The Charles Schwab Challenge may sound like a new PGA Tour event, but it is not. It is far from it. The tournament at Colonial Country Club is the longest standing event at the same course for a non-major, aka, the Masters at Augusta National. Formerly known as the [insert sponsor here] Invitational, this was the Fort Worth Invitational last year when Justin Rose won it.
Rose is back to defend his crown and we’ve got a solid field with the invitational status and the enhanced prize purse for the exclusivity of this tournament. With a strong top half of the field, we’ve got a lot of good value picks to use to our advantage this week in DFS formats.
Salaries come from DraftKings for this Charles Schwab Challenge that starts on Thursday.
Scott Piercy ($8,600) – For most PGA Tour events, distance off the tee is a critical part of the equation. That’s not to say it doesn’t matter here, but it is not the most important thing for the players this week. Piercy ranks just inside the top 140 in driving distance, but he’s been pretty good in a lot of other areas this year. He’s 17th in driving accuracy, sixth in par 4 scoring, 49th in strokes gained tee to green, 43rd in strokes gained off the tee, 27th in birdie or better percentage and 12th in bogey avoidance. Sometimes you do have to put up a number to win here, a la Justin Rose last year at 20-under, but Kevin Kisner won at 10-under in 2017 and Chris Kirk at 12-under in 2015. Adam Scott won at 9-under in 2014. Avoiding bogeys is a big deal here and Piercy is very adept at that.
Kevin Na ($8,000) – We know how hot Kevin Na can get with the putter. That’s why it’s worth mentioning that these bentgrass greens are a favorite of his. Na has three top-10 finishes here dating back to 2009, including a fourth last year and a 10th in 2015. He’s actually got three top-15 outcomes in his last five starts at Colonial. Na hasn’t quite found the putting stroke yet this year, but he is 12th in strokes gained around the green. He’s not a big hitter, but he’s a fairly accurate one, as he ranks 75th in driving accuracy. Give him a course where he can make putts and he can be dangerous. Colonial Country Club applies.
Jim Furyk ($7,300) – Call me crazy, but I think Jim Furyk is worth a bet to win this week. These are types of courses Furyk can win at. Length isn’t an issue because this is a course with narrow landing areas and doglegs. It’s better to be in the fairway and short than long and in the deep stuff. Furyk’s first in driving accuracy this year. He’s 15th in par 4 scoring, 32nd in strokes gained tee to green because of that accuracy, and he’s top 65 in strokes gained putting, and strokes gained around the green. He’s fifth in bogey avoidance. Par golf will keep you around at Colonial and Furyk hits enough fairways and greens that he can put himself in contention.
Vaughn Taylor ($6,700) – Let’s really dig deep this week. Vaughn Taylor does not hit the ball far. He ranks 194th in driving distance. What he does do, however, is play perfect pull cart golf. He whacks it down the middle and then gets to the green to knock down his putts. He’s 25th in driving accuracy and 35th in par 4 scoring. He’s sixth in strokes gained putting. This is a course for fairways and greens. You don’t have to bury a 230-yard 5-iron into the putting surface. You just have to get there in two and make your birdies or your pars and move on. Taylor has that upside as a great putter and as a guy that hits it in the short grass. He’s 23rd in bogey avoidance. That’s what we’re looking for this week. Slow and steady.
Nate Lashley ($6,400) – Once again, the purpose of this article is to find DFS bargains so that you can fill your slots with as many top players as you can. Nate Lashley isn’t the type to post 63s and 64s, but he’s a solid player. He ranks 28th in driving accuracy and sixth in par 44 scoring. He’s 25th in strokes gained putting as well. Lashley won’t make you a ton of birdies, but he’ll avoid bogeys and if you need a safe player with limited funds, he and Taylor are the types to consider.