2020 Charles Schwab Challenge Preview & Predictions
FORE!!! Finally, Golf is making its return. Yes, we saw Tiger Woods, Phil Michelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning compete in a match a couple of weeks ago but it just wasn’t the same as we will see this weekend. The last time that the PGA held a tournament was back in the middle of March and it was canceled while the event was going on. The pandemic has disrupted the lives of many around the world and it put the sports world on hold for a few months but things are starting to open up.
Today we will take a look at the Charles Schwab Challenge which will be taking place at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The event will be from June 11th to the 14th.
2020 Charles Schwab Odds (Courtesy Of Betonline.ag)
80000Rory McIlroy +800
80027Byeong Hun An+5000
80020Kevin Na +5000
A Look At The Course
The Colonial Country Club is 7,209 yards long and it is a par 70 course. This is the 75th time that the course will be played and every one of the previous events being held here at Colonial CC. This course also hosted THE PLAYERS Championship in 1975, the 1941 U.S. Open, and the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open.
Last year’s winner was Kevin Na, who topped the field by four shots and it was his 2nd win of the 2019 campaign.
The 72-hole course record is 259, which was set in 2010 by Zach Johnson while the 18-hole record of 61 was set by seven players, including Kevin Na, who pulled the feat back in 2018.
Ok, now that we go all of that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the golfers that I feel have a good chance at winning this event. Afterward, I will have my final prediction, along with a couple of prop plays, so let’s get to it.
This is a stacked field at the Charles Schwab Challenge are it includes Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson, with five of them being ranked in the Top 5 In The World. Even though this event will be played without fans, it still should be a good show for fans that are starving for any kind of live sports.
Rory McIlroy is currently ranked as the number one player in the world and he is the favorite to win this event. This will be the first time he has competed here at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and we note that two of Rory’s wins in his career were on a course that he has never played on before. McIlroy has been in six events this year and he has one win while finishing in the top 5 in all six of his starts. McIlroy leads the tour in scoring average and is second in both eagles and driving distance. We also note that Rory is ranked 3rd in the world in FedEx Points. He has been a model of consistency all year so far and he deserves to be the favorite here.
John Rahm is the next one I will discuss. He is currently ranked 2nd in the world rankings overall and 21st in FedEx Points. Rahm would like a very good showing as he looks to climb up the FedEx standings. John doesn’t have any wins this year but he has finished in the top 10 in four of his five starts so far. He has made three career starts here at Colonial Country Club and has two top-five finishes in those starts, which included finishing 2nd in 2017. He will be looking to make amends for a disastrous showing last year here as he shot an opening-round 75 and was never able to recover, as he missed the cut. Rahm is 6th in the world in scoring average and with his overall success at this event, he is definitely worth a look.
An interesting point here. The first three golfers that I will look at here are all in the same three-way pair in the Charles Schwab Challenge. Brooks Koepka is also worth a look at +2200. He has made one career start here, finishing 2nd back in 2018. Koepka shot a pair of 63s in rounds two and four during that event. He is ranked 3rd in the world overall but is ranked 213th in FedEx Cup points this year. Koepka does dot have many great stat rankings overall but we do note that he is 33rd in driving average. Brooks has five starts this season and has no wins or even Top 10 finishes while missing the cut three times. Can Brooks get his act together after the long layoff? We shall see.
Justin Thomas comes in ranked 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings and 4th in the world overall. He is one of two players on the tour that has two wins on the year and in his eight events on the season, Thomas has six finishes in the top six. He also leads the money list this year. Thomas even had a stint as a commentator in the match that involved Tiger and Phil. There may be no one hotter this year. He is ranked 12th in greens in regulation, 2nd in birdie average, and 4th in scoring average. Thomas deserves a serious look in this one.
Xander Schauffele could be a very nice play at +2200. He enters this contest ranked 12th in both FedEx Points and World Ranking. He really burst on to the scene last year with five finishes in the top three, including two wins while finishing 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings. He has now had 16 finishes in the Top 10 the last two-plus seasons. He ranks 8th on the tour in scoring average and 9th in greens in regulation. That is good news as he also ranks a solid 26th in birdie average. Xander has three Top 10 finishes this year and he has finished in the Top 16 six times. He has missed the cut in his last two tries at Colonial, but Schauffele is still worth a look.
Jason Day could be with a shot at +6600. Day is a longshot as he is currently ranked 50th in the world while also ranking 91st in FedEx Cup points. We note that he is 12in in greens in regulation, 1st around the green and he has gained 1.3 strokes in his career at Colonial. Kevin Na has had some success at this venue and he is the defending champion. Na is 7th on the tour in putting and if he can improve on his 119th ranking in greens in regulation, then he could have a very good shot at repeating.
Dustin Johnson is ranked 5th in the world overall but just 111th in the FedEx Cup standings. He needs a win real bad or at least a high finish. Johnson has played in just four events this year with no wins and two Top 7 finishes. He is 28th in driving average and 1st in Eagles but just 113th in sand save percentage and 184th in birdie average. One last player to look at is Sungjae Im, who is ranked 1st on the tour in FedEx Points. He has five Top 10 finishes in 14 events this year, including winning the Honda Classic in early March.
Some that I haven’t mentioned are Jordan Speith, Justin Rose, and Phil Michelson who all may surprise but I don’t think either of those will have a good enough showing to be a factor here. Rory McIlroy is the favorite and he has won two tournaments on courses that he has never seen before but this will not be his weekend. John Rahm has two solid finishes at this course in his career and he will be looking for redemption after a bad showing last year but he is not the one I will be taking here. I am going with Xander Schauffele, who finished 2nd in the FedEx Cup standings last year. He has three top 10 finishes this year and I believe the break will have him ready for a good showing. Xander ranks 8th on the tour in scoring average and he is my pick to win it all. Xander Schauffele +2200
Xander Schauffele to beat Dustin Johnson by 1.5 strokes at +120
Rory McIlroy -139 over Justin Thomas
Jason Day -118 over Louis Oosthuizen
Rory to finish In the Top 5 at +200
Xander Schauffele to finish in the Top 5 at +600
Some Info Gleaned From PGATour.com