Starts: 11th June 2020
Course: Colonial Country Club
Length: 7,209 yards
Grass Type: Bentgrass
2020 Champion: Collin Morikawa
Overall Profit/Loss: +0.5pts
Pre-Event Six to Watch
MC Webb Simpson - 22/1
T10th Sungjae Im - 33/1
T23rd Tony Finau - 40/1
T55th Scottie Scheffler - 45/1
T10th Jordan Spieth - 45/1
T32nd Joaquin Niemann - 80/1
T19th Corey Conners - 125/1
MC Andrew Putnam - 150/1
In-Play Bets: +0.5pts
11 June 2020 (-3.5 PTS)
1pt Harris English & Adam Hadwin Top 20 Finish - 22/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im & Scottie Scheffler - 25/1 @ William Hill
2pts Webb Simpson to beat Xander Schaufffele (18 hole Mythical Matchup) - 10/11 @ Boylesports
12 June 2020 (+5.25 PTS)
1pt Each Way (1/4 1,2,3,4,5) Jordan Spieth '2nd Round Leader' - 25/1 @ Bet365
13 June 2020 (+1PT)
1pt Chris Kirk to beat Ricky Werenski - Evens @ Bet365
14 June 2020 (-2.25 POINTS)
0.5pts Each Way 1/5 1,2,3,4 Abraham Ancer - 50/1 @ BoyleSports
0.75pts Conners to beat Rose - 6/4 @ GentingBet
0.5pts Charles Howell to finish Top 20 Finish - 2/1 @ William Hill
Colonial Country Club is a tight, tree lined track which favours accurate hitters. There are numerous dog leg holes so players who can shape the ball are at an advantage. Water is in play on 6 holes. As you’d expect from a shorter course on the PGA Tour, the greens are small and tiered.
This event is steeped in history, with Colonial CC having been used since 1946 and the winner's name is chiselled on the Wall of Champions. Indeed, the course is often referred to as Hogan’s Alley given he won this event five times and lived locally.
If betting in-play it’s important to be aware the 1st and 2nd holes are traditionally the easier (often the easiest) holes on the course. Players then face the ‘Horrible Horseshoe,’ two difficult par 4s and a 250+ yard par 3. Similarly, on the back 9, the first two holes (10 and 11) represent realistic birdie chances whilst the 12th, 13th and 14th are particularly hard holes.
There are only two par 5's on this course, the 1st and the 11th, with the 1st playing much easier.
This is the first tournament to be played since the PGA Tour was suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst our watchlist below provides a summary of players who play well after a break, three months is unprecedented and players will have been able to practice to varying degrees depending upon where they live.
Simply put, exercise caution at the outset and keep a watching brief in play.
The event tends to favour players who have experience of playing the course before. In the last 20 years, 17 of the winners have recorded a top 14 finish here at Colonial prior to their win. Indeed, 16 of those 17 winners had recorded a top 10 finish at Colonial prior to donning the winner's plaid jacket. It is also significant to note that in the last ten editions of this tournament, seven of the winners recorded a top 14 finish in the year prior to winning. Previous form here counts for a lot.
Colonial isn't a course that favours debutants given there has only been one player in the past 20 years who has won on his debut - Sergio Garcia in 2001. However, the standard of field this week is unprecedented and those golfers who normally skip Colonial are in attendance. Nobody has won back to back at Colonial since Ben Hogan in 1952-53 so Kevin Na is going to have his work cut out.
Americans have dominated at Colonial, winning all but three of the tournaments since 2003.
Traditionally, driving distance isn’t a stat that is important here but it should be mentioned that in recent years power players such as Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm have all finished 2nd at Colonial. Despite that, more emphasis is placed on accuracy tee to green and scrambling ability, given the small greens. It should not come as a surprise that this was the course Annika Sorenstam chose to compete with the men when appearing as the first female professional on the PGA Tour in 2003.
Three of the last four winners here have held the lead going into the final round so first impressions are that it is a course to favour front runners. The 7 winners between 2002-2008 were all leaders or joint leaders after round 3. However, before we go and say that this is categorically a course where third round leaders prevail, between 2009-2015 no R3 leader managed to convert.
What we can say with certainty is that players don’t generally come from many back here. The last 18 winners have been within 3 shots of the lead with one round to go, and even more specifically 16 of those have been within 2 shots of the lead after 54 holes.
Follow our daily in-play updates on our Charles Schwab Challenge in-play blog.
Eight To Watch
Webb Simpson - 22/1 William Hill, 10Bet
Webb has a 3rd place (2016) and 5th place (2017) finish in his locker so he ticks the previous form box. He's also an incredibly fast starter after a long break as evidenced by his performances after Christmas each year. Only negatives are a missed cut in 2018 and didn't play here in 2019.
