Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: Charles Schwab Challenge

The Course

  • Colonial Country Club
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Par 70
  • 7,209 yards
    • Designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell in 1936
    • First held here in 1946, it’s the longest running non-major that’s held at the same course each year
    • Bermuda fairways
    • Bentgrass greens (unusual for a Southern course)
    • Greens are small and are guarded by bunkers and, especially on the back nine, some water
    • Tight, tree-lined course with plenty of doglegs
    • Holes 3, 4, and 5 are known as the “Horrible Horseshoe” — a sharp, long, dogleg left par 4, followed by a 240 yard par 3, and a lengthy par 4 that bends right alongside the Clear Fork Trinity River
    • Can get pretty windy here
    • Known as a shot-maker’s course with narrow holes that like to turn both left and right so some will choose to club down off of the tee (accuracy > distance)

Key Stats

  • SG: tee-to-green
    • SG: around-the-green
  • Par 3 scoring
  • Par 4 scoring
  • Bogey avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • Proximity
  • Driving accuracy

The Field

The Charles Schwab Invitational (which has had five different sponsors since the start of the 2000’s) is one of only five tournaments given invitational status which means the field will consist of 120-132 golfers. Justin Rose will be back to defend his 2018 title here as well as 15 other golfers that currently sit inside of the top 30 of the FedEx Cup Standings.

Strategy

It’s a smaller field this week so I would imagine people lean towards Dogs and Sleepers (aka stars and scrubs) because a higher percentage of golfers will make the cut compared to a 156 man field. A contrarian play might be to pick a more balanced lineup consisting of players in the mid to low $8,000’s and upper $7,000’s. Last week Bethpage Black played extremely long which heavily favored the bombers but at Colonial Country Club it appears to be anyone’s ball game, which opens up the player pool to any golfer “type”.

Big stat correlations that I saw for this course that differ from other courses are SG: around-the-green, proximity, scrambling, driving accuracy, and par 3 scoring. I’m guessing that is because this is a narrow course that forces players to be accurate off of the tee, often times laying up, and accurate into these small greens. Also, golfers will be forced to chip more and come out of green-side bunkers so touch game around the green is important. The type of player I am looking for this week will check most of those boxes.

Big Dogs ($9,000 and up on DK)

Solid (Cash)

  • Justin Rose ($11,400 DK – $12,200 FD) – with stars and scrubs being the most likely formula this week it will be almost a sure thing that the returning champ has a lot of ownership. But with the course history of Rahm and Spieth also being very good (and with Spieth coming off of his first top 10 since God knows when) I can see those two soaking up some ownership which would make Rose and intriguing GPP play as well. Either way, at this course, I am going to roster the best iron player in this range this year which is Justin Rose — 14th overall in SG: approaching-the-green.
  • Paul Casey ($9,300 DK – $10,900 FD) – the last time Casey was here he finished 10th in 2017 and he is also coming off of a solid performance at the PGA Championship (29th). He’s very accurate off of the tee (13th) and inside of the top 30 in each of the SG metrics, besides putting. Colonial Country Club is a tricky course where any type of golfer can succeed so an all-around skill set like what Casey has is the safest play.
  • Ian Poulter ($9,100 DK – $10,600 FD) – Poulter’s approach game has slightly declined this year but he is still 41st in SG: tee-to-green and 15th in GIR mostly due to his accuracy off of the tee and touch around the greens. He did miss the cut last week but with a top 5 here in one of his last two starts (2015) and good recent form I could imagine a lot of people stay on Poulter for at least another week.

