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PGA DFS Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge

The next event for PGA DFS takes us to “Hogan’s Alley” for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club – where we’re giving you the winning picks!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Invitational field of 121 golfers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • PGA Tour event since 1946
  • The course: Colonial Country Club (Fort Worth, TX)
    • Par 70: 7,209 yards – tight fairways with trees blocking approaches in spots
    • Just two par 5s, both scoring holes despite the longer playing up to 635 yards
    • Smaller Bentgrass greens
    • Accuracy with irons and solid putting a must to win
    • Texas weather could play a factor but nothing ominous in current forecast
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Around the Green, Bogey Avoidance, SG: Putting (Bentgrass), SG: Off the Tee, Par 4 efficiency: (350-450)

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jordan Spieth (DK $11,200) – A Texas kid born in the Dallas-Fort Worth golf mecca, Spieth is a former winner here (2016), has never missed a cut at Colonial, and has a host of Top 10s, even in recent years when his game has struggled to find some consistency. With his putter always in form and his ball-striking ranking much better in 2021, Spieth can’t be avoided when discussing the favorites this week.

Justin Thomas (DK $10,300) – JT makes for a great GPP play after a missed cut at the PGA Championship, but he’s still a bit risky given his spotty play recently. PGA DFS can be very frustrating when you’re on a guy (and an expensive guy to boot) and he breaks your heart by missing out on the weekend points and killing your lineup. But there’s nothing worse than fading that same guy the next week and watching him win. For that reason, it’s important to run it back one in a while and I’ll be doing that with JT at Colonial.

Collin Morikawa (DK $10,500) – Morikawa checks all the boxes this week except the putting stats, but the greens are small enough that if he’s doing his thing with his irons he should be close enough to make some putts. One of the best ball strikers in the world, Morikawa hits a smooth fade, doesn’t need length off the tee to win here and that’s a huge plus in giving him the nod over the others in this elite range. Sia, Joel and Nick are all on board, so I feel comfortable using him in my single-entry lineup and GPP core.

Abraham Ancer (DK $9,700) – Ancer has three consecutive Top 10s and while he will be chalky as hell, he’s hard for me to get away from in my builds. I’ll be using him in all formats, and he’ll be a core play for me in stars and scrubs lineups as well. If his putter goes cold he could have problems justifying this price, but he’s been so good with his irons he’s almost always in play.

Also consider: Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler (GPP)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Corey Conners (DK $9,400) – It may still be wise to steer clear of Conners in GPPs until we see more Top 10 finishes, but he’s a cutmaker who’s 3-for-3 at Colonial and had a T8 in his 2018 debut at this venue. Again – Conners is mostly a cash game play with projected ownership creeping up.

Sungjae Im (DK $9,100) – Im missed the cut here in his 2019 Charles Schwab debut but improved to a T10 (with Spieth and Thomas) in 2020. We know he doesn’t tire easily, so the four grueling rounds he played steadily last week (70-72-73-73) don’t get me off him. The price is fine, and he won’t see massively high ownership.

Justin Rose (DK $8,900) –Maybe Rose will be inspired by Phil’s epic win at Kiawah Island last week, and we know the former winner at Colonial can play elite golf when he’s striking it well. Rose makes for a sneaky GPP play in a week where he won’t be highly owned.

Ryan Palmer (DK $8,600) –Palmer missed the cut last week andhas a vested interest in playing well at his home course. He loves the place, knows the greens really well, wants desperately to win at the venue commonly known as “Hogan’s Alley” and should stand out as a solid GPP play with his history of mixing MCs with Top 10s here.

Cameron Tringale (DK $8,100) – Let’s start with the bad. During round 2 last week, Tringale was -1 when he stepped on the No. 14 tee (he started on the back) and was +11 just four holes later. Then a little alligator walked across the fairway in front of him. That horrific stretch aside, Tringale played well and has the chops to rebound with a soldi finish this week.

Brian Harman (DK $8,000) – Harman looks like more of a cash game play this week, as he’s projected to be very popular (>25%). I won’t be using him too much more than 10-15% in my 20 max builds, but there’s a case to be made for using him and his five straight made cuts at Colonial.

