It was a fantastic weekend in the PGA Tour as the PGA Championship was won by Brooks Koepka, marking his fourth major championship in just two years. Before You Bet followers also had a good weekend as we hit on our best bet of the weekend with Matt Kuchar cruising to a top 20 finish at odds of $2.50.
The PGA Tour continues this weekend as we head back to Texas for the annual Fort Worth Invitational. Renamed the Charles Schwab Challenge in 2019, the tournament is played annually at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth with the action set to tee off on Thursday night (AEST).
Englishman Justin Rose will be back to defend his title at the Charles Schwab Challenge this year after unsuspectingly winning the event in 2018. Rose came to Fort Worth last season to fulfil a PGA Tour requirement of adding an event he had not played in the previous four years and ended up hoisting the trophy, something he’ll be looking to do once again in 2019.
The Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas is the longest serving uninterrupted course on the PGA Tour outside of Augusta National. The 7,209 yard, Par 70 will actually provide a similar test to the one the pro’s faced at Bethpage Black in the PGA Championship last weekend. With tight fairways and a high number of doglegs, ball striking off the tee and on the approach will be key this weekend, however, long iron play won’t be as crucial as it was in New York.
The course was designed by Perry Maxwell and John Bredemus back in 1936 and is bordered on the Northern edge by the Trinity River. It hosted the 1941 U.S. Open, won by Craig Wood, and the course record of 61 is held by seven different PGA Tour pros.
Considering we are just a week removed from the PGA Championship, it’s a fantastic field for this weekend. 14 of the top 30 players in the world will make a start in Fort Worth, headlined by the likes of Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambaeu, Paul Casey, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau and Si Woo Kim.
The Fort Worth Invitational has an historic list of multiple winners including the likes of Ben Hogan, Lee Travino, Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson. Looking to put their name on the trophy for a second time this weekend will be Rose, Kevin Kisner, Spieth, Rory Sabbatini and Steve Stricker.
As we mentioned above, we’ll be looking for pure ball strikers this weekend in Fort Worth. Ball striking was the key to Justin Rose’s victory last season as he finished first in shots gained from tee to green. He also topped the field in shots gained on approach and was first in greens in regulation.
One guy who we think is real value this weekend and meets the criteria is youngster Xander Schauffele ($17). Schauffele was impressive in the PGA Championship on the weekend, finishing T16 after shooting even par or better in the first three rounds. He fits the bill of what it takes to win at Fort Worth, ranking 27th in shots gained off the tee, 24th in shots gained on approach and 19th in shots gained from tee to green. He is one of just three players to win two titles and has finished top 25 in 10 out of 13 events this season.
For value this weekend, we love the look of Englishman Ian Poulter ($41). Poulter missed the cut at the PGA Championship but apart from that, hasn’t really missed a beat on the PGA Tour this season. He has made the cut in all of his other 11 tournaments, finishing top 25 in nine of them and came into the PGA Championship on the back of a T12 at The Masters, a T10 at the RBC Heritage and a T9 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Is solid from tee to green and more short irons into greens should suit him over Bethpage Black on the weekend.
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