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Charles Schwab Challenge: Best Bets and Course Info

Xander Schauffele shushed the doubters with his first, and I say first knowing there will be more to come, major victory. Xander, like many of his fellow late finishers on Sunday in Louisville, will not make the trip down to Fort Worth, Texas. However, surprisingly enough, the Charles Schwab Challenge has managed to field yet another solid group of competitors. Pending criminal Scottie Scheffler will play in this hometown event alongside fellow Texan Jordan Spieth. Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, and Tony Finau are some other big names heading to Colonial Country Club.

Colonial Country Club is the longest-tenured course on the PGA schedule for many reasons. Unlike some of its neighboring Texas courses, Colonial Country Club typically requires a dogfight and fighting for pars rather than piling up birdies. It’s nice to watch these professionals struggle every now and then, and we will see plenty of that this week. Another big factor in Colonial CC’s history is the huge fan base in DFW. There’s a reason so many big-name golfers have ties to Texas. Because behind football, golf is a year-round outlet for some of the best Texas athletes. Expect a huge showing from the crowd this weekend.

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The Course: Colonial Country Club

We will be seeing a new and approved Colonial Country Club. Following Emiliano Grillo’s victory last May, the course went under immediate renovations, and these were not small renovations in the slightest. The entire course was dug up in order to get a new irrigation system in place. There were also additional bunkers placed and a few new green complexes. However, the overall structure of the course still remains intact.

And that structure is very demanding in just about every facet of the game. Tree-lined fairways will make accuracy off the tee very important, but the fact that it stretches over 7,200 yards as a par 70 makes distance just as important. Approaching the green is as important as always, especially when golfers have a wedge in hand. This tournament will be won 125 yards and in. I say that because the short game can be very challenging. Historically, and obviously, the hottest putters have found success at Colonial Country Club. When a score of -11 or -12 will get the win, putting will always be a major factor.

Best Bets: Charles Schwab Challenge

Max Homa (+2000)

Max Homa fits Colonial Country Club perfectly. He’s long and accurate with the driver, extremely consistent with his irons, and has one of the best short games in the field. To make matters even better for Homa’s backers, his form is strong as well.

While not at a career-best, Homa’s current form is slightly behind his all-time marks. Homa finished 2023 with 8 consecutive finishes of T13 or better, including a win by 4 strokes at a DP World Tour event. He’s made 11 of the first 12 cuts in 2024, with 6 finishes inside the Top 15. His best finish came at The Masters, showing Homa’s ability to finally put it together at a major. Other than 2 events where he struggled with the putter, Homa has been gaining strokes across the board all year.

That’s exactly what it takes to be one of the world’s best golfers… and to win at Colonial Country Club. If golfers have any weakness, this course will exploit it. If Scottie Scheffler wasn’t teeing it up this week, Max Homa would be +1000. I will GLADLY take him at +2000, and I think you should jump on it while you can. I expect Homa to be contending by the weekend and finish the job on Sunday.

Harris English (+3500)

In January, I bet Harris English at 40-1 for The Sony Open. That week, I wrote the following:

“If I’m being completely honest, I never thought I would bet Harris English again, let alone at a number this low.“

And yet, here I am betting him at an even lower number. Here’s why:

For the Sony Open, I was betting English in fairly bad form. He ended up finishing 10th, while also not being solid with his irons. Since then, he’s gotten much better with his approach play. He gained over 4 strokes last week in Louisville. If he can have a strong ball-striking week, Harris English will win this tournament. I’m so confident in that because of how elite English is in the short game. He’s now gained strokes on the green in 9 consecutive events, and around the green in 10 of his last 11 events.

The cherry on top is English’s history at Colonial Country Club. That includes a runner-up finish in 2016, T5 in 2012, and T12 last year. Last year’s T12 looks even better when you notice his 76 on Sunday. Had he shot Even on Sunday, Harris English would’ve had his 5th win on Tour. This time around, don’t look for Harris to fall apart.

Nicolai Hojgaard (+10000, Top 10 +850)

If you’re looking for a buy-low candidate this week, Nicolai Hojgaard is the man for you! Had this been an event in January, Nicolai’s odds would probably be around +3000 or so. And yet, here he is in the triple digits!

The high price is thanks to some disgusting form. Coming into 2024, Hojgaard had a stretch of 2nd-Win-T25-T7-2nd. That elite form has come and gone, as Nicolai only has one finish inside the Top 30 since. His recent struggles have mainly come with a lack of consistency on the greens. He’s lost strokes in 7 of his last 8 events. If he’s going to get back into his winning ways, it will have to come with a hot flatstick. His ball-striking is good enough to contend, it’s finishing the job that Nicolai hasn’t figured out as of late.

It will take a lot for Nicolai Hojgaard to win this tournament. It’s nothing he hasn’t done before, but given how the past few months have gone, it’s unlikely. I do find a lot of value in his Top 10 odds. At +850 and on a course that he might be able to overpower a bit, I’ll take a bite!

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