Home » Charles Schwab Challenge betting guide: 5 picks our expert loves this week

Charles Schwab Challenge betting guide: 5 picks our expert loves this week

Collin Morikawa at the 2024 PGA Championship.

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Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Charles Schwab Challenge, which gets underway Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

Three weeks ago, the PGA Tour was in McKinney, Texas, for the CJ Cup Byron Nelson, a mainstay on the Tour calendar, paying tribute to one of the legends of the game. This week, we are back in the Lone Star state, in Fort Worth for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

This tournament has been held at Colonial Country Club since 1946, the longest-running tournament on Tour to be staged at the same course every year — and we can tie in a legend of the game here as well. Ben Hogan won at Colonial five times during his storied career. A statue of the famous Texan stands tall at Colonial, a place often referred to as “Hogan’s Alley,” where Hogan’s final Tour victory came in 1959 at the age of 46.

Players will however, see a “new” Colonial Country Club in 2024 as Gil Hanse and his partner, Jim Wagner, were brought in last season at the conclusion of the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge to immediately get to work on the renovation. As is often the case with Hanse projects, he was brought in to not only polish up the course to modern-day standards, but to also restore the golf course to its original historic design.

Colonial is a lengthy par 70 at nearly 7,300 yards. The fairways are narrow, tree-lined, feature dog-legs, and never run in the same direction on consecutive holes, which creates tricky decisions in negotiating the seemingly ubiquitous Texas wind. The greens are small, bentgrass surfaces. It’s a classic ballstrikers course for sure, where accuracy, position off the tee, angles in on approach, working the ball in both directions, and short game are the areas of emphasis. Sound just a little bit like Ben Hogan joint? A four-time U.S. Open winner, Hogan finished third in 1941 when the U.S. Open was held at Colonial Country Club.

Pro golfer Taylor Moore hits drive at 2024 PGA Championship

2024 Charles Schwab Challenge odds: PGA contender is our long-shot pick at Colonial


Kevin Cunningham

Make that mental note too when it comes to handicapping next month’s major championship, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Players that play well at Colonial are often very good U.S. Open players.

When we translate what it takes to succeed here into statistics, I looked at Strokes Gained: Approach, Greens in Regulation, Driving Accuracy, Strokes Gained: Par 4s (350-450 yards), Scrambling, Bogey Avoidance, Hole Proximity from 100-175 yards, and Strokes Gained: Par 3s (200-225 yards) as the average length of the Par 3s at Colonial is 209 yards.

Other positional-based golf courses we see on a regular basis that require accuracy and precision are Sea Island (RSM Classic), Waialae CC (Sony Open), Harbour Town (RBC Heritage), Pebble Beach (AT&T Pebble Beach), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude), Austin CC (WGC-Match Play), and Innisbrook (Valspar Championship).

Last week was a lot of fun at the PGA Championship as we hit our first pre-tournament outright winner of the season in Xander Schauffele, who of course, we also cashed for a top-10 finish. We had the leaderboard surrounded with selections on Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa too, both of whom easily grabbed a top-20 finish for us. As we enter the late spring and its balmy weather, let’s see if we too can stay hot. As usual, this week’s plays are for an outright win and a top-20 finish.

Collin Morikawa (12-1)

The two-time major champion has been playing beautiful golf of late. We spoke last week about how putting has really turned into a positive for Morikawa, and that was true again for two of the four rounds last week at Valhalla. After coming up just short at the Masters, Morikawa talked about really driving his game to get over the hump and start winning again. I imagine that pursuit remains unchanged after being that close again at the second major of the season. I like the push to continue here this week, a tournament where he has finished runner-up and 14th in the past. Morikawa has also finished top 10 at TPC Southwind, Harbour Town, and Waialae. He is No. 1 in this field over the last 24 rounds for Fairways Gained off the tee.

Denny McCarthy (50-1)

McCarthy missed the cut at the PGA last week but was sixth the week prior at the Wells Fargo and lost in a playoff last month at the Valero Texas Open, so I believe the current form remains intact. A shorter, more positional track ought to better suit his game. Over the last 24 rounds, McCarthy is No. 1 in this field for Scrambling, second in Bogey Avoidance, and 12th on Par 3s measuring 200-225 yards. He has top-10 finishes at Sea Island, Pebble Beach, and Innisbrook and top-20 finishes at Harbour Town and TPC Southwind. He is also No. 1 in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting (bentgrass).

Pro golfer Denny McCarthy waves to crowd on green at 2024 Valero Texas Open
Denny McCarthy acknowledges the crowd after playing his putt shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the 2024 Valero Texas Open.

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Christiaan Bezuidenhout (50-1)

The South African also missed the cut last week at Valhalla but prior to that recorded a 16th-place finish at the Wells Fargo, a ninth at the Valspar, and finished 13th at the Players Championship. He’s been top-15 here at Colonial in the past and has top-20 finishes at Waialae, Harbour Town, Pebble Beach, and TPC Southwind. Over the last 24 rounds, Bezuidenhout is No. 1 in this field for Hole Proximity from 100-125 yards, second in Scrambling, third in Bogey Avoidance, and sixth on the Par 4s measuring between 350-400 yards.

Andrew Putnam (55-1)

Putnam finished 53rd last week at the PGA Championship and not surprisingly ranked 73rd in the field for Driving Distance. Again, Colonial Country Club ought to be a much better set up for his game, where he has finished 15th, 20th, and third in the past. Putnam did gain nearly three strokes around the green at Valhalla and nearly two-and-a-half strokes putting. He was also 19th in the field for Scrambling — all important skill sets for this week. In fact, over the last 24 rounds, he ranks top-25 in almost every category I considered this week. Putnam also has three top-10 finishes at the Sony Open, two at TPC Southwind, and another at Pebble Beach.

Billy Horschel (55-1)

A winner on Tour a month ago at the Corales Puntacana Championship, Horschel continued the good form in Louisville with an eighth-place finish last week. He’s a machine on this week’s correlated courses, with multiple top-10 and top-20 finishes across the board. I expect the good form to continue for the Tour veteran, where over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 14th in this field for Good Drives Gained and eighth in Bogey Avoidance.

Who Chirp users like this week

Chirp picks for the Charles Schwab Challenge
Chip user picks for the Charles Schwab Challenge.


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