It will be hard to come down off the high of a PGA Championship week that was one of the great majors in the modern era — punctuated by an incredible leaked Brooks Koepka-Bryson DeChambeau video on Monday evening. So the Charles Schwab Challenge has its hands full this week. However, the field is good, the golf course is tremendous and the U.S. Open (!) is around the corner, so the post-PGA lull should be brief if not entirely non-existent.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Event: Charles Schwab Challenge | Date: May 27-30
Location: Colonial Country Club — Fort Worth, Texas
Three things to know
1. Lefty playing with house money: Lefty returns just four days after holing out for the most historic win of his career. He’ll surely still be riding high from his PGA Championship win, but it will be fun to hear him reflect on the last few weeks and begin to formulate his plan for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. It will also be fascinating to see what he has left in the tank after what was one of the most emotionally-draining weeks of his entire career. It would honestly be surprising if he made the cut this weekend, but much crazier things have happened in just the last five days.
2. Full circle: It’s not quite been a year since the PGA Tour returned to competition at this tournament in early June, but it’s close enough to mark a sort-of one-year anniversary. This time last year it was very difficult to envision what the next full year of golf would look like, and while there have been speed bumps and starts and stops along the way, I think it’s probably gone far better than anyone could have imagined. Mickelson’s win at the PGA at Kiawah was a nice bookend to the entire thing as crowds have started to return in bigger numbers — as they will again this week at Colonial.
3. Spieth is kind of … due? You could make the argument that Jordan Spieth should have won the Masters and could have won the PGA if not for an unusually-cold putter at both events. He’s been the best player in the world since Jan. 1 — only Paul Casey is also over 2.0 strokes gained per round — and he’s won at this golf course before. Despite Mickelson’s recent heroics, Spieth will be the main event because of both his recent form as well as his relationship with fans in the DFW area. If you want to get even more specific, his putting will be one of the things I’m watching over the first two rounds because of how confident I am (and you should be) in the ball-striking. If he putts average, he’ll contend.
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Grading the field
This is a low-key tremendous field with Collin Morikawa, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas and defending champion Daniel Berger joining Spieth and Mickelson as the preeminent names to watch at Colonial. I’m a bit surprised given its proximity to the Memorial next week and the U.S. Open two weeks after that, but I’m also glad that the PGA and U.S. Open are close enough together that some of the biggest names are unwilling to take too much time off like we sometimes see after the Masters. Grade: A
Charles Schwab Challenge picks