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The Rundown: 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge

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Man, Oak Hill sure was fun. Congratulations to the 2023 PGA Champion Brooks Koepka, and more importantly, to bettors like myself and our guy Vince 'Money' Margiotta who had Brooksie on the card at Oak Hill last week. The PGA delivered a tough act to follow, but a solid field at Colonial will do its best to keep the post-major hangover to a minimum. Eight of the OWGR top-20 are in Fort Worth this week including past champions Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth, as well as last week's runners-up Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland. After a successful week in Western NY, here's everything you need to know to keep it rolling at the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge.

course notes & quotes

This week is the PGA TOUR's 78th visit to Colonial Country Club, making this the longest-running TOUR event on the same course. Constructed in 1936, the Perry Maxwell/John Bredemus design has hosted a TOUR event every year but two since 1946.

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The course at Colonial is due for a Gil Hanse restoration later this summer, but the current edition will get one last hoorah at this week's event. A 7,209-yd par 70, Colonial is a much shorter change of pace from the typical TOUR setup. But what it lacks in distance off the tee it makes up for in difficulty. Colonial has some of the narrowest fairways these pros see each year, and the 3'' Bermuda rough will punish any miscues from the tee box. The greens are bentgrass and average 5,000 square feet in size, so precision on approach is even more important than off the tee.

All of this aligns to make Colonial one of the more difficult non-major stops on the PGA TOUR schedule. Only twice in the last 10 years has the winning score eclipsed 15-under-par, and in 2022, 9-under was all it took to reach the playoff won by Burns over Scheffler.

Holes 3, 4 and 5 comprise the 'Horrible Horseshoe', which has historically played well over par. In 2022, Nos. 4 and 5 were the two most difficult on the course, playing almost a half stroke over par between the two.

"This is a course where you have to really drive the ball well," 2020 Charles Schwab champion Daniel Berger said of Colonial. "There's a lot of doglegs and you have to place the ball on the right spot of the fairway. You have to maneuver your way around, and it's a real feel player's course in my opinion."

The Texas winds have historically made a difference in Fort Worth, but as of writing this on Monday, the forecast calls for only moderate breezes in the high single-digits with gusts in the low teens.

Precise Positioning

“You have to place the ball on the right spot in the fairway. You have to maneuver your way around, and it's a real feel player's course.”

— 2020 Champion Daniel Berger

Course history

Colonial has more history to study than any other stop on TOUR. DataGolf ranks it as the 11th most predictive course based on previous history, so here are a few facts and figures that should point to some good picks this week.

Off the Tee

With tight doglegs and skinny fairways, most players find themselves in similar spots off the tee at Colonial. As a result, distance off the tee is certainly not a prerequisite, and SG: OTT are hard to come by. Colonial ranks behind only Harbour Town and Pebble Beach for the fewest strokes gained per drive on TOUR. And while distance is still an advantage, players will need to find more fairways than not. Colonial plays .34 strokes more difficult from the rough, ranking among the most penal rough on TOUR.

Tee to Green

With distance somewhat neutralized off the tee, sharp iron play will be the main differentiator. Colonial doesn't produce too many opportunities to hit the long irons. This track requires much fewer shots from 200+ yards than the average TOUR setup, with the 247-yard par-3 fourth as one of the few holes that will require an approach from long distance.


One of the few Texas layouts with Bentgrass greens, the putting surfaces at Colonial are not notably difficult, but this is where the shorter hitters must capitalize. We've seen the likes of Kevin Kisner (2017 champ) and Brendan Todd (3rd last year) contend at Colonial thanks to accurate play off the tee and a hot week with the putter. These greens are pretty gentle as opposed to the massive ridges and slopes we see on bentgrass at somewhere like Augusta, but they'll be running fast at somewhere between 12-13 on the stimp meter.


Betting picks & plays

Brooks Koepka (22/1) and Patrick Reed (T20: +300, T30: +170) came through for us last week at the PGA for another nice showing from the column. As always, be sure to check out the Tour Junkies Blog throughout the week for more picks and insight from the rest of the gang. With that said, here are some names and numbers I like this week in Fort Worth.

Justin Rose (+2500, T10: +260, T20: +120)

The renaissance year rolls on for Justin Rose. After notching his first win since 2019 at Pebble earlier this year, the 11-time winner and 2013 US Open champ has posted four top-25s including a T9 at Oak Hill last week. He's 14th in SG: Total on TOUR this season, and his ball-striking numbers are good enough for top 20 in this field in SG: APP. Rosy loves him a short course, he has three top-25s at Harbour Town and four at Colonial, including a win here in 2018. He and fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood will be popular plays this week, as both have the right combination of recent form and course fit with locked-in iron play.

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Sam Burns (+2800, T10: +280, T20: +130)

It's hard to believe that the defending champ and world No. 14 has the tenth-best odds this week, but that's the case with Sam Burns. As golf bettors, we are often guilty of overcomplicating things, getting caught up in 'strokes-gained' or 'good drive percentage', but this one is simple. Burns is a proven winner and did so in Texas earlier this year at the Match Play, and he's back at a place where he's shown he can contend. No one has gone back-to-back at Colonial since Ben Hogan, but at 28/1, the price on Burns is too good to pass up.

Cameron Davis (+3500, T10: +350, T20: +165)

If you haven't already, listen to D.B. and Pat's love for Cam Davis on this week's Tour Junkies Betting podcast. I'm riding with the Nut Hut this week on the Aussie for a few reasons. He's quietly one of the hottest players on TOUR with three top 10s since March, all of them in big events. He finished T6 at the PLAYERS, T7 in the elevated RBC Heritage, and shot a final-round 65 to backdoor a T4 at the PGA last week. He also finished T7 in last year's Charles Schwab, flashing some affinity for Colonial.

Meet the Author:

Nate Moore

A Georgia native, proud UGA alum and former media guy for Augusta National, the only thing Nate Moore loves more than the Peach State is a Top-20 parlay. Nate is a golf-obsessed sportswriter/journalist who brings his experience in the golf industry to the Tour Junkies brand.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and commentary in this post belong to its author and do not necessarily represent the Tour Junkies as a whole.