Charles Schwab Challenge – Gambling/DFS Preview 2020

After a long time, we’re FINALLY back with the first PGA Tour event since THE PLAYERS was cancelled after one round in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. I couldn’t be more thrilled to break down this week’s loaded field event that finally brings our first live sports back (besides the UFC which has been fantastic this past month). This week the PGA Tour goes to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge. There’s so many unknowns coming off this layoff that it’s going to be hard to really predict anything on this event, cause there’s obviously no current form since no one’s played professional golf for three months and because of this year’s field being so much stronger than normal you could pretty much throw course history out too. So it’s all a crapshoot for everyone. Let’s have some fun this week!

Colonial Country Club – Fort Worth, TX

Course Breakdown

Par 70, 7209 yds, 84 bunkers, 4 water hazards, Bermuda fairways and rough, tight tree lined fairways with bunkers in play on pretty much every tee shot, rough isn’t too high but wirey so it’s tough to hit out of, harder than average fairways to hit (~56%), most golfers will go less than driver on a lot of holes (average driving distance 276 yds vs. tour average 284), plotters course where accuracy and shot placement matters more than distance,  a lot of doglegs with 7 of the 11 favoring a left to right ball flight, average GIR % (~65%), tiny average speed bentgrass greens with a bit of undulation, lot of bunkers around the green especially in front of them, weather plays a big factor here with the winning score between -21 and -9 the last 10 years

Tournament Notes

  • Typically an invitational field of ~120 players but this year it’s a full field tournament with a WAY better field than usual and a much better strength of field so that could throw off some course history a lot since a lot of the top end players this week don’t typically play this event, so lesser players stats will look inflated compared to this year’s field
  • Theres a lot of question marks this week with everyone having a layoff for months with no golf, you don’t know what kind of practice these players have had and there’s no current form which makes it pretty tough to project (rust vs. rest)
  • Formerly called the Fort Worth Invitational and the Dean & DeLuca Invitational and several other names before those
  • Experience/course history matter here, the winners of this event since 2001 have averaged 7 appearances here prior to their win
  • Only 8 golfers in 70 years have gotten their maiden victory here
  • Since Sergio won in 2001 at age 22, since then only Jordan Spieth in 2016 was the only golfer under age 30 to win here 
  • Besides when Justin Rose won two years ago (on his first time here), every winner since 2014 has finished T15 or better the year previous here
  • No fans or grandstands, so more balls could get lost than there would be in a typical year and the rough could be tougher without fans trampling it
  • SG: Approach is more than twice as impactful than OTT and ATG for Top 10/Top 5 finishes, and 3x more impactful on the winner
  • Any skill set could win here and a lot of plotters have won here before but the superstars that normally don’t play here could just bomb and gauge the course and tear it up

Key Stats

SG: Approach, Ballstriking, Driving Accuracy, SG: ATG

Main proximity distance range on approach: 150-175 yds

Corollary Courses

  • Harbour Town Golf Links (RBC Heritage)
  • Copperhead Course (Valspar Championship)

Field

148 golfers

Best field since the BMW Championship (2nd round of the Fedex Cup Playoffs) last year including WGC events that happened earlier this year

Defending Champion: Kevin Na (-13)

Runner Up Last Year: Tony Finau (-9)

One and Done: Webb Simpson

Alternate: Collin Morikawa

One and Done Considerations: Webb, Morikawa, Bryson, JT, Rahm, Rory

Players

Webb: 9800: +2200 – 5th, 3rd, MC here in the past 4 years, hits a lot of fairways, great around the green, top 10 in SG: ATG and Scrambling, 1st in Par 4 efficiency 400-450 yds, 4th in short Par 4 scoring, 4th in proximity 100-125 yds, 6th in SG: Approach, 1st in SG: Putting, 5th in Par 4 scoring, sets up perfectly for this course, 4th in DK scoring

Morikowa: 9100: +4000 – great iron player, 4th in ballstriking, 3rd in SG: T2G, 1st in approach, 9th in DK scoring, averaging +5.4 SG on approach over last 5 tournaments and +6.9 T2G, averaging 4.1 fairways gained over last 5 tournaments, 8th in GIR, 1st in proximity 175-200 yds

Woodland: 8800: +3500 – Plays his best on less than driver courses, 5th in SG: Approach, 8th in Ballstriking, has been solid this season before the break

Harris English: 7500: +6600 – ballstriking has improved a lot this season before the break, 3rd in proximity 400-450 yds, 9th in Par 4 scoring, pretty good scrambling, has been playing in alternate tours over break, good course history with a T20, T29 and 2 the last 3 times here

Corey Connors: 7100: +10000 – 6th in approach over last 100 rounds (15th over last 50), 10th in T2G, 1st in GIR gained, SUCKS at putting so he just needs to putt average and he could succeed, T31 and T8 the last 2 years here

Erik Van Rooyen: 7100: +11500 – #42 in OWGR, 29th in SG: T2G, 20th in ballstriking, 23rd in SG: Approach, 7th in DK points

Bud Cauley: 6800: +16500 – Good value here, 25th in approach, 12th SG: ATG, 27th SG: T2G, I like him to finish off a DK lineup

DraftKings/Betting Notes

  • Milly Maker available this week for the first time ever for a non-major (or THE PLAYERS)
  • Lot of people will be playing this week that typically don’t play golf because its one of the first sports events back, so there should be an edge in actually knowing your shit this week compared to a typical week
  • A smart stack on showdown slates on DK is to stack players starting on the back since 17 and 18 are easy followed by 1 and 2 being the easiest holes on the course, so it’ll be easier to get the 3 birdies in a row streak bonus points
  • Projecting ownership will be tougher this week with softer pricing and being the first event back in months

Bets

  • ($23) Webb Simpson: WIN +2200
  • ($23) Webb Simpson: T5 +500
  • ($13) Collin Morikawa: WIN +4000
  • ($13) Collin Morikawa: T5 +800
  • ($15) Gary Woodland: WIN +3500
  • ($15) Woodland T5: +1000
  • ($8) Harris English: WIN +6600
  • ($8) Harris English: T5 +1400
  • ($5) Corey Connors: WIN +10000
  • ($5) Corey Connors: T5 +2500
  • ($5) Erik Van Rooyen: WIN +11500
  • ($5) Erik Van Rooyen: T5 +2800
  • ($3) Bud Cauley: WIN +16500
  • ($3) Bud Cauley: T5 +3300

All outright win bets are to win roughly $500, with each way to T5 for same amount risked on win.


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