Risky (GPP)

  • Xander Schauffele ($10,000 DK – $11,300 FD) – from Rickie at $10,500 to the bottom of the Big Dog range I’m having a hard time telling where the ownership will fall. That’s why I am going with the guy that I trust most in the top of that range for GPP plays: Xander. He is coming off of a 16th place finish at the PGA Championship and is known for showing up in big tournaments so I’m hoping that people will think he is mentally taking this week off. His course history might help some people make the decision to fade him because he has only finished 48th and 85th in his two attempts here (2017 & 2018).
  • Tony Finau ($9,600 DK – $11,200 FD) – Tony has a solid track record in this event with finishes of 19th, 34th, and 29th in his only three times playing here; starting with 2015 and playing the following two years but skipping 2018. But he has finished 60th or worse in three out of his last four tournaments and with the long ball being somewhat taken out of play this week I see a lot of people fading him here. He’s still a sneaky good fit for this course so if Tony is going to be low owned for only a couple weeks out of the year… this might be one of them.
  • Bryson DeChambeau ($9,400 DK – $11,100 FD) – Bryson is coming off of back to back missed cuts at the Heritage and last week at the PGA Championship. He also leaves something to be desired with his finishes at Colonial CC with two missed cuts and a 42nd place all in the last three years. The four guys priced beneath him have a combined six top 10’s in this tournament since 2015; with three 5th place finishes and one win so I could imagine a lot of people will drop down there with their lineup construction this week.

Value ($7,400 – $8,900 on DK)

Solid (Cash)

  • Scott Piercy ($8,600 DK – $9,800 FD) – Piercy had a good showing last week at Bethpage Black for a guy that averages only 289 yards per drive. He finished 41st, and back to back top 5’s, and extended his made cut streak to five tournaments. He’s only missed the cut here once in the last four years with a top 10 in 2017 and has a well rounded game and great stats (12th or better in GIR, bogey avoidance, par 4 scoring, and par 3 scoring) so I really like Piercy again for this week.
  • Joel Dahmen ($8,200 DK – $9,600 FD) – Dahmen has only played at Colonial CC once in recent history but it was last year and he ended up finishing T20. He didn’t have a great weekend at the PGA Championship last week but still managed to make it his 7th straight made cut. He’s struggled at times this year but has recently turned the corner and he appears to be a pretty good fit for this course with no major holes in his game so he is someone that I am going to lean on in Cash lineups.
  • Brandt Snedeker ($7,900 DK – $10,100 FD) – from McDowell at $7,800 through Kokrak at $8,900 you could make a case for picking just about any of these guys. That will potentially spread the ownership out and with stars and scrubs this week that will cut it down even more so feel free to dabble anywhere in this range. But my favorite pound for pound pick amongst them is Snedeker. He has five straight top 50’s at this course, solid recent form, and one of the better fits in my stat model (that’s priced below the Big Dogs)… I’m expecting big things from Sneds this week.

Risky (GPP)

  • Sungjae Im ($7,700 DK – $9,400 FD) – In Sungjae’s last four tournaments he has gone CUT, 31st, MDF, and CUT. With his overall body of work this season and great all-around game I see him bouncing back (he’s 1st in my stat model this week) so even if people stay with him because of his low price tag, I’m willing to bite the bullet this week.
  • Abraham Ancer ($7,600 DK – $9,300 FD) – I stayed on Ancer last week and it paid off even on a very long and tough course. He ended up finishing 16th and with his accuracy off the tee (22nd), paired with his ability to score on par 4’s (15th), and avoid bogeys (27th), I see him as being a safe pick on a course where the cut line has typically been around 3 over par.
  • Matt Jones ($7,400 DK – $8,800 FD) – Matt Jones is another guy who rates out very well in my stat model and he’s also made nine straight cuts. His course history hasn’t been great here, finishing better than 63rd only once in his last three tries, so I’m hoping that cuts into his ownership because he could be a very good value play at this price tag if people are going to slightly overlook him.

