After watching Brooks Koepka capture the fifth major title of his career at the PGA Championship, the 2023 PGA TOUR season continues with the Charles Schwab Challenge, which will be played at Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards, bentgrass greens) in Fort Worth, Texas. Since this tournament’s inception in 1946, Colonial has been the only course to host a Charles Schwab Challenge, making this course and event pairing the longest-running on the PGA TOUR. At last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge, Sam Burns (-9) defeated Scottie Scheffler in a playoff for the victory.
With small greens and tight, tree-lined fairways, Colonial is a classic design that favors accuracy over distance. While OTT stats are mostly irrelevant with this being a less than driver venue, your work with your irons is extremely important at Colonial. For five years in a row, the golfer to take home the novelty check at this track has finished the tournament top-12 in SG APP, with two of these players notably leading their fields in the metric. Even more so than usual, having a strong performance on the bentgrass greens of Colonial is also a must if you want to contend at the Charles Schwab Challenge. For four years running, the champion at Colonial has ranked top-seven in SGP during their win in Fort Worth.
Last but certainly not least, being efficient on the par fours of this par 70 is vital for success, specifically, the par fours that land between 400-450 yards, with seven of the 12 par fours at Colonial falling this range. Of the last five Charles Schwab Challenge victors, four collectively finished the event top-three in par four efficiency and top-eight in efficiency on the 400-450-yard par fours at Colonial.
Headlined by Texas natives Scheffler and Jordan Spieth – who are currently the first and second betting favorites to win the Charles Schwab Challenge on the DraftKings Sportsbook, respectively – nine of the top-25 golfers in the world will be competing in Fort Worth this week. Also, this is a smaller field of 120 players and after last week’s expanded cut at the PGA Championship, we get back to the standard top-65 and ties cut following the first two rounds at the Charles Schwab Challenge, meaning a higher percentage than usual will be advancing to the weekend.
Below, I have featured four of my favorite sub $7.5K DraftKings value plays for the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Eric Cole ($7,200) – In just his second career start at a major, Cole shined at the PGA Championship last week, carding a T15 finish. Impressively, the 34-year-old gained strokes in every major category and finished in a tie for the least bogeys recorded at the demanding Oak Hill Country Club. Cole has now made seven of his past 10 cuts - with six of those finishes being top-30 results – and sits at a career-best No.103 in the world golf rankings, which is an eye-popping 333 spots higher than his ranking to start the season.
While this will be Cole’s debut at Colonial, he is an excellent match for the classic track, ranking top-20 in SG APP, SGP and par four efficiency over his last 50 rounds. Cole has top-20 upside this week and is an easy choice at this affordable price tag.
Ryan Palmer ($7,200) – Palmer is a true Texan through and through that is always a sharp target at Colonial. In 19 appearances at the par 70, the 46-year-old has made 14 cuts and supplied four top-10 finishes, most recently with a T6 in 2019. Palmer now returns to Fort Worth, coming off a T35 at the Wells Fargo Championship and then a T8 at the AT&T Byron Nelson. In that latter start, which marked his best finish of the season and also took place in the Lonestar state, Palmer gained strokes in every major category at TPC Craig Ranch, including 9.6 strokes from T2G. Not only did this number rank third for the event – trailing only Byron Nelson champion Jason Day and the world No.1 in Scheffler – it is the most strokes Palmer has gained from T2G in almost three years.
If the veteran can in any way carry over this momentum as a ball striker to this course he loves in Colonial, Palmer should have zero issues out-producing this cheap salary, which is notably the lowest he has ever been priced for a tournament at Colonial on DraftKings.
Justin Suh ($7,100) – Suh is fresh off his best performance at a major, with a T26 at the PGA Championship last week, in which he gained strokes in every major category at the grueling Oak Hill. Additionally, the 25-year-old was one of only 17 players to shoot under par in multiple rounds at the major championship. Including seven top-30 finishes, Suh has only missed one cut in his past 18 starts and he ranks fifth in SGP over his last 50 rounds.
Suh’s outstanding work with his flat stick should translate into success at Colonial and he should have another quality finish to his season resume in his Charles Schwab Challenge debut this week.
Mark Hubbard ($6,600) – After advancing to the weekend at the PGA Championship, Hubbard has made four cuts in a row at standard solo events. During this streak, the 33-year-old has gained strokes on APP during every start and has generated three top-20 finishes.
The San Jose State product will now bring this compelling form to Colonial CC, where he has never missed a cut in four tries. In fact, Hubbard has only missed one cut in his last 10 appearances at courses home to bentgrass greens. The veteran, at the minimum, should get us four rounds of golf this week and is an awesome value play at this sub $7K salary.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.