After a hiatus that seemed like an eternity, the PGA Tour resumes this weekend as we head to Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge. The action gets underway on Thursday night (AEST) and continues through to Sunday night.
As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the action below!
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the 2020 PGA Tour season, however, golf fans in Fort Worth will consider themselves lucky as the hiatus in the tour has resulted in an all-star cast of starters for the Charles Schwab Challenge this week.
There is no doubt that this will be the strongest field in the history of the tournament, with seven of the top 10 and 16 of the top 20 players in the world set to tee it up on Thursday night. Headlining the field will be the No.1 player in the world, Rory McIlroy, fresh off a win in the TaylorMade Driving Relief charity event a few weeks ago.
Alongside McIlroy will be other top ranked players in the world in Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, just to name a few. Past winners of the event who will be back this season include Kevin Na, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner.
The Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, has been the home of the Charles Schwab Challenge for all 74 years of its existence, which makes it the longest serving single venue event in the PGA Tour. It will celebrate its 75th year this season, after the first tournament was won back in 1946 by Ben Hogan.
The course plays as a Par 70 at just over 7,200 yards and while the greens aren’t exactly a massive challenge, finding them can be at times. The fairways are tight and lined with trees while the green complexes are small which makes play from tee to green difficult. There is also water in play on sic holes. Our key focus will be on strong tee to green players this week.
There are a few guys at the top of the betting markets who it’s hard to look past this week, but we also like a few value plays a bit further down in the markets. Rory McIlroy is the first we have to highlight. The No.1 player in the world was on an absolute tear in the PGA Tour season before it was suspended, racking up one win and six top five finishes across six tournaments.
He ranks highly in the key categories we are hunting this week, coming in at 6th in shots gained off the tee, 3rd in shots gained on approach and 2nd in shots gained from tee to green. He has never played the Colonial Course in competitive play, but we don’t think that will be an issue come the weekend.
The other top contender who we really like this weekend is Justin Thomas. The No.4 player in the world looked like he was chomping at the bit to get back out on the course when he was commentating ‘The Match’ between Woods/Mickelson/Brady/Manning last weekend and being just 27 years old, the time off shouldn’t affect him too much.
He is one of just two players this season to have accumulated two wins this season and currently sits atop the FedEx Cup leaderboard. Also ranks highly in the key categories we are targeting this week, although he too has never played Colonial in a competitive setting before.
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