Sungjae Im - 33/1 William Hill
Sungjae is earmarked in our profiles for being at his best after a long break. He has a GBC pressure rating of 5 stars so we trust him if he can get in contention. Solid ball striking credentials which suit Colonial.
Tony Finau - 40/1 William Hill, 10Bet.
Tony was second here last year, one of many near misses in recent years. He possesses some of the strongest Strokes Gained stats on tour and is quoted as saying his extra power was an advantage around Colonial last year. Scrambling stats are extremely good as well - currently 6th for SG: Around the greens. It's only a matter of time before he gets that next win after Webb Simpson robbed him in Phoenix and he won't start as big as 40/1 many weeks.
Scottie Scheffler - 45/1 - William Hill
Scottie is a player we expect to win on the PGA Tour this season, following two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019. His two best finishes so far on tour have followed a few weeks off so we know he likes coming in fresh. One positive we can take is he competed at a low grade tournament at Madridoe Golf Club three weeks ago, finishing 2nd to Brandon Wu. Ranked 20th for SG: Tee to green which should stand him in good stead.
Jordan Spieth - 45/1 William Hill
We mentioned above about the importance of recording a top 14 finish at Colonial so it would be inconceivable not to include Jordan Spieth in our watchlist. Since Jordan first played here in 2013, he has only ever been outside the top 14 once (2018). That's a remarkable run and given that he lives locally and goes well after a break, we fancy him to go well again this year. He had a hole in one at a warm up event a few weeks ago, perhaps a sign his fortunes are changing . . .
Joaquin Niemann - 80/1 William Hill, 10Bet
Joaquin has form at Colonial having finished 30th last year and 8th in 2018. He lives in Texas and has shown that he can play well after a break. His sole win in 2019 came after a 3 week absence and he was FRL at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2020 after a 6 week break. Another player who played poorly before the break but a lot has changed since then.
Corey Conners - 125/1 William Hill, 10Bet
Corey is one of the best ball strikers on tour as shown in the stats; In 2019 he was 8th SG: Off the tee and 9th SG: Approach the green. He can take advantage of that ball striking at Colonial which demands pinpoint accuracy into these small greens. 31st and 8th on his last two starts here, he is much improved since then and can rise to the occasion at big price. Note he usually starts tournaments slow so you may want to wait in-running to catch him at even better odds.
Andrew Putnam - 150/1 William Hill
Andrew ticks a lot of boxes this week. He was 3rd in last year's event and 20th the year before. His wife is expecting their second child so he'll likely have some bounce in the next few months from the impending arrival. In terms of negatives, he was in poor form prior to break for Coronavirus but he's traditionally played the West Coast events poorly in the USA before coming good once the Tour hits Texas.
1 pt Harris English & Adam Hadwin to finish Top 20 - @22/1 William Hill
Our headline speciality tip is a 22/1 double with Harris English and Adam Hadwin both to finish in the Top 20, which can be found at William Hill #YourOdds (Link Below).
Harris has a 50% Top 20 finish strike rate at Colonial, including a 2nd and 5th place finish. He was leading the Players Championship before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and posted Top 20 finishes in his last 3 events prior to that. He ranks 18th for SG: Tee to green and 5th for GIR this year so has the ideal game for Colonial's small greens.
Adam Hadwin enjoyed a successful 2nd half of the season in 2019 with four Top 10 finishes and his best - 2nd at the Safeway Open followed a 6 week break which bodes well. Finished 26th on his last start out at The Genesis Invitational and has Colonial form of 5th and 22nd and 100% cuts made. Ranks 24th SG: Tee to green this year, so solid ball striking.
0.5pt Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im & Scottie Scheffler - 25/1 William Hill
Next best tip stays with the Top 20 market and William Hill #YourOdds, this time a treble of three of the biggest talents in golf - Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im and Scottie Scheffler at 25/1. We have picked three of the best ball strikers on tour who have been consistently posting high finishes in the last six months. Morikawa is a future superstar and is ranked 8th SG: Tee to green this year. Im and Scheffler are also both ranked inside the top 25 tee to green. See the 'Watchlist' section on our event preview for reasons we expect Im and Scheffler to go well.
2pts Webb Simpson to beat Xander Schauffele (18 hole Mythical Matchup) - 10/11 @ Boylesports
Webb has an excellent record here as mentioned in our watchlist above whilst Xander has a terrible record in Texas. In the last two years at this event he has missed the cut and finished 73rd. His record in Texas in general is woeful so he's one to oppose this week. If any further persuasion was needed, Webb is 16th in round 1 scoring this season whilst Xander is 64th. The round 1 scoring figures were much the same in 2019 also with Webb 26th and Xander 59th.