Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: The Charles Schwab Challenge

2020 US PGA Tour: The Charles Schwab Challenge

Damien Kayat takes a look at the Charles Schwab Challenge taking place at the Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Jockeys Ride Horses2020 US PGA Tour | The Charles Schwab Challenge
Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday, June 11 - June 14
I think it’s fair to say that this year’s organizers could not have envisioned such a stellar field. This is probably the most anticipated non-Major event outside of the Ryder Cup. It has been 13 long weeks since the Covid19 crisis brought a swift end to the Players Championship. It’s strange to consider the probabilities this week with such an underlying sense of uncertainty. Form is completely redundant and this could prove to be a real leveller this week. There will be something bizarre about a PGA Tour event sans fans.  But the unfortunate reality is that most European Tour afficionados will be fairly accustomed to this spectacle.  I myself am quite excited to see how these ultimate creatures of habit are able to deal with such a dramatic shift in formula. 

This event has been a fixture on the PGA Tour for some time, going through as many name changes as Sean P Diddy Puffy Combes III. But one thing that hasn’t changed since its inception has been the venue.  Colonial Country Club is a classical tree-lined test that opened back in 1936. Designed by John Bredemus, Colonial is both an institution and a throwback to another era. The par 70 only has two par 5’s and can’t be bullied by your modern mega-hitters.  Recent champions include Kevin Kisner and defending champ Kevin Na, players ordinarily handicapped by their lack of length. This event requires accuracy off the tee and a solid performance on the greens. The small bentgrass greens are formidable and quite evocative of those found at Augusta.

Each of the world’s top five ranked players will be in attendance this week. Rory McIlroy was probably primed for a tilt at that career Grand Slam before the virus intervened. He will look to fend off ‘in-form’ Justin Thomas as he makes his debut at Colonial. One notable absentee will be the iconic Tiger Woods. I find this slightly strange considering his recent spot of charitable hobnobbing alongside Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Clearly, a 13-week hiatus renders form slightly obsolete.  You can probably expect some curious contenders in a week that is unlike any other in PGA Tour history.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Past Winners
2019: Kevin Na (-13)
2018: Justin Rose (-20)
2017: Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016: Jordan Spieth (-17)
2015: Chris Kirk (-12)

Value Bets

Viktor Hovland
To Win (55/1), To Place (14/1) 

Still cutting his teeth on the tour, young Viktor Hovland could be an excellent dark horse this week.  The Dane already tasted victory this year at the admittedly inferior Puerto Rico Open. But he has already shown an indifference to expectations, finishing in a tie or 12th in his US Open debut last year.  Hovland may be making his debut at Colonial but should suit the test. He is renowned for his relative accuracy off the tee and he also sits 20th on the tour in putting average. 

Kevin Kisner
To Win (66/1), To Place (14/1)

This just looks like a steal at 66/1. The Texan won this event in 2017 and is just made for Colonial.  Sure, the WGC Matchplay winner has since gone MC-52 in this event.  But prior to 2017 he had registered back-to-back top 10 results. Kisner is perhaps one of the players who may have benefitted from an enforced break. Kisner interestingly averages 66.25 in the final round of this event.  So just make it to Sunday, Kev. He also currently sits 3rd on the Tour for shots gained putting on Bentgrass Greens

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge
The Man to Beat

Sungjae Im
To Win (28/1), To Place (6/1)

This is an interesting one. Last year’s US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has had an impressive 2020.  He picked up his maiden victory at the Honda Classic and nearly made it back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His solid all-round game should fit this course perfectly.  But some may be dissuaded by his reputation as the hardest working man in golf.  A regular ‘iron-man’, Im is famed for his non-stop, relentless scheduling. So perhaps a 13-week break will feel alien for the South Korean.  But my feeling is that the workaholic will probably be amongst the best prepared golfers this week.  

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