PGA Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge Predictions and Betting Odds
This week’s PGA Tour event has the unfortunate task of trying to match last week’s PGA Championship, which will be talked about for years with Phil Mickelson becoming the oldest Grand Slam champion.
However good that theater was, somebody will still walk away with the Big Check at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, TX.
Last year's tournament had the best strength of field it has ever seen, due to players raring to return from the extended COVID-19 break. Though the field of 121 golfers won’t match its 2020 counterpart, more than half the field will make the cut, making this a player-friendly (insert – money to be made) event.
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A Look at the Field
Here is a look at the Top 12 with the lowest golf odds to win it all.
Jordan Spieth +1000 - Justin Thomas +1000 - Collin Morikawa +1400 - Abraham Ancer +1800
Daniel Berger +1800 - Patrick Reed +2200 - Scottie Scheffler +2200 - Tony Finau +2200
Will Zalatoris +2200 - Corey Conners +2500 - Sungjae Im +2500 - Joaquin Niemann +2600
Spieth should be favored seeing this in his backyard in Texas, as he won the Texas Valero Open in April and was T9th at the Byron Nelson six weeks later in the Lone Star State. Since winning The Players Championship, Justin Thomas has one Top 20 finish and a missed cut last week in four tries. He might win but has zero value against the golf odds.
Iron play will be extremely important this week, and that is why the oddsmakers at betting sites have Morikawa, Ancer, Zalatoris and Niemann among the favorites. Though their exact skill may vary from player to player, if they have a steel shaft and head, each is capable of hitting the ball close.
Finau and Scheffler don’t seem like a fit for this course setup. However, more length never hurts and each can produce with their irons and score well if the putter heats up.
Course Characteristics for Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
The setup of Colonial is that of your classic golf course, featuring tree-lined fairways and an abundance of doglegs. The length is a rather pedestrian 7,209 yards, with the par lowered several years ago to 70.
This is not a bombers course, rather one where patience and taking pars is more meaningful than hunting continually for birdies. The fairways are tight and the ground is typically hard for this tourney, which leads to this tournament in the lower half of PGA events for – fairways hit at around 56 percent. Thus, look for accuracy from the tee box, if not long off the peg.
Because of the layout, those trying to climb up the leaderboard by making eagles and relatively simple birdie putts won’t have many chances. This week is more about a game plan of keeping the ball in the fairway and having distance control to align yourself with the right iron to get as close as possible to pins. Strong iron players will have an edge.
This is typically a windy course, though not guaranteed. Last week we saw how a constant wind wore players out. That can happen here and it can gust more frequently. Though it's simplistic, players that know how to work these kinds of conditions will score lower.
Lastly, the greens run on the fast side but are more than fair for this talent level.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
Though Spieth is a chalky choice for golf picks, how do you overlook six Top 10s in eight starts (two 2nds) at Colonial and a 67.72 scoring average over 32 rounds? You don’t and consider him in all wagering possibilities.
Morikawa lost in a playoff here to Daniel Berger last year. He ranks first on Tour in greens in regulation AND Shots Gained: Tee to Green, two very important stats for the Colonial. Also, he’s a much better putter on bentgrass, which is featured here. Top 5 and Top 10 possibilities along with head-to-head.
Niemann has exceptional flag-finding skills with his irons and his best-putting days are always on bentgrass. Nice longer shot for Top 5 and should be in the mix for Top 10 and Top 20 wagers.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug had an off week at Kiawah Island last week and he will bounce back this week.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 21 Documented No. 1 Titles - 94 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 24 Handicapper of the Month Awards. Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.