Sleepers ($7,300 and under on DK)

Solid (Cash)

  • Jim Furyk ($7,300 DK – $9,000 FD) – Furyk has missed two consecutive cuts but before that his season seemed to be juiced up on Five Hour Energy. In six events since February he had made all six cuts with five inside the top 25 and his worst finish at 37th place. Jim has had success here (although not in recent years) but his game is all about accuracy and it seems to be sharp in 2019 so I think it’s time to hop back on the Furyk-express.
  • C.T. Pan ($7,300 DK – $9,000 FD) – Pan had a rough go of it last week at Bethpage but that wasn’t a huge surprise with his lack of length. Before that he had a 35th at the Byron Nelson and just before that he won at the Heritage which is a similar style shot-maker course. Pan even finished 20th last year so I see him being a popular pick at Colonial, but a good pick nonetheless.
  • Bud Cauley ($7,200 DK – $8,700 FD) – Cauley is two for two in cuts at this tournament in the last five years with a 21st in 2014 and a 41st in 2017. He hasn’t been a world beater lately but in his last three events he hasn’t finished worse than 43rd. Bud is also the best at gaining strokes around the green this season so with the tough angles and small greens, his ability to play from just off the short grass should really come in handy this week.

Risky (GPP)

  • Jhonattan Vegas ($7,300 DK – $8,800 FD) – Vegas shot a very miserable +13 at the PGA Championship last week when he seemed to be a great value pick. He burned some people (myself included) and, like Finau, might be overlooked this week because they lose their edge on the competition when the event isn’t on a bomber’s course. But like I mentioned last week, his around the green numbers and scrambling have vastly improved since last year so if many want to abandon ship on a guy that’s still a good fit and is having a great season then I will gladly double down on Vegas.
  • Brian Stuard ($7,100 DK – $8,600 FD) – Stuard has been very solid lately making four out of his last five cuts while three of those were top 20 finishes including a 4th place at the Valero. He’s also made three straight cuts at Colonial CC with his last two both being 32nd or better. Brian’s big problem is distance off of the tee but this is a course that could help him in that department.
  • Kevin Streelman ($6,900 DK – $8,400 FD) – after his back to back 6th place finishes at the Valero and the Heritage Kevin finished 45th at the Wells Fargo but we haven’t seen him since then. He’s not the longest off of the tee or the best around the green so that might have him on the back burner this week with most people but with his streaky-ness and ability to top 20 he should be in consideration. Streelman is 39th in SG: tee-to-green so even in a down year he certainly has the potential to finish high.

Dark Horses

Solid (Cash)

  • Vaughn Taylor ($6,700 DK – $8,200 FD) – Vaughn is coming off of back to back top 20’s in his last two events and his last two tries at the Colonial CC so for under $7,000 he feels like a very safe pick. His iron play is stellar and he’s one of the best putters on Tour so even if he’s not a great bet to win the tournament he still seems like a shoe-in for a made cut and possibly top 30 so at $6,700 why not?
  • Nate Lashley ($6,400 DK – $7,400 FD) – I’m back on Nate Lashley and this might be the perfect course to hop on that train. He isn’t long off of the tee but he’s been one of the best iron players and recovery players this season so not only is he a steal on DK, but he is also a good straight up bet. We haven’t seen him a whole lot lately but he was 45th at the Wells Fargo and 29th at the Byrnon Nelson so he has been fairly steady in so-so fields and I would expect the same here.

Risky (GPP)

  • Adam Schenk ($6,500 DK – $7,500 FD) – Adam Schenk has missed the cut in his last event and missed the cut here last year so I expect him to be somewhat dismissed this week but he’s had six finishes of 33rd or better in his last nine starts so don’t count him out just yet. He’s a decent scorer and only loses strokes around the green so if he can chip well this week in a tournament where people count him out, Adam will be a great Dark Horse pick.
  • Ryan Armour ($6,100 DK – $7,400 FD) – Armour has had a tough road as of late but has two finishes of 12th or better in his last eight events and a 14th place finish here last year. He’s one of the shortest off of the tee on tour and doesn’t have an incredible putter but he’s solid everywhere else. This seems to be a course that could fit his eye so for $6,100 and a potential top 10, he is one to consider in your GPP lineups for sure.

 

Fantasy Rundown BannerVisit Fantasy Rundown for additional DFS picks from some of the top sites on the web.

Mark Lee

Written by 

Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.