The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

History matters this week at Hogan’s Alley both on and off the course.

The name of the event has changed, again, but the track remains the same in Fort Worth, Texas.  Colonial Country Club will host a PGA TOUR event for the 72nd consecutive year, the second-longest streak behind Augusta National Golf Club.

Stretching to just 7,209 yards (Par-70), “Hogan’s Alley” won’t be a push-over. Players will need to work the golf ball both ways off the tee and will require a steady hand putting A-4 Bentgrass greens that will max out around 12 feet.

Bombing and gouging will have its proponents again this week as the Bermuda has struggled to get going, so the penalty won’t be as severe. The fairways and greens are anything but generous in size, which is contrary to the angle that everything is bigger in Texas!

Scoring will be dictated by the velocity of the ever-present Texas wind. Last year, Justin Rose missed Zach Johnson’s tournament record of 259 by a shot as the fans really never turned on. This year, he’s back and looks to join Ben Hogan (twice) as the only players to defend their title. The winner in the field of 122 will take home $1.314 million of the $7.3 million purse plus 500 FedExCup Points.

For the first time in three weeks, gamers will have abundance of course history to help with their fantasy decisions. Colonial is an acquired taste, and the last player to win in their debut was Sergio Garcia in 2001. Hogan once implied that hitting it straight around Colonial is akin to hitting it crooked. This classic track is a shot-maker’s course that requires skill and patience over four days.

Need more Course Info? Check Rob Bolton’s Power RankingsThe First Look and Course Preview.

Recent Winners

Justin Rose (2018, -20): The Englishman roasted CCC in the 90-degree heat as he led the field in GIR, Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes-Gained: Approach-the-Green, as well as finishing T1 in ball-striking and bogey avoidance. The weather will be similar this year, so this formula is going to translate again. Rose led by one after 36 and four after 54 and defeated Brooks Koepka by three to win.

Notables: Kevin Na opened with 62 and tied the course record with 61 on Sunday (T4). … Emiliano Grillo used bookended 64s to finish third. Jon Rahm played the weekend 64-68 for T5 to back up his T2 from 2017. Not bad for two trips! … There were only 16 rounds over par from the top 31 and 70 of the 78 players making the cut (+2) finished E or better.

Kevin Kisner (2017, -10): The cut (+4) was the highest since 1999 as the gusty winds affected scoring dramatically. The winds finally calmed down on Sunday and Kisner took advantage with 66. He made up a three-shot deficit as 54-hole leader Webb Simpson (5th) couldn’t get it in the house. Kisner’s ball-striking clinic included T1 fairways and second in GIR, plus he was third in Strokes-Gained: Putting.

Notables:  Jon Rahm (66) and Jordan Spieth (65) missed a playoff by a shot. … Paul Casey (T10) and Danny Lee (6th) began the final round tied for second and neither broke 70. … Steve Stricker’s 63 on Sunday was the lowest of the week.

Jordan Spieth (2016, -17): The Dallas resident became just the fifth Texan to win and first since Ben Crenshaw in 1990. Plagued by thunderstorms, ball-in-hand was used in closely-mown areas and kept scoring at a premium. Only Spieth and Rose have converted the 54-hole lead in the last 10 events at Colonial. Spieth also led (or co-led) the field in bogey avoidance just like the other two winners highlighted above. They all finished in the top three in Par-3 scoring as well. It’s no secret that Spieth might be the best Bentgrass putter on TOUR. He gained over 10 strokes last week on the greens at Bethpage Black.

Notables:  Member Ryan Palmer (T3) began the final round one back but his 68 was three worse than Spieth. … There were only nine rounds above par from the top 24. … First and only win for Spieth in Texas, so far. … Chad Campbell, co-course record holder, posted 63 on Sunday, the lowest round of the week.

Key stat leaders

Golfers around the top 25 in each statistic on the 2018-19 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week. This is the 31st event of the season.

* – Top 10 finish since 2010; noted finishes in parentheses

Strokes-Gained: Approach-the-Green

 2  Talor Gooch

7  Jason Kokrak

10 *Corey Conners (T8, 2018)

11 *Emiliano Grillo (T3, 2018)

13 *Jim Furyk (4, 2012)

14 *Justin Rose

20 Nate Lashley (first appearance)

21 Russell Knox

23 *Paul Casey

24 Xander Schauffele

25 *Zach Johnson (2010, 2012 winner)

Birdie-or-Better Percentage

 4  *Matt Every (T4, 2013)

5  Si Woo Kim

6  Bryson DeChambeau

9  Cameron Champ

10 *Rickie Fowler (T5, 2012)

11 *Justin Rose

14 Xander Schauffele

15 *Ryan Palmer

15 *Jon Rahm

18 Talor Gooch

19 Wyndham Clark

21 Dominic Bozzelli

23 *Jordan Spieth

27 *Scott Piercy (T7, 2017)

Par-4 Scoring

 3  Talor Gooch

6  Nate Lashley

6  *Scott Piercy

6  *Jon Rahm

6  *Rickie Fowler

6  Aaron Baddeley

15 Si Woo Kim

15 Abraham Ancer

15 *Jim Furyk

15 *Ryan Palmer

15 Xander Schauffele

15 *Justin Rose

25 Dominic Bozzelli

25 *Louis Oosthuizen (T5, 2018)

30 *Jason Kokrak

30 Brian Stuard

30 *Chez Reavie (T5, 2011)

Bogey Avoidance

 5  *Jim Furyk

7  Nate Lashley

8  Aaron Baddeley

10 Talor Gooch

12 *Scott Piercy

15 Xander Schauffele

18 *Jon Rahm

19 Matt Jones

19 Denny McCarthy

21 *Justin Rose

23 Vaughn Taylor

24 Si Woo Kim

25 Sungjae Im

Levels of Confidence

Youth Movement

Jordan Spieth: Of his 24 rounds, 22 are 70 or better for a stroke average of 67.63 (57-under par). His streak of T2-WIN-T2 was busted with T32 last year, his worst finish from six weekends in six starts.

