Out of the Rough: The Charles Schwab Challenge
We just had one of our most successful weekends in betting since the return of the Out of the Rough series a few months back. We looked on as our favorite, Justin Thomas, stormed back from seven-strokes back entering the final day to capture his second PGA Championship. We rode budding star Mito Pereira into the weekend before cashing out as he led his first PGA Championship. Overall, it was a very successful week as our formula continues to spit out success. To put it into perspective, I’ve lost money just one time in the last eight weeks. Now it’s time to embarrass the post major hangover with the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Justin Thomas (-5) - 1st
Jordan Spieth (+4) - T34th
Shane Lowry (+2) - T23rd
Tom Hoge (-1) - T9th
Mito Pereira (-4) - T3rd
Jon Rahm (+6) - T48th
Xander Schauffele (E) - T13th
Joaquin Niemann (+2) - T23rd
Gary Woodland (+4) - T34th
Aaron Wise (+2) - T23rd
Rory McIlroy (-2) - 8th
Hideki Matsuyama (+9) - T60th
Sam Burns (+1) - T20th
Alex Noren (+6) - MC
Kevin Na (+2) - T23rd
In what is the longest consecutive host of any PGA non-major, Colonial Country Club will once again host the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas is annually one of the tougher tracks on the PGA schedule due to tighter than normal fairways and small Bentgrass greens.
On top of the tight fairways, trees will cause headaches to any golfer. These trees often block approach shots, making placement off the tee a priority.
We’ll see many golfers opt to club down this week as they sacrifice distance for accuracy. Doglegs appear on much of the holes too, adding another challenging element.
The course too is littered with sand traps and water is in play on six holes; most notably hole 18 as a large pond guards the green.
Colonial Country Club opens with its easy hole, as the par 5 will offer many birdie chances and is a near, must birdie hole.
The par 3’s play, for the majority, under 200 yards but again, the small Bentgrass greens make iron play and accuracy of the utmost importance.
Strong putters, mainly those on the Bentgrass, will see an advantage this week as well.
Seven-of-the-12 par 4s fall into the 400-450 yard range, making efficiency scoring in that distance important.
Important statistics to pay attention this week include Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:TTG,) SG: Putting (SG: PUTT,) Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP,) Par 4 Efficiency 400-450 Yards, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT,) and Strokes Gained: Around the Green.
Trends to pay attention to include that the past nine winners had a T8th or better in one of their past six tournaments leading into the Charles Schwab and four-of-the-past-six winners have played T14 or better at the event the year prior.
Following his second PGA Championship win, I’m going to continue to ride Justin Thomas ($11,000.) After an improbable last round last week where he came back from seven strokes down heading into the final round to win, Thomas is one of the hottest golfers in the world. In the important statistics we mentioned previously, he’s second on tour in SG: TTG and fifth in SG: APP. He’s also 11th in par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards and 18th in SG: ATG. He’s top 44 in both SG: PUTT and SG: ATG. Outside of his win last week, Thomas had a T5th at the AT&T Byron Nelson, T8th at The Masters, T3rd at the Valspar Championship, sixth at the Genesis Invitational, T8th at the WM Phoenix Open and T5th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions; all within this year. It’s going to be hard to bet against JT moving forward. Also consider World #1 Scottie Scheffler ($11,200.) It’s not often that I roll with any of the highest priced golfers in this series, let alone both of the highest priced golfers, but here we are. Despite being the World’s best, Scheffler’s highest finish in any of the six statistical categories we listed is 14th with SG: APP. However, he is top 32 in all of SG: TTG, SG: PUTT and SG: ATG. He’s 42nd in par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards and 91st in SG: OTT. Scheffler surprisingly missed the cut last week but has four wins on the year (WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and of course, The Masters.) It’s not advised to go against the the World #1.
Here’s a name that continues to pop up in this series; Sam Burns ($9,700.) Burns just plays a very well rounded game that has him appear in this series often. Burns didn’t play in this event a year ago but has been playing some good golf as of right. Burns has three top five finishes in his last nine events, including a win at the Valspar Championship and second place at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Burns is currently top 26 in four-of-the-six statistical categories we have talked about. He’s 12th in SG: APP, 19th in par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards, 25th in SG: PUTT and 26th in SG: TTG. On top of that he’s top 70 in SG: ATG. Also consider Sungjae Im ($9,200.) Im is one of the best on tour around the green and when it comes to par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards. He currently ranks ninth and sixth in those two statistical categories respectively. He’s also 15th in SG: TTG. He’s top 85 in both SG: PUTT and SG: APP as well. Im missed the cut at this event a year ago but has missed just two cuts in this entire season (16 tournaments.) He quietly placed T8th at The Masters in April and hasn’t played since a T14th finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans a month ago.
