brooks Koepka could be a real value play.
Available to back at 25-1, Koepka looks like an attractive bet. The 4-time major champ has solid course form – finishing runner-up here on his only previous visit.
Injuries to his knee seemed to knock his early-season form, so the enforced break may actually have worked in his favor. Koepka has the accuracy off the tee that is required to go well here, and at the odds, he should be considered as a potential winner.
Whilst not in the same league as Koepka, Brendon Todd is also of interest this week in Texas.
If the break has not impacted on recent form, then Todd has to be considered. He has won twice on the PGA Tour already this season, a difficult thing to achieve. He is one of the most accurate on Tour off the tee, and he available to back at a huge price this week.
The third selection this week is Webb Simpson. Again, a winner already this year, Simpson should be able to make a fast start this week.
He likes the Colonial track, and is quoted as saying: ‘I grew up on a golf course that’s short, fairly tight, some doglegs. It does look good to me, and I like those greens...they remind me a lot of what I grew up on’.
Simpson is not long off the tee, but we know that doesn’t matter here. He is back in the world top 10 after a fantastic early 2020 (wins at TPC Scottsdale and top 10s at Summerlin, Sea Island, and Waialea). Simpson is full of confidence.
His Hawaii form is interesting with Kapalua form reading 3rd in 2012, 3rd in 2014, and 8th in 2019. Add tp that Waialea form of 4th 2018 and 3rd 2020.
The main interest here is that these events take place so early in the season. after a layoff.
Picks for the Charles Schwab Challenge
As we have highlighted, Brooks Koepka 30-1 FOXbet has drifted to such a large price that he is worth an investment.
He has shown he can score low around here, and if he is able to return from injury he has a good chance to contend once again.
Brendon Todd 150-1 FanDuel has the recent form to put on another bold show, and with his driving accuracy, he should also be considered at much larger odds.
Finally, Webb Simpson 25-1 FanDuel has proven he can play well after layoffs and has recent form to support an investment in him winning again this week.