Jon Rahm: Almost won in his first try like his countryman Garcia, but settled for T2. Last year’s T5 proves that he’s a quick learner on certain tracks.

Experience Matters

Kevin Na: With 10 checks from 12 weekends, Na is 23-under over his last three (T10, T42 and fourth). His scoring average is a tasty 68.52 over 42 rounds.

Kevin Kisner: His victory in 2017 ended a three-year run of T5-T10-WIN even though this is not his preferred Bermuda.

Rory Sabbatini: This will be his 19th edition with 12 cuts already made. The 2007 champ picked up his last top 10 (T10) in 2015 but did post a pair of 66s last year to finish T20.

Brandt Snedeker: He’s never missed in eight starts but he’s only pocketed one top 15, T2 in 2015.

Ben Crane: Wait, what? Yes, as six of his nine checks have gone for top 25 money and five, including T8 last year, have landed in the top 10.

Local Yokels

Ryan Palmer: Much has been made about his membership here and it’s translated into 11 weekends from 15 starts. He has three top-five finishes and a 62 to his name.

Danny Lee: Sure he’s an Irving resident, but that’s close enough, as he’s never had to go home early in six starts. He’s 22-under over the last four years and has collected for T10, T22, sixth and T14.

Course Form Chart 

Player Cuts Top Top Most Best/Notes
Made 10s 25s Recent
Justin Rose 5/5 1 2 Win (2018) 1st event since 2010!
Emiliano Grillo 3/3 1 2 3 (2018) T24 2017
Kevin Na 10/12 4 7 4 (2018) T10 2015
Jon Rahm 2/2 2 2 T5 (2018) T2 2017
Louis Oosthuizen 4/5 1 2 T5 (2018) 64 Rd 3
Kevin Tway 2/3 1 2 T5 (2018) T18 2017
Ben Crane 9/12 5 6 T8 (2018) 3 top 5s
Joaquin Niemann 1/1 1 1 T8 (2018)
Corey Conners 1/1 1 1 T8 (2018)
Keivn Kisner 4/5 3 3 Win (2017) T10 2016, T5 2015
Jordan Spieth 6/6 4 5 T2 (2017) 2016 win, 2015 T2
Danny Lee 6/6 2 4 6 (2017) T14 2018, T10 2015
Brian Harman 5/6 2 4 T7 (2017) Never worse than T30
Scott Piercy 4/7 1 1 T7 (2017)
Paul Casey 4/5 2 3 T10 (2017) Last appearance
Ryan Palmer 11/15 3 5 T3 (2016) T5 2014, 2012
Anirban Lahiri 2/3 1 1 T6 (2016)
Jason Dufner 6/10 3 3 T6 (2016) 2nd 2012, 2014
Brandt Snedeker 8/8 1 3 T2 (2015)
Ian Poulter 4/5 2 3 T5 (2015) 8 2009
Pat Perez 9/13 4 4 T5 (2015) all or nada
Rory Sabbatini 12/18 4 6 T10 (2015) 2007 champ
Charley Hoffman 10/10 1 4 T10 (2015) opened 63 last year
Colt Knost 2/6 1 1 T10 (2015) 4 MC & T67
David Toms 14/19 6 9 T5 (2014) 2011 champ
Jimmy Walker 5/5 1 2 T10 (2014) T20 2018
Michael Thompson 5/6 1 1 T10 (2014) T32 2018
Player Cuts Top Top Most Best/Notes
Made 10s 25s Recent
Boo Weekley 6/9 1 2 Win (2013) 9th 2010
Zach Johnson 12/13 5 8 3 (2013) 2010, 2012 champ; TRH
Scott Stallings 2/7 1 1 T4 (2013) MC 5 others and T63
Matt Every 2/5 1 1 T4 (2013) 3 MC and T64
Chris Stroud 5/8 1 4 T7 (2013) 3 other top 15
Jim Furyk 16/21 7 9 4 (2012)
Rickie Fowler 5/6 1 3 T5 (2012) T14 2018
Jonas Blixt 4/5 1 3 T10 (2012)
Chez Reavie 5/8 1 2 T5 (2011) T11 2013
Bill Haas 8/9 1 5 T8 (2011) T12 2018, T14 2017
Rod Pampling 8/14 4 5 T10 (2011) 3 other top 10’s last decade
Martin Laird 5/8 2 2 T10 (2011) T10 2010; MC last 3
Kevin Streelman 5/9 1 2 T10 (2011) T18 2017
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One thought on “The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

  1. Pingback: The Confidence Factor: 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge Preview | Glass Houses

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