2020 Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Odds & Picks

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The PGA Tour is back! The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas marks the return of the top golf league on the planet. We had a couple of charity events last month, but now we get one of the strongest non-playoff or major fields that we’ve seen in quite some time. The players are eager to get back and start making money and bettors are eager for another thing to wager on.

The Event

Formerly known by many names, like the Dean & DeLuca Invitational and, most notably, the Crowne Plaza Invitational, this is a good test for the players. This course only plays as a par 70 checking in at over 7,200 yards. The first hole is a very reachable par 5 that 40% of the field birdied last season. Getting a 1-under or better there is imperative with the Horrible Horseshoe of 3-4-5 coming up. Those three holes all played over par on average last year.

Fans will not be in attendance. Texas Governor Greg Abbott did say that up to 25% capacity was allowed at outdoor venues, but the PGA Tour decided to uphold its previous announcement regarding spectators. The players shouldn’t be affected too much, though the lack of stands and patrons could make some errant tee shots even worse with nothing to stop them. Driving accuracy could be very big until things return to normal.

The Field

Not everybody will return to the course this week because this is an Invitational event, so there are some criteria that need to be met in order to be in the field. Past Colonial winners, PLAYERS and major championship winners, Tour Championship and WGC event winners, other Invitational winners, PGA tour winners since the last Colonial tournament, the Top 50 in the OWGR, the Top 80 from last year’s FedEx Cup points list, and the top 15 from last year’s tournament are some of the criteria.

Tiger Woods is virtually the only big name not in the field. Rory, Rahm, and JT are the three shortest prices on the board at 5Dimes Sportsbook, with McIlroy at +675, Rahm at +1110, and Thomas at +1310. Sungjae Im is +1800. The rest of the field is +2200 or higher as of Sunday June 7 with Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, and on down from there.

This looks like a major field, without some of the European players given different travel restrictions and whatnot from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is something of a tough handicap. Surely these players have been getting some rounds in on their own, but they have not played in tournament conditions since trying to force the PLAYERS Championship in mid-March. There have been a couple of charity events featuring Fowler, Johnson, McIlroy, and Matthew Wolff, and also Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, but those were one-offs and not predictive at all.

Reigning champion Kevin Na is +5000 this week. He won by four shots last year over Tony Finau. It was Na’s second straight top-five finish after coming in fourth in 2018. Na shot an opening-round 62 and a final-round 61 that year. He shot a second-round 62 last year. Based on some of the past performances here, with guys like Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson, and Na, this is a tournament in which you have to be a terrific putter. Kisner, for example, has been in the top 30 in SG: Putting every year since 2015. We know that Rose and Scott can get extremely hot with the flatstick. Na’s best attribute is his game on the greens.

The Picks

All of the players will have to get a feel for the putting surfaces as quickly as possible, but a guy like Patrick Reed at +2600 makes a lot of sense. Before everything hit the fan, Reed was third in SG: Putting. Only Denny McCarthy, who is not in the field, was better in that department over a good sample size of tournaments. Louis Oosthuizen is actually tops, but he’s only played six measured rounds. Oosthuizen is in the field at +5500 and finished T-5th in 2018.

Reed hasn’t played this event since 2016, but he did finish T-15 in that one. He’s had a good year, as he has four top-10 finishes, including a win in the WGC-Mexico and ranks seventh in SG: Total. He’s been a little bit rough off of the tee, but he’s made up for it nicely on the way to the green and on the dance floor. He isn’t the longest hitter by any means, but Zach Johnson is a two-time winner here and Jordan Spieth has played very well here with some marginal driving stats.

Among the other shorter prices, Webb Simpson had back-to-back top-five finishes in 2016 and 2017. He didn’t play here last year and narrowly missed the cut in 2018, but he’s a top-15 putter this season. The +2200 price isn’t great by any means, but Simpson has been a really consistent force and was playing some of the best golf of his career this season prior to the shutdown.

In the mid-range, Amarillo native and Texas A&M Aggie Ryan Palmer isn’t a bad look at +6600. Palmer tied for sixth last year with four rounds in the 60s and tied for third back in 2016, finishing four shots off of the incredible pace of Jordan Spieth. Palmer missed the cut in 2018 and finished T-70th in 2017 because of a third-round 77, but he knows this course well and he has been playing well since the start of the 2018-19 season with eight top-10 finishes.

Let’s throw a big price out there in Andrew Putnam at +15000. Putnam has only had the résumé to qualify for this event twice. He’s played the last two years and he’s finished T-20th and T-3rd. Putnam’s opening-round 64 back in 2018 was bested only by Na and Charley Hoffman. Putnam ranks sixth on the PGA Tour in SG: Putting this season.

Putnam has had his issues with other facets of his game, but we’ve seen guys that aren’t great off the tee win and play well here because of their putting prowess. Putnam fits that bill, even if most of his stats leave something to be desired. He was playing better the previous two seasons with a more well-rounded set of strokes gained statistics, but a lot of these guys are operating on a pretty level playing field here with the long layoff.

