Welcome to the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge Fantasy Golf Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
The 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge will be played at Colonial Country Club which has hosted the event for the past decade as The Colonial or Fort Worth Invitational. Regardless, the course will be set up similarly – a Par 70 course that will play just a touch longer than 7200 yards. Colonial CC featured the 8th narrowest fairways on tour last year and played as a middle of the road course in par adjusted distance. The course has varied in difficulty but typically plays middle of the road on tour with a winning score ranging from -10 to a -20 winning performance last year from Justin Rose in a similar strength of field to this year’s event.
The wind forecast at nearby Benbrook wind tower shows sustained wind in the mid-teens and gusts greater than 20 MPH. The current setup shows nothing with regard to wave splits but should be monitored daily particularly for showdown contests. With the conditions, I would expect it to be closer to a winning score of -10 or -12 versus last year’s -20 from Justin Rose.
This event is an invitational – a 120 man field where the Top 70 and ties will make the cut. This means more lineups will generate 6/6 golfers through to the weekend and generally, golfers have a higher made cut expectation which erases some of the benefits of taking an aggressive contrarian stance against a good value.
Going for the Green Charles Schwab Challenge Fantasy Golf Picks and Preview
Colonial Country Club Course Fit
The event has a long history and on average has seen more variation in scores driven from approach game and putting then from strong off the tee play. Last year’s version of the tournament was a bit of an anomaly – playing closer to neutral – but still had a slight lean towards approach. I would expect this version to play closer to the event averages with small bumps to players who excel on approach and on the greens.
Several high-end players have strong histories here and for the most part they align with the trends above. Former champions that have been notably good on approach or with the putter include Jordan Spieth (32-2-1-2-14-7), Kevin Kisner, and Zach Johnson (2x winner) while Jon Rahm (5-2) is more of an outlier.
DataGolf also unveiled a new predictive course history tool which shows even the golfers with the strongest course history would only receive a baseline boost of equivalent to 0.12 strokes per round. You can adjust the course history slider in the custom projections or consider making a boost of 1 DK point for every 0.1 strokes per round. Danny Lee, Kevin Na, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman are a few notable short knockers who are expected to play above their baselines at this event.