Eight of the top 20 players in the world will tee it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge, which begins Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.
The site is the iconic Colonial Country Club, dubbed “Hogan’s Alley” after Ben Hogan, who won four of the first seven editions of the event. Our golf experts provide key tournament notes along with their favorite prop picks and best bets to win this week.
CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, May 25-28
Course: Colonial Country Club (Par 70, 7,209 yards)
Purse: $8.7 million (Winner: $1.566 million)
Defending Champion: Sam Burns
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
–Sam Burns to beat Rickie Fowler (+100 at DraftKings): Entering the year, few would have predicted Fowler to be the far more consistent of the two. But it’s Fowler who has eight top-20s in his past 10 starts while Burns has four missed cuts during the same stretch. Both are coming off missed cuts last week — Fowler by a stroke while Burns carded a 74-80 to miss the weekend by a mile. Burns, who did follow a solo sixth with a win at the Match Play earlier this year, is the defending champ and should bring some confidence into Colonial.
–Sungjae Im to finish Top 10 (+150 at BetMGM): Im is also coming off a missed cut last week, but that followed a stretch where he finished T7 at the RBC and T8 at the Wells Fargo before he returned home to win on the Korean Tour. Im finished T15 here last year and has been in strong form with six consecutive results of T21 or better on the PGA Tour before last week.
–Michael Block to miss cut (-250 at DraftKings): Block’s T15 at the PGA is no doubt the feel-good story of the year. It led to an invite to Colonial, and Block will attempt to make his fifth cut in a PGA Tour event. Reality says it will be a significant challenge. Block, who missed the cut at Torrey Pines and La Quinta earlier this year, has been deluged by media requests since his amazing run at Oak Hill. He admitted to running on some fumes on Tuesday, when Block stepped foot on Colonial for the first time in his life.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 22-29-1
–Scottie Scheffler (+400 at BetMGM) finished runner-up last year and leads the PGA Tour with 10 top-10s this season and has finished no worse than T12 in his past 13 starts on tour. He has been backed by the third-most outright winner bets (6.8 percent) and money (12.09 percent) in the field.
–Jordan Spieth (+1400) won in 2016, has finished runner-up three times and owns the lowest career event scoring average (67.75) on record. He has received the second-most action at 8.5 and 12.13 percent, respectively, making Speith the sportsbook’s third-biggest liability this week.
–Tony Finau (+1400) finished T4 last year. He scuffled to a T72 last week but does own a pair of titles this season.
–Viktor Hovland (+1400) finished T2 along with Scheffler last week and will be making his third event start. His odds opened at +1600, but the Norwegian is BetMGM’s biggest liability this week, having drawn the most total bets at 10.8 percent to go along with 9.8 percent of the money.
–Collin Morikawa (+1600) has only one top 10 in his past seven starts — a T10 at the Masters — and finished T40 here last year. However, he leads the field with 12.5 percent of the money backing him.
–Max Homa (+2200) has a pair of wins among his seven top-10s this season.
–Burns (+2800) beat Scheffler in a playoff last year. He is coming off a missed cut last week but has a win at the Match Play among four top-10s this season.
–Colonial will undergo a long-planned $20 million renovation that will begin shortly after the event ends. The plan is for the course to be ready for play in 2024.
–Hogan is the only player in event history to successfully defend his title, which he did twice.
–Scheffler reclaimed the No. 1 world ranking with his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship. This is the third time Scheffler has risen to No. 1 in 2023, while Rahm has claimed the spot on two occasions this year.
–Block received a sponsor exemption after the 2022 PGA Professional of the Year finish T15 at last week’s PGA Championship. The sentimental favorite is BetMGM’s second biggest liability this week as his +30000 longshot odds have drawn 3.1 percent of the bets and 1.8 percent of the money.
–Min Woo Lee and Ryan Fox are in the field after each earned Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour following last week’s major, where Lee finished T18 and Fox T23.
–Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson owns the 72-hole tournament scoring record of 259 set in 2010. He’s the oldest player in the field at 47, while Akshay Bhatia is the youngest at 21.
–The winner of this year’s event also will receive a restored 1973 Ford Bronco.