This week, the PGA TOUR travels to Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club. The course will play as a tightly intertwined par 70, measuring 7,209 yards, and will feature bentgrass greens.
Colonial Country Club will host the Charles Schwab Challenge once again this year and remains the longest active host for a non-major event on the PGA TOUR. The tightly-woven par 70 setup features doglegs and heavily tree-lined fairways, making accurate hitting a must this week. Players who are off-center off the tee may have their approaches blocked off by large overhanging trees. Water also comes into play on six of the holes and is featured predominately on the 18th, where a large pond guards one side of the green.
Last season, Colonial played to a 69.567 scoring average and was the 13th-toughest venue on the PGA TOUR. The winners at this event the last three seasons have also all failed to reach anything better than 15-under par. Last year, Jason Kokrak grabbed the second of his three PGA TOUR wins, besting 2017 Colonial champion Jordan Spieth by two strokes. Kokrak had a fantastic week ball-striking, gaining +11.0 strokes combined in strokes gained off the tee and approach stats while also gaining +5.5 strokes putting. The smaller bentgrass greens put an emphasis on approach play but do tend to run very pure, and we often see a lower than average amount of three-putts this week, as compared to other venues.
With smaller greens and seven par 4s that range between 400-450 yards, players like Brian Harman ($7,800), Kevin Na ($8,100) and Kevin Kisner ($7,400) tend to excel at Colonial thanks to excellent approach and short games. Distance is certainly de-emphasized this week, and the focus for daily fantasy should be on finding players efficient from 150-175 yards on approach and good at scoring on shorter par 4s.
Abraham Ancer ($9,300)
It was a disappointing Sunday for Ancer at the PGA Championship, starting the day in the mix but faded to a T9 finish. Ancer posted his second ever top-10 finish in a major last week, though, and he also had his best ball-striking week of the season, gaining +4.6 strokes on approach alone. He appears to be sharpening into form and has the perfect style of game for long-term success at Colonial. Ancer ranks third in driving accuracy off the tee and will also be putting on his preferred surface this week, as he’s up to ninth now in strokes gained putting on bentgrass greens. Coming off a great week in Tulsa, Ancer makes for a logical starting point in daily fantasy golf lineups on DraftKings this week.
Gary Woodland ($7,900)
Woodland is another player who gets a bump this week for the setup. He’s 24th in strokes gained putting on bentgrass greens over the last 50 rounds and is now ranked 10th in strokes-gained-on-approach stats over that same span. Woodland has had an up-and-down season, as he’s accumulated three top-10 finishes since the beginning of March while also missing three cuts during that same span. Shorter courses aren’t necessarily a poor fit for Woodland, who won his only major at the relatively shorter Pebble Beach and has also posted T9 and T14 finishes at Colonial the past two seasons. He gained strokes everywhere last week, except around the greens, and with easier around-the-green structures in play at Colonial, a big week for Woodland could easily be ahead.
Maverick McNealy ($7,500)
The last couple golfers to win the Charles Schwab after it directly followed the PGA Championship came off slow weeks at that major. That’s why I don’t mind playing McNealy for a bounce-back result this week. He struggled at Southern Hills but has been great for daily fantasy purposes, landing 14 made cuts in a row now dating back to last fall. McNealy has made the cut at Colonial in his three appearances at this event and gained over a stroke putting in each of those starts. He’s shown big upside when that club gets rolling and is available this week at a very friendly price on DraftKings.
Brian Harman ($7,800) is another player with good course history who looks undervalued this week, given the setup. If you want to take a little more of a risk-reward approach, consider Emiliano Grillo ($7,000), who has finished T19 or better at this event in three of the last four seasons. Grillo has been striking ball poorly this year but comes in off two made cuts in a row. He sets up as a low-owned boom-or-bust target for big tournaments.
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