2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Preview
What a week it was at the PGA Championship that saw Justin Thomas equal the record Sunday comeback of seven strokes en route to his 2nd Major title. We will try to pick back-to-back outright winners in this column as the Tour heads to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, TX for the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.
Charles Schwab Challenge Course Overview
This 7,209-yard Par 70 will host a stellar field this week as Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, and Collin Morikawa are just a few of the game’s elite that will tee it up on this Perry Maxwell design, hoping to take what they learned from his course at Southern Hills last week and apply it here where pars will be great scores yet again throughout the four rounds. Fast, Bentgrass greens await those that can navigate their tee and approach shots through this tight layout that will undergo a renovation following this tournament.
Last year, Jason Kokrak was able to hold off Spieth for his second of three wins on Tour. Kokrak lapped the field in the Proximity Gained from over 200 yards, as he lacked in all the other approach buckets. A red-hot putter propelled him to the title, but as we know, predicting who will gain strokes with putting on a week-to-week basis is a fool’s errand, so I will focus on medium to long approach play and accuracy off the tee when filling out my betting card this week.
Charles Schwab Challenge Analysis
My first few plays will be banking on the recent form with Top 10 props for Kurt Kitayama (+1100) and Lucas Hebert (+900). Kitayama finished 2nd in Mexico followed by T-15th at the Wells Fargo, and he ranks 6th in Proximity from 175-200 and 7th from 200+ in this field over the past 24 rounds. The books still haven’t caught up to his recent form so take advantage of the juicy Top 10 price on him this week. I will also back Lucas Hebert for the Top 10. Hebert played some superb weekend golf at the PGA Championship, largely in part to his putter which gained nearly nine strokes over the four rounds. Performances like that are difficult to replicate on the greens but given the fact we are working with the same course architect and similar greens, that prop bet is worth a small play for me.
After garnering lots of betting interest earlier this year, Maverick McNealy has cooled off and we find him here at +1100 for a Top 5 and 66/1 to win outright. McNealy’s irons are normally his calling card, but the last two times out he has lost strokes to the field on approach. The good news is he has still been making cuts (14 in a row), and he has a T32 and T20 in his only starts at this event. If we can get a slight correction on the iron play, he should be able to put himself in contention once again in search of his first PGA Tour victory.
Speaking of those still vying for their first PGA TOUR win, Tommy Fleetwood could add his name to the list of golfers who finally get that monkey off their back in the 2021-2022 season. Fleetwood dazzled over the weekend at the PGA Championship with his short game en route to a T-5th finish and should be able to parlay that momentum (along with three other Top 20 finishes in his last five events) into a successful tournament this week. Closing the deal and winning the tournament is always a question mark with Tommy Lad, so play a small amount on his Top 5 prop (+750) in addition to the outright bet (+4000) should those late tournament blunders arise again.
Sungjae Im had to withdraw from last week’s PGA Championship due to a positive COVID test, and this was disappointing to me at the time as he was someone I had pegged for success at Southern Hills. The good news of that WD is that his odds for this week have ballooned north of where they should be (33/1), and we get to back him at a course that comps out quite nicely. Sungjae is gaining 1.1 strokes per round on Approach over his last 20 rounds and has particularly excelled in the buckets that translate to success at the Charles Schwab. He also ranks 4th in this field in Off-The-Tee and 5th Around-The-Green over the past 50 rounds.
Charles Schwab Challenge Picks Card
Kurt Kitayama (+1100)
Lucas Herbert (+900)
Maverick McNealy (+1100)
Tommy Fleetwood (+750)
Maverick McNealy (+6600)
Tommy Fleetwood (+4000)
Sungjae Im (+3300)