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Another main, one other main hangover. After a historic PGA Championship final week on the Ocean Course, this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge has massive footwear to fill. Daniel Berger broke by way of in a giant manner final 12 months after an prolonged layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however will as soon as once more want to beat back a robust subject.
At 121 gamers, the sphere for the Charles Schwab Challenge options 35 much less gamers than the PGA Championship. For our sake, the less the higher, as our potential first-round chief picks are in a position to be narrowed down fairly a bit.
Playing host this week is Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Everyone needs to be aware of “Hogan’s Alley” at this level because it has been a longtime staple on the PGA Tour. This par-70 measures to nearly 7,200 yards and favors shot makers and never a lot bombers.
While distance just isn’t required to efficiently navigate Colonial CC, it doesn’t imply that it received’t assist. For our functions, we’ll favor these gamers who’re in a position to discover the brief grass from off the tee, as trees-lined fairways are one of many many options of this course.
Coming into these greens, gamers will doubtlessly have to face robust, swirling winds, guaranteeing that ball-striking is of the utmost significance. If they do fail to attain in regulation, a well timed short-game shall be wanted to maintain a very good spherical going.
After almost choosing two of the first-round leaders on the PGA Championship with Brooks Koepka and Keegan Bradley, it’s good to know our course of is on the proper path. We will attempt to maintain our mini momentum going into what needs to be one other nice week of golf.
The oddsmakers at PointsBet Sportsbook have priced the first-round chief market forward of the Charles Schwab Challenge. To nobody’s shock, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth paved the way at +2500. Last week’s PGA champion and the first-round chief on the Wells Fargo Championship, Phil Mickelson, is listed at +5000.
As talked about previously, climate is all the time essential when discussing first-round chief picks, however that’s very true within the state of Texas. We shall be positive to monitor winds because the week progresses to guarantee our gamers have the higher aspect of the draw, if there may be one.
Odds to Lead After the First-Round (Odds by way of PointsBet):
To Lead After the First-Round (Odds by way of PointsBet):
Matt Wallace (+6000):
Wallace has slowly however absolutely made his manner onto my radar and there’s a very good probability that he doesn’t go anyplace anytime quickly. He’s been knocking on the door of his first PGA Tour victory for the previous couple of months and I like him to contend this week. First he’ll want to play effectively on Thursday and that’s precisely what Wallace has been doing over his previous 5 first-rounds.
During this stretch talked about above, Wallace has gained strokes off-the-tee, on method, and placing in all 5 of his first-rounds. These performances embrace gaining two-strokes on the greens at each the RBC Heritage and the Wells Fargo Championship.
I’m not too involved about Wallace’s missed lower right here final season. Players have been coming off an prolonged interval of relaxation and he’s a totally completely different participant from a 12 months in the past. Ranking forty seventh on the PGA Tour this season in Round 1 scoring common, the Englishman ought to have the opportunity to recover from any previous scar tissue he has at Colonial.
Cameron Tringale (+6000):
I hate the time period “auto bet” however Tringale could also be in that class when it comes to first-round chief picks. While some could bear in mind Tringale delivering 12-over 48 within the second spherical of the PGA Championship, I bear in mind him almost being the first-round chief.
That’s what we have now grown accustomed to from the person who holds the consideration of incomes essentially the most cash with no win on the PGA Tour. Ranking third this season in Round 1 scoring common, Tringale ought to as soon as once more have the opportunity to get off to a pleasant begin.
He hasn’t had a ton of success at Colonial through the years. Tringale has by no means completed contained in the top-40 and has sometimes struggled on these greens. I’m hoping that he’s in a special place along with his recreation than in years previous.
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Harold Varner III (+8000):
The first-round chief a 12 months in the past alongside Justin Rose, Varner has an uncanny skill to begin quick, burn shiny, and fade off. This sentiment is backed up by Varner rating T-38 on the PGA Tour in Round 1 scoring common in 2021, coming in with a mean of 70.18.
As of late, the East Carolina product has seemingly turned the nook along with his largest weak point, the putter. Before dropping almost four-strokes on the greens on the PGA Championship, Varner had gained strokes along with his putter in 4 consecutive begins. I received’t put an excessive amount of inventory into final week’s placing efficiency because it appeared many struggled to cope with the coastal winds and paspalum greens.
His possibilities to repeat as first-round chief will doubtless come down to that membership as the remainder of his bag seems to be in tune. He’s gained strokes on method in every of his final 4 first-rounds, together with gaining 2.1 strokes on method at Harbour Town. He’ll doubtless want to strike equally to that week, however a shorter course that requires exact irons falls proper into Varner’s wheelhouse.
Tom Hoge (+10000):
Despite lacking three out of his final 4 cuts, Hoge has been nice within the first-round, averaging a rating of 69.83 on Thursdays. The fundamental motive behind Hoge’s early success is his iron play as he ranks second in Strokes Gained: Approach during the last two months within the first-round alone.
Hoge is greater than able to find the brief grass from the tee field, however it’s on and across the greens the place this choice will make or break us. He’s solely gained strokes placing on these greens as soon as in his profession and that was all the best way again in 2016.
And whereas he has misplaced strokes placing in 5 out of his final six begins, that’s of no fault of his play in Round 1. In that very same stretch, Hoge has gained with the flat stick in half of his opening rounds, together with gaining 1.4 SG: Putting on the Valero Texas Open and 1.1 SG: Putting on the RBC Heritage. If we get a kind of placing performances from Hoge then he ought to have the opportunity to publish a low one for us.
Kyle Stanley (+10000):
The largest flier of the bunch, Stanley has lengthy been referred to as a robust ball-striker that struggles on the greens. Outside of the Valspar Championship, the place he misplaced 3.5 SG: Approach solely to achieve 4.3 SG: Putting, that sentiment seems to ring true in 2021.
The tee-to-green recreation has been unbelievable as of late as effectively. He gained 7.1 strokes within the class on the Wells Fargo Championship and seven.6 strokes in the identical class on the Valero Texas Open. Most of that may be chalked up to his play within the first-round. In these two begins, Stanley gained 4.9 strokes tee-to-green in Charlotte and 4.2 strokes tee-to-green in San Antonio.
If he hits the ball like that this week, he may have an opportunity to shoot a low spherical on Thursday. Obviously, the putter will want to cooperate and that merely has not been the case over his profession, particularly at Colonial. In 5 appearances, he’s by no means gained strokes on these greens, and at instances, it has been ugly to watch. At +10000, I’m hoping he could be considerably competent on the placing surfaces and that his ball-striking can carry the load.
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