We rode Mito Pereira ($8,600) into the weekend last week before cashing out. He was a misplaced drive away from winning his debut at the PGA Championship. Despite his collapse on the final hole, it was a huge step in the young career of the Chilean. Pereira is currently third on tour in par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards and tenth in SG: APP. There isn’t really a glaring weakness in his game as he’s 18th on tour in SG: TTG, 36th in SG: OTT and 82nd in SG: PUTT. Of course he finished T3rd last week. Even prior to the PGA Championship, Pereira hadn’t finished worse than T27th in five consecutive tournaments dating back to the Valspar Championship. Also consider Kevin Na ($8,100.) Along with Pereira, Na is a repeat suggestion from a week ago. Last week we suggested Na due to his elite putting on Bentgrass greens; the same type of greens featured here at the Colonial Country Club. Na is also a former champion of this event, claiming victory in 2019. His standings in our module has him lower than he should be due to overall putting ranking (117th.) In over 240 rounds on Bentgrass greens however, Na has gained 0.75 strokes. On top of his dominance on Bentgrass greens, he’s 13th on tour in SG: OTT, 29th in SG: APP and 52nd in SG: ATG.
We’re getting into the exciting rounds that can really propel you up the standings in DFS. Leading off this price range we’ll go with Harold Varner III ($7,800.) Varner plays a very well rounded game that has him ranked pretty highly in our formula this week. He’s top 93 in each of the six categories we’ve talked about in this article, highlighted by being ranked 16th in SG: ATG. He’s top 50 in SG: TTG, SG: APP and par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards. He’s also top 75 in SG: OTT. Varner played the Charles Schwab last where he finished T32nd. Varner has also been playing some fantastic golf as of late. He hasn’t missed a cut in seven consecutive tournaments, dating back to early March. He has finishes such as T3rd at the RBC Heritage, T4th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and T6th at The Players. Heck, he finished T23rd at The Masters as well. I like this play and really believe Varner can make some noise this week. Also consider Gary Woodland ($7,900.) Woodland is great off the tee in both distance and accuracy. He’s 2nd on tour in SG: OTT, which will be a great boost here at Colonial Country Club as mentioned previously. He’s also top 45 in each SG: TTG, SG: PUTT and SG: APP. If he can place his driver well and not lose much distance this week, gaining those strokes off the tee could be the difference.
Here at the Charles Schwab Challenge, there is a name in the field that we just have to roster. That is Matthias Schwab ($6,600.) I was excited going down my list that my modul spit out and the first golfer in this price range was Schwab, for obvious reasons. Outside of the name fitting the tournament, Schwab is actually an elite putter as he ranks 11th on tour in SG: PUTT. He’s also 25th in SG: ATG and top 80 in SG: APP, par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards and SG: OTT. Since his first appearance in the states this year on tour dating back to February with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Schwab has missed just two cuts in ten events. In that same time span he has three top tens with a T7th at both the Honda Classic and Puerto Rico Open as well as a T8th at the Valero Texas Open. Also consider Rory Sabbatini ($6,700.) This is the first time this name has made an appearance in this series. Sabbatini is actually elite off the tee and around the green as he’s currently ranked third in SG: ATG and sixth in SG: OTT. He’s also 38th in SG: PUTT and top 100 in both SG: TTG and par 4 efficiency 400-450 yards. He did play this event last year where he made the cut. Sabbatini has actually made five straight cuts, highlighted by a T25th at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes gained: Proximity to Course (SG: PTC) is the patented statistic developed by Lenny of the Out of the Rough Podcast. Each week, we will pick a golfer local to the course to be his SG: PTC choice. Last week Lenny went with Oklahoma’s own Talor Gooch who quietly finished T20th at the PGA Championship.
SG: PTC Past Results
The Honda Classic - Chase Seiffert (+1) - T25th
The Arnold Palmer Invitational - John Pak (+8) - T52nd
The Players - Billy Horschel (WD)
The Valspar Championship - Sam Ryder (-1) - MC
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - MC
The Valero Texas Open - Adam Long (-5) - T35th
The Masters - Patrick Reed (+6) - T35th
The RBC Heritage - Brian Harman (-6) - T35th
The Zurich Classic - Jay and Billy Haas (E) - T59th
The Mexico Open - Carlos Ortiz (-5) - T51st
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Harry Higgs (-4) - MC
The PGA Championship - Talor Gooch (+1) - T20th
One and Done
*Rules: A golfer can only be played once all season unless the chosen golfer wins the respective tournament. If the chosen golfer wins, he can be used again. We will keep track of success via monetary earnings to add value to bigger tournaments. We will track my choices for the rest of the season below.
We finally did it, we hit a winner in One and Done. Justin Thomas was our pick last week for the PGA Championship and he claimed victory. That helps us a ton with hitting a major winner. That also means Thomas is back in the pool. This week I’m going to keep Thomas on the shelf and go with Mito Pereira.
The Masters - Shane Lowry ($870,000)
The RBC Heritage - Adam Hadwin ($54,844)
The Zurich Classic - Marc Lesihman ($24,111.50)
The Mexico Open - Gary Woodland ($60,955)
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Sam Burns ($0)
The PGA Championship - Justin Thomas ($2,700,000)