This week’s Charles Schwab Challenge is one of those tournaments that is tough to figure out.
First, it’s being held right after the year’s second major, the PGA Championship. Second, the tournament is down–just a little–in star-power as a lot of the big names are taking the week off after playing in the aforementioned PGA Championship.
There’s no Dustin Johnson…no Jon Rahm….no Bryson DeChambeau…no Rory McIlroy.
That’s the bad news.
Then there’s the good news in that there’s still plenty of firepower in the field with Justin Thomas (2nd in world rankings), Xander Schauffele (fourth in the world rankings), Collin Morikawa (sixth in the world rankings) and others ranked in the top 20.
But, with all that said, this tournament has been an ideal event for an up-and-coming player or a player trying to make a comeback to hoist the trophy on Sunday.
Last year’s champ, Daniel Berger, is back to defend his title. He beat Morikawa on the first hole of a playoff. Success tends to breed success and both of those players have mountains of success in the weeks before this event last year and over the past 52 weeks.
This was the PGA Tour’s first event back after shutting down for the pandemic and Berger made the most of it.
The Tour is back in Texas at the Colonial Country Club, a par-70 layout. The event has been played here each and every year in the 76 years of the tournament.
Odds To Win The Charles Schwab Challenge From DraftKings
|Charles Schwab Championship||DraftKings Odds|
Checking Out The Field This Week
It’s always a good idea to see how many top players are in the field every week. This week, like we said, a number of stars are taking the week off.
While that may be bad for the tournament in general, it’s great for those looking to climb the ladder in the world rankings and the FedEx Cup points race. And don’t forget the big payday that awaits the winner.
It’s events like this that can put a player on the map. Or, in the case of this week’s winner, give him more confidence that his hard work is paying off.
This Week’s Winner Will Be…
With all of the talk about rankings, we’re going to go with the defending champion: Berger at +1900 on DraftKings. He’s done nothing but contend in the weeks and months since his victory here last year and that includes adding another victory, this time in 2021 with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
Even when he’s not winning, he’s in the hunt and that gives bettors hope come Sunday.
He shot an opening round 79 at last week’s PGA Championship and could have packed it in. But he rallied to make the cut and played the weekend.
He’s made 12 cuts in the 2020-2021 wraparound season with nine top 25 finishes. He also has five top 10s and a top-3. Like we said, he’s always in the hunt.
After last year’s victory here, he’s going to come in with nothing but confidence. Just the way the defending champ should approach an event.
Don’t Overlook Collin Morikawa
Morikawa, at +1500 this week, has got to be one of the most underrated golfers around. The guy’s got a major (the 2020 PGA Championship), is ranked No. 6 in the world, and has won more than $3 million in this wraparound season.
Add in the fact he has four top-10s in 14 tournaments and he should be at the top of everyone’s list.
But he still, somehow and for some reason, flies under the radar. Granted, he’s still only 24 but he’s got three PGA Tour victories on his resume and except for a missed three-foot putt in the playoff here last year, that number might be four.
He’s confident. He’s won on the biggest stage. Give the guy his props.
And if he gets off to a good start, maybe give him another trophy and a huge payday.
We’re Still Big Charley Hoffman Fans
Charley Hoffman is another of those players who don’t get the credit they deserve. All he does is cash paychecks…and win every once in a while.
Well, at +4500 this week, we like the chance of him picking up that fifth PGA Tour title.
His most recent victory came back in 2016 at the Valero Texas Open but he’s been close, especially recently. He’s got four top-10s in 2021 (including a second at the Valero Texas Open when we picked him to win) so we’re not about to get off that horse yet.
He’s another player who isn’t flamboyant. He just goes out and puts in a workman-like effort each and every week. If it’s good enough to contend, so be it. If it’s not, he’ll pack his lunchbox, clock in at the next event, and get back to work.