Brandt Snedeker (DK $7,900) – Mr. Pop Stroke is one of the craftiest putters on tour, and the relatively poor ball striking and lack of length off the tee shouldn’t hurt him too much here. Sneds is super risky and shouldn’t be used in cash games but makes sense for large-field GPPs.

Chris Kirk (DK $7,600) – He’s missed two straight cuts, but people haven’t forgotten how good of a golfer he’s been in 2021, because he’s very popular again. I’ll throw out his performance last week because of the course difficulty, and trust he got an early start on getting his T2G and putting under control heading into an event where he’s had two Top 15s in his last four tries.

Also consider: Joaquin Niemann, Gary Woodland (GPP), Jason Kokrak (GPP), Charley Hoffman (Cash), Kevin Na (GPP), Kevin Streelman, Emiliano Grillo (GPP)

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Peter Uihlein (DK $7,500) – I’m not super excited about the $7-8K price range this week, and the fact that Uihlein is popping so much for his form could mean he breaks my heart this week. I don’t normally play him, but it’s his fourth appearance here and he has top 15s in his last two tries and is playing some of the best golf right now.

Patton Kizzire (DK $7,400) – He’s an awesome putter and his best finishes and have come in Texas. I’m not super excited about him this week because if he’s missing fairways there could be problems, but I think he can hit less-than-driver and be long enough to be in fine shape to contend. Not a cash game play, but usable in GPPs.

Harold Varner III (DK $7,400) – Another GPP extraordinaire who mixes missed cuts with solid finishes, Varner had a T2 at the RBC Heritage and T49 last week. He also finished T19 at the Honda Classic, which is similar in the focus stats that tend to drive success here.

Russell Knox, (DK $7,300) – Sia loves him for first-round leader, and it’s very tempting to consider him for single-entry this week given the price point and solid performances over his last three events (T21-T18-T39), He finished T8 here in 2019 but we can throw out the MC in 2020 amid the uncertainty of golf’s fanless return at the time.

J.T. Poston (DK $6,900) – I liked him heading into last week but the course and some bad timing on Friday 78 got the better of him. This week, he’s cheap and playing a venue where he’s 3-for-4 with a T10 last year and a T20 in 2018. GPP only.

Maverick McNealy (DK $6,900) – I use McNealy in GPPs once in a while and this seems like a good spot to go back to him. He’s 2-for-2 and while he’s a feast-or-famine type of golfer (he’s mixed in a solo second, a T4 and a T49 among six missed cuts in his last nine tournaments), this course seems to suit his strengths.

Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,700) – I wish Rodgers could put together four good rounds, because he’s got Top 25 upside. A third round 79 killed his chances at the Well Fargo, but he’s made his last two cuts after a poor April stretch. Worth a look in GPPs.

More value golfers to consider: Cameron Davis, Joel Dahmen, Talor Gooch, Doc Redman (GPP), C.T. Pan (GPP), Rory Sabbatini, Henrik Stenson, Mackenzie Hughes, Andrew Putnam

Longshot Punts (DK $6,500 and under):

Adam Long (DK $6,200) – I’ll only be using these guys in large-field GPP lineups that focus on stars and scrubs. If you’re trying to cram some combo of Spieth and/or JT with Morikawa/Ancer/Zalatoris in your first three spots, you’re forced to use the next three on guys like Long, who finished T19 here in 2019 and could post another Top 20.

Brian Gay (DK $6,100) – Gay has a T13 and T34 two of his last three appearances at Colonial, and I’m sure he was one of the first golfers my buddy Spades inserted into his lineup this week. The veteran golfer loves small greens (just like C.T. Pan does) and he’s in play as a longshot with Top 25 upside.

Mark Hubbard (DK $6,100) – Hubbard’s name also draws my attention because he an get rally hot with the putter, which is one of the things that could help guys break through this week. He’s much better for single-day lineups but I’m fine using him in 5% of GPPs hoping for a made cut and hot streak with that flat stick.

Additional GPP punts: Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Anirban Lahiri

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