PGA Tour Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
We have a new No. 1 player in the world, and that guy is clearly the best player alive right now, especially in major championships.
That guy would be Brooks Koepka, who led wire-to-wire at Bethpage Black to repeat as the PGA Championship winner on Sunday. The 29-year-old was the tournament's first wire-to-wire winner since 1983. He had a seven-shot lead entering the final round and saw it drop to just one shot before steadying himself. Koepka, who was ranked third entering the PGA, finished at 8-under, two ahead of Dustin Johnson. Koepka is the first golfer ever to hold consecutive titles at two different major championships simultaneously, the other being the U.S. Open. He's the new favorite to win that tournament next month at Pebble Beach. Of the last nine championships played, the Koepka has won four (he missed this year's Masters injured). More than half (57.1 percent) of Koepka's career wins (seven) have come at majors, which is a higher share than any other active golfer who has won at least two majors.
We did hit on Koepka for a Top 10, and also recommended betting against Tiger Woods where possible, and Tiger was among some big names to miss the cut (he played with Koepka the first two days and was 17 shots worse). Unfortunately, one of those also was Sergio Garcia, who was my pick to win. Only six players in the 156-man field finished below par at the very tough track on Long Island.
This week, the PGA Tour returns to the Dallas/Fort Worth area - where it was the week before the PGA Championship with the Byron Nelson - for the newly-named Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial. This event has had several names over the years and was without a sponsor in 2018 and simply called the Fort Worth Invitational.
Charles Schwab now is on a four-year sponsorship deal. The winner this year not only gets a nice check, a spot in next year's Masters and other perks, but a restored 1973 Dodge Challenger! I guess the relevance there is that Schwab was founded in 1973.
Of course, Colonial is where Annika Sorenstam made her lone PGA Tour start in 2003, missing the cut by four shots. Colonial Country Club, a par 70 at around 7,200 yards, has hosted a Tour event since 1946 -- only Augusta National has hosted an event uninterrupted for a longer period. Because it's technically an "invitational", the field is a bit smaller than a regular Tour event.
It's in a horrible spot on the schedule this year, though, following the PGA Championship (on the monster that is Bethpage Black) and ahead of Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament, which just about every big name wants to play. Yet, it's a pretty good field considering. No Tiger, though, and that's no shock as he has played a Colonial event just once: Way back in 1997. Woods will play next week barring injury. Koepka also is taking this week off.
In past years, this tournament had struggled attracting the top European players since it coincided with the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. That's no longer the case.
Golf Odds: Charles Schwab Challenge Favorites
England's Justin Rose is the defending champion of this tournament and the +1100 Bovada favorite. Rose shot a final-round 64 and finished at 20-under last year, three ahead of second-place Koepka. Rose missed matching Zach Johnson's 2010 tournament scoring record of 259 because of bogey on the 72nd hole. Rose was T29 last week.
Jon Rahm and Dallas native Jordan Spieth are both +1200. Rahm missed the cut at the PGA. He was second here in 2017 by a stroke to Kevin Kisner. Spieth won in 2016 and has two other runner-up results here. He appeared to have found his game again last week with a third-place finish.
Rickie Fowler (+1400) and Xander Schauffele (+1600) round out the favorites. Fowler was 14th here last year. Schauffele missed the cut in 2018.
Golf Odds: Charles Schwab Challenge Picks
For a Top 10, go Rose (-110), Rahm (+105) and Ryan Palmer (+600), who is a Colonial member and has three Top 5s here. Head-to-head, Palmer (+115) over Kevin Na (-145), Zach Johnson (-140) over Joel Dahmen (+110), Spieth (even) over Francesco Molinari (-130), and Rahm (-125) over Fowler (-105).
Rahm is my winner - partly because he missed the cut last week. He should be fresh and has a good track record in two trips to Colonial (a T5 along with that runner-up).
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