Another big price to consider is Cameron Smith at +12500. Smith is top 10 in SG: Putting. He won the Sony Open in Hawaii earlier this year and actually ranks in the top 40 in the OWGR. He’s badly missed the cut in his two previous starts at Colonial, hence the balloon price, but he’s been pretty good around the green and his putting has been a lifesaver. He has a little more length than some of the past winners, so as long as he doesn’t spray it all over the course off the tee or on approach, he could be in very good shape.

If nothing else, with guys like Putnam and Smith, you can seek out some top-10 or top-five props and maybe find a matchup or two.

Coverage of the Charles Schwab Challenge will be on Golf Channel throughout the tournament, with featured coverage from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on CBS on the weekend.

Charles Schwab Challenge Odds per 5Dimes Sportsbook 6/7, 10 a.m. ET:

Rory McIlroy +675
Jon Rahm +1110
Justin Thomas +1310
Sung-Jae Im +1800
Webb Simpson +2200
Bryson DeChambeau +2200
Xander Schauffele +2500
Patrick Reed +2600
Dustin Johnson +2800
Brooks Koepka +2800
Rickie Fowler +3000
Jordan Spieth +3300
Tony Finau +3300
Marc Leishman +3500
Matthew Fitzpatrick +4000
Scottie Scheffler +4000
Justin Rose +4000
Collin Morikawa +4000
Matt Kuchar +4000
Jason Day +4500
Gary Woodland +4500
Kevin Na +5000
Shane Lowry +5000
Viktor Hovland +5500
Louis Oosthuizen +5500
Kevin Kisner +6000
Abraham Ancer +6000
Daniel Berger +6600
Byeong Hun An +6600
Brandt Snedeker +6600
Billy Horschel +6600
Joaquin Niemann +6600
Joel Dahmen +6600
Harris English +6600
Max Homa +6600
Ryan Palmer +6600
Maverick McNealy +8000
Phil Mickelson +8500
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +8500
Adam Hadwin +10000
Rory Sabbatini +11500
Ian Poulter +11500
Jason Kokrak +12500
Russell Knox +12500
Ryan Moore +12500
Sebastian Munoz +12500
Matthew Wolff +12500
Corey Conners +12500
Danny Lee +12500
Cameron Smith +12500
Chez Reavie +12500
Bubba Watson +12500
Brian Harman +12500
Tom Hoge +12500
Victor Perez +12500
Harold Varner III +13500
J.T. Poston +15000
Harry Higgs +15000
Graeme McDowell +15000
Emiliano Grillo +15000
Erik Van Rooyen +15000
Jason Dufner +15000
Lanto Griffin +15000
Jimmy Walker +15000
Kevin Streelman +15000
Matt Wallace +15000
Matthew NeSmith +15000
Patrick Rodgers +15000
Nick Taylor +15000
Scott Piercy +15000
Rafa Cabrera-Bello +15000
Brendan Steele +15000
Brendon Todd +15000
Branden Grace +15000
Andrew Putnam +15000
Charles Howell III +15000
Charley Hoffman +15000
Danny Willett +15000
Alex Noren +15000
Sung-Hoon Kang +15000
Talor Gooch +15000
Zach Johnson +15000
Wyndham Clark +16500
Bud Cauley +17000
Beau Hossler +17500
C.T. Pan +17500
Kevin Tway +17500
Tom Lewis +17500
Vaughn Taylor +20000
Keith Mitchell +20000
Dylan Fritelli +20000
J.B. Holmes +20000
Jazz Janewattananond +20000
Jhonattan Vegas +20000
Nick Watney +20000
Lucas Glover +20000
Mackenzie Hughes +20000
Cameron Champ +20000
Carlos Ortiz +20000
Chris Kirk +20000
Adam Long +20000
Nate Lashley +22500
Peter Uihlein +22500
Si Woo Kim +22500
Robby Shelton +25000
Pat Perez +25000
Mark Hubbard +25000
Matt Jones +25000
Andrew Landry +25000
Chesson Hadley +30000
Andy Ogletree +30000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee +30000
Troy Merritt +30000
Steve Stricker +30000
Zac Blair +32500
Xinjun Zhang +35000
Tyler Duncan +35000
Bill Haas +35000
Brian Gay +40000
Adam Schenk +40000
Tyler McCumber +45000
Brian Stuard +50000
Bernhard Langer +50000
Chad Campbell +50000
Jim Herman +50000
Patton Kizzire +50000
Scott Brown +50000
Scott Harrington +50000
J.J. Henry +60000
John Senden +75000
Keith Clearwater +100000
Franklin Corpening +100000
Scott McCarron +100000
Olin Browne +100000
David Frost +100000
Tom Lehman +100000

 

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