It feels like yesterday that the PGA Tour was in Dallas/Ft. Worth for the Charles Schwab Challenge. But that was when COVID-19 was at its peak in this country and PGA DFS was the only game in town. Now, flash forward almost a year and every major sport, including the NFL, have contests available. It goes without saying that’s the reason there is no millionaire maker this week for DraftKings and FanDuel. However, there is life-changing money to be won, with the top prize of the week being $200,000, so we still need to be sharp with our PGA DFS picks.
If it is your first time joining us, here’s a brief synopsis of what you can find in this article most weeks.
- Tournament and Format
- Course Commentary
- Course Facts and Figures
- PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
- PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet
- Player Preview
Charles Schwab Challenge PGA DFS Picks & Preview
The Ft. Worth area has been an annual stop of the PGA Tour since the late 1940s, although the name has changed quite a bit. Most recently it was Dean & DeLuca and before them it was the Crown Plaza, but now it has some stability with the Charles Schwab Challenge signing on for another three years. The tournament itself has a few distinct characteristics, including the Scottish tartan plaid jacket for the winner of the tournament. Also, it has something called the “Champions Choice,” where a past champion selects a deserving young golfer that otherwise wouldn’t be competing in the tournament.
Although the tournament has changed sponsors quite a bit over the last 15 years, the venue hasn’t changed, as the tour once again heads back to Colonial Country Club.
The Course: Colonial Country Club
There are a few distinct characteristics about this course. One of them is that it’s a top-10 hardest course on tour each year. Colonial Country Club was started in the late 1930s. It was designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell and has hosted prestigious tournaments like the U.S. Open in 1941, the Players Championship in 1975 and the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open. A par 70 at just over 7,200 yards, it isn’t overly long, but it only holds two par 5’s, making winning scores somewhere in the low-to-mid teens under par.
One of the distinct features of Colonial is the small greens. In terms of proximity to the hole on approaches, it ranked in the top half of all measured categories. This is typically a product of small greens. As shown by greens in regulation — only 60% of greens hit, the eighth hardest on tour in 2019.
Par and Yardage
- Par 70: 7,200
Course Difficulty 2019
- 7/49: just over three-quarters of a stroke over par.
- Four Par 3’s : 247, 199, 190, 192
- 12 Par 4’s: 389, 483, 481, 406, 440, 407, 408, 445, 464, 430, 387, 441
- Two Par 5’s: 565, 635
- Perry Maxwell and John Bredemus
Facts and Figures
- Off the Tee: A good way to see what kind of golfer it takes to win here is to look at past champions. If there is a theme, try to match that up with the stats. Recent winners include Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth, and distance is not paramount in either of their games. The average driving distance here in 2019 ranked 30th out of 49th, which would match up with that conclusion. In total, just 53% of the fairways were hit here last year.
- Approach to the green: All of those missed fairways and small green sizes lead to a lot of missed greens, coming in with just over 60% of the greens hit in regulation.
- Around the Green: Missing the green at Colonial isn’t the worst thing. In terms of scrambling percentage, it was ranked 19th hardest last year. More specifically, scrambling from the fringe (10 to 20 yards) proved harder. Both of them ranked inside the top 15 hardest courses last year.
- On the Green: Once players are on the small greens at Colonial, putting hasn’t been typically hard over the years. The overall putting average ranked 33rd hardest last year on tour. The hardest element seems to be putting from 4 to 8 feet, which ranked 17th hardest on tour last year. Expect to see a lot of missed putts from this distance this week.
PGA DFS Statistical Comparison
- Driving Accuracy vs. Driving Distance: The band of winners shown above certainly tells a little bit of the story in terms of driving distance. None of those guys listed are anywhere close to the top of the driving distance stat, nor are they that great at hitting fairways. Knowing these fairways are some of the hardest on tour to hit, one can assume that the off-tee game here is not nearly as important as it is in other courses.
- Strokes Gained Tee to Green Analysis: Not one golfer that won here in the last five years has gained more than one stroke off the tee on average. Justin Rose gained 0.918 in 2018, the highest of any of the five golfers, while Chris Kirk actually lost strokes off the tee and still won the tournament. Strokes gained on the approach seemed to be vital for most winners, except for Jordan Spieth, who only gained 0.361 but gained a tremendous amount in his short game. All told, an excellent short game with a stellar approach is unquestionably the recipe for winning here.
- Putting — How good do they need to be?: Four of the past six winners are some of the best putters on tour: Kevin Na, Kevin Kisner, Berger and Spieth. Rose even went through an excellent putting spell in 2018-19, so there is the answer.
Latest PGA DFS Content
- DraftKings PGA DFS Picks & Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: The American Express
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PGA DFS Sweat Sheet for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club
Thirty percent of the DraftKings scoring comes on just three holes, with over 20% of the scoring on the first two holes alone. In terms of showdowns, the possibility for a streak is 18, one and two. That means gamers should focus on golfers teeing off on the back nine so they can make the turn into those two most accessible holes while avoiding the need to birdie the third hole, which is the third hardest on the course.
Charles Schwab Challenge Player Preview
Spieth heads home to Texas a week after coming up short of the career grand slam. He will be heading home as the favorite as well, joined by Justin Thomas. Collin Morikawa put together a nice Sunday to back door a top-10, and defending champion, Daniel Berger will get plenty of attention. Other highlights include former winners of the event: Rose, Will Zalatoris, Gary Woodland and Corey Conners.
The field also features Phil Mickelson, who now will forever be known as the oldest major champion in the history of the game (until Tiger Woods breaks it, of course).
The field is rather deep for this event as the season really starts to heat up. Over the next month and a half, there will be two majors and the Olympics. With chances to pick up FedEx Cup points dwindling down, these fields should be pretty stacked the rest of the year.
Lastly, here a couple of names most have not heard: Sahith Theegala and Michael Visacki, both of whom are in the field on a sponsor invite this week. Theegala was quite accomplished as an amateur and has been fighting for playing status on the lower tours, having yet to breakthrough in his sponsor invites thus far. He will get another crack at it this week.
Previous Winners (This Year’s Salary)
- 2020: Daniel Berger ($10,000)
- 2019: Kevin Na ($8,400)
- 2018: Justin Rose ($8,900)
- 2017: Kevin Kisner ($7,200)
- 2016: Jordan Spieth ($11,200)
- 2015: Chris Kirk ($7,600)
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DFS PGA rankings for FantasyDraft will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament. The PGA DFS projections, the PGA DFS showdown projections for FanDuel and the DFS PGA ownership projections for DraftKings are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world. Looking for more the best PGA DFS picks and FanDuel PGA DFS picks?
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