GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Charles Schwab Challenge

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the Charles Schwab Challenge based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The sprint is on through one of the most exciting stretches of the PGA Tour season, with the PGA Championship in the rearview and the U.S. Open just a couple of weeks away, we stop at Colonial before heading to Muirfield Village GC for the Memorial, two iconic courses that after Phil Mickelson's miracle at Kiawah feel destined to produce a winner from the top of the market. Phil's win gives us some hope that a dark horse can charge from the back of the pack, but 10 of the top 25 golfers in the world tee it up this week and Colonial typically produces a classy winner when they are in the field.

We'll focus on the best fits this week in two main criteria. First, we'll look to golfers who are or have the potential to be among the very best in the sport. That typically goes with our second criteria, which is top-notch iron play. With 11(!) golfers shorter than 25/1 this week, it is clear this is very much a haves vs. have-nots event. That being the case, we'll foreswear the super long shots and focus on the truly elite, with just one value play at the back of the market.

For more info on Colonial Country Club along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Collin Morikawa (+1200) - Last year's runner-up leads the way, the No. 5 golfer in the world with just an impeccable resume so far in his young career. Already a major champion and a three-time winner on Tour (four if we count the Barracuda Championship), the 24-year-old has posted a top-20 finish in more than 40% of his first 45 professional starts, and that type of consistency is only going to continue thanks to arguably the best iron game in the world. With respect to Justin Thomas (+1300) and his own elite approach play and the undeniable magic of Jordan Spieth (+1000), we like Morikawa to rise to the occasion this week.

Will Zalatoris (+2300) - It is no longer Thomas trailing Morikawa for the 2020-21 season lead in strokes gained: approach. It is the not-yet-a-PGA Tour-member Zalatoris, who will be desperate -- desperate -- for a win to earn his place in the FedEx Cup Playoffs at some point this season. The time is now for Willy Z, who has been out there week in and week out trying to seize his opportunity. His T8 at the PGA Championship gives him top 10s in each of his first three major championship appearances, the type of record that is simply destined for victory at some point sooner rather than later.

Joaquin Niemann (+2300) - Somehow Niemann is the youngest of this group, a more than two years younger than Zalatoris and about a year and a half Morikawa's junior. Niemann's ballstriking prowess is well-known, but what's stood out lately has been his ability to putt on his previous kryptonite, the dreaded bermuda. If he's rolled it well on those surfaces we may be in store for some fireworks back on bentgrass, which is the only grass type he's historically been better than average with the flat stick. He hasn't missed a cut since last year's FedEx Cup Playoffs, and after knocking on the door at both Hawaii events to start the season, he's continued to play well but not quite had the chance to win. That could very well change this week.

Value Spots

Sungjae Im (+2800) - We return once again to the Sungjae well, where the water never runs dry but so far we've been left thirsty more than once. Amidst all the shuffling on the leaderboard to start the PGA Championship, Sungjae hung in there all week for a T17 finish despite not breaking 70 in any around. The birdie machine should see a few more opportunities this week, and a T10 finish last year should give him plenty of confidence arriving in Fort Worth this week.

Charley Hoffman (+3200) - Hoffman isn't exactly a leading man, but he has been so solid lately that he's hard to keep off the staking plan at a Texas course. He was runner up at the Valero Texas Open a few weeks back, and at 44 years old he is a significant divergence from our youth movement, but one that warrants it. Top 20s in 8 of his last 10 including at our two favorite comps -- Harbour Town GL and Waialae CC -- we'll put our cash behind Hoffman for the win and really like his chances at a better number for Leader After Round 1 (+4500).

Long Shot

Chris Kirk (+7000) - Kirk has missed two straight cuts, but it's his form this year in two correlated courses in Harbour Town GL and Waialae CC that catches our attention. He was seventh at the RBC Heritage and second at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and with a decent record at both courses plus Colonial -- where he won in 2015 -- we'll gladly take the value at 70/1.