Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Colonial CC.
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Field
120 Players | Top 65 & Ties Make The Cut
First Tee: Thursday, May 26
Defending Champion: Jason Kokrak
We’ve got an unexpectedly strong field here following a major championship, with Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, Sam Burns, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood, Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Talor Gooch, Webb Simpson, Billy Horschel, Kevin Na and defending champ Jason Kokrak headlining the field in Fort Worth.
Fresh off of his 72nd hole meltdown, Mito Pereira will be back on the course in Fort Worth. As will Gary Woodland, Justin Rose, Chris Kirk, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Sebastian Munoz, Harold Varner, Brian Harman, Mav McNealy, Rickie Fowler, Tom Hoge and Colonial member Ryan Palmer.
Bryson DeChambeau is tentatively listed in the field. He attempted to play a week ago at the PGA Championship but withdrew on Wednesday. Bryson hasn’t played since The Masters. Harris English (hip) very briefly entered the field, only to back out quickly thereafter. English, who hasn’t played since mid-January, is expected to play in June’s U.S. Open but is also expected to play a warm-up event beforehand.
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Key Stats
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par 4s Gained: 350-400 Yards
- Fairways Gained
- Proximity 100-125 Yards
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Course
- Course: Colonial CC
- Par: 70
- Yardage: 7,209
- Greens: Bentgrass
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Past Winners
- 2021: Jason Kokrak -14
- 2020: Daniel Berger -15
- 2019: Kevin Na -13
- 2018: Justin Rose -20
- 2017: Kevin Kisner -10
- 2016: Jordan Spieth -17
- 2015: Chris Kirk -12
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Notes
With its classical design, Colonial is one of the regular PGA TOUR courses where all skill sets appear to have an equal opportunity to win. It’s akin to Harbour Town (Heritage), TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS), Sedgefield (Wyndham), East Lake (TOUR Championship) and Waialae (Sony Open) in that way. Distance will always be an advantage, but its impact is mitigated at Colonial.
Playing just a hair over 7,200 yards, strategy from the tee box will prove to be far more important than a standard week. Because, really, that’s a fake 7,200 — the course stacks length in its par 3s (all four at least 190 yards) and a three-shot, 635-yard par 5. It’s like the bizarro Riviera. Take out those five holes, and the field is left with nine par 4s measuring less than 445 yards. Regardless of driving distance numbers, those holes are scoreable for the entire field. Of those nine, seven come in at 430 yards or less, five of which annually play under par.
Looking at past leaderboards, the top five finishers almost exclusively share the trait of gaining a little off the tee, slightly less around the greens and a WHOLE LOT on approach and putting.
You’d think with below-average-sized greens, that chipping would play a major factor. That just doesn’t materialize at the top of the leaderboard, though. While a few well-timed up and downs will be critical, a great week from off the green means you’re simply not generating enough birdie tries to actually contend. Pin stalk with short irons, make putts, hoist a novelty check on Sunday.
Additionally, it’s worth noting very few eagles are made at Colonial. Hole No. 1 is really the only plausible eagle hole (outside of random approaches finding the bottom of the cup from 137 yards out). Even though it’s reachable to some in two shots, No. 1 still hovers around a 2% eagle rate historically. General DraftKings strategy points to distance as it typically leads to more eagle opportunities, which are worth eight DKFP as opposed to three, but past results show that isn’t the case at Colonial. That’s why there’s an over-emphasis on the 100-125 proximity range. While it may not be applicable to every player in the field for their approaches, with a good drive, that is the range where the pins will be most accessible on the scoring holes. Ditto at the longer par 5 (No. 11) for most of the field.
So if there aren’t many eagle bonuses to rely on in the DraftKings game, there is an exploitable single-day DraftKings Showdown contest trick to use to your advantage. While it may not always come to fruition, players starting on the back nine for their rounds will have a much greater chance of generating the birdie streak bonus versus their counterparts beginning their rounds on hole No. 1.
Colonial opens with a par 5 and a short par 4 which are the two easiest holes on the course. Expect birdies. Over the past five years, the field has made birdie or better on Hole 1 a total of 47% of the time and 27% of the time on Hole 2. Hole 3? Well, that’s where the Horrible Horseshoe begins, home to three of the four tougher holes on the course. That should have been deduced from the nickname — you’d be surprised how little the simple stretches of golf courses earn nicknames. With an 11% birdie rate, No. 3 is just very difficult to keep a birdie streak alive. Doable, just unlikely.
The back-nine starters have far more runway to achieve that birdie streak. If a golfer starts on Hole 10, they get the runway of holes 17 and 18 leading into the simple opening stretch. Holes 17 and 18 have around a 20% birdie or better rate. It doesn’t seem like much, but the three-hole birdie streak points in DraftKings Showdown contests are the likely separator between first and not so much money. Take any tiny edge when you’re dealing in fractional points.
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Picks
2022 has been a year of middling results for the Mexican Allen Iverson. A couple of WDs to accompany no finish better than T33 in 10 starts. And that includes a 39-person, no-cut event to begin the year. The driving has been fine, the approaches have been inconsistent but not devastating, but it’s been the chipping. Much is made about Viktor Hovland’s around the green woes, but Ancer has legitimately chipped himself out of almost every event this year. Then, at the most difficult course of the season, Ancer finally looks like himself again at Southern Hills. Go figure. He gained over eight strokes ball striking and lost minimally around the greens. Since SG: ATG is devalued at Colonial, it’s a perfect storm for Ancer.
The driver is starting to become an issue, but hopefully, the former Colonial champ feels less need to press at a shorter course. Beyond that, Na’s gained 4.77 SG: Approach over his past three starts and hasn’t gone absolutely nuclear on the greens in a while. With Bentgrass being his most productive surface, if he can get rolling early, he’s the perfect player to add another plaid jacket to his closet.
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2022 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 24 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time.
Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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