Previously known as the Fort Worth Invitational, this golf tournament returns in 2019 with a new sponsor and new name, the Charles Schwab Challenge.
This event usually attracts a strong field but with the rescheduling of the US PGA, there are some notable absentees for 2019. At the head of the Charles Schwab Challenge outright betting, we are welcoming back the defending champion Justin Rose (+1100) who is joint-favorite with some bookies.
Rose won by three strokes from Brooks Koepka last year during an incredible run that would ultimately see him close out the FedEx trophy. He heads the Power Rankings this week but form is inconsistent – a missed cut at the Masters following a tie for eighth at TPC being a perfect example.
It is tight at the top and with Rose at the head of the market is Jon Rahm (+1100). The Spaniard was a close runner up to Kevin Kisner here in 2017 but a Missed Cut at the PGA will deter many punters.
Behind the top two come Jordan Spieth (12/1) and Rickie Fowler (14/1). We had been backing Spieth for an overdue comeback and there were glimpses of his former self at Bethpage Black, so could this be his week?
Spieth was our Fort Worth Champion in 2016 and, with a runners up slot a year earlier, he has a strong record in this event. As for Rickie, he tied for 14th last year in his first return since 2014 but his form suggests a single digit finish at least.
We move out slightly to Xander Schauffele (16/1) and Francesco Molinari (18/1) before the gap opens up to the outsiders. Both players are getting support this week and of the two, Schauffele may be in better shape following his tie for 16th at a gruelling Bethpage Black.
One of the more interesting prices from the outside bunch belongs to Bryson Dechambeau (25/1). Like a number of golfers in this field, he is struggling to find some stellar form from last season but he has the game to convert a profit this week. Current performances are, however, discouraging and his missed cut at the PGA raises too many questions.
Elsewhere, we have the consistent Paul Casey (25/1) who is our first confirmed pick as a top 10 finisher, while Louis Oosthuizen (33/1) and Tony Finau (28/1) both carry similar prices.
Moving down the list, there is some support for Kevin Kisner (35/1) this week but that is all down to the fact that he is the 2017 champion. A good record in tournaments is worth looking out for so Kisner may also be worth including in our top 10 options.
It’s a good field with many of our usual favorites including Brandt Snedeker (50/1) while other golfers to run the rule over include Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Scott Piercy, Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer.
Our Preview’s Charles Schwab Challenge Course Trends with Picks & Predictions Verdict
This event dates right back to 1946 with the first two editions having been won by the great Ben Hogan. Hogan holds the overall record with five wins but multiple champions have been relatively rare across the 70 year history of the Fort Worth.
As for the course, we are back at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on a par 70 with some decent length at just over 7,200 yards. Known colloquially as Hogan’s Alley, wind can play a part on these exposed holes and they certainly aided Kevin Kisner in 2017.
Distance hitting shouldn’t be a factor but accuracy is key with fiendishly placed bunkers and water in play on six holes. Tight, bentgrass greens also emphasize the need to be deadly accurate so, based on those few factors, can we find a winner?
Our man this week is Rickie Fowler who looks to have the game and some reasonable form to back it up. Fowler, plus these top 10 finish picks, will hopefully add up to a profitable four days down in Texas:
- Bet on Rickie Fowler to win @ +1400 (14/1) with Bovada or Intertops.
- These players for top 10 finishes: Rickie Fowler (best at +140 with Bovada), Paul Casey (+225 Bovada), Brandt Snedeker (+450 Bovada or Intertops) & Kevin Kisner (+300 Bovada, Intertops).
- How We Did Last Week: The PGA Championship may have lacked the drama that we usually associate with a Major but we could, at least, marvel at the incredible golf played by eventual winner Brooks Koepka. Our pick for glory, Dustin Johnson, briefly threatened to convert but Koepka’s wire-to-wire dominance eventually held on. We did land a return at +500 as Matt Kuchar finished inside the top 10.