Charles Schwab Winner

After the fun and games of the PGA Championship, we return to Colonial for the Charles Schwab and as a betting heat is always interesting. This narrow, tree-lined track requires a fair deal of accuracy from the tee with approach play being key to these small greens.

Inevitably small greens make for short game specialists coming to the fore so we have a lot to look at in terms of the profile of a potential winner. Ball striking experts such as Berger and Rose have won around here then you've got short-game wizards such as Spieth, Zach Johnson and Kevin Na who have all tasted success.

It's a tricky layout and tough greens so experience plays a part and it is no surprise we have seen a host of golfers win this from the other side of 30. Distance isn't required here and you'll do well to score around here without every facet of your game in your working order.

Jordan Spieth at 14/1 

I've wrestled with the Spieth question this week and I think I just have to get involved at 14/1 given not much bigger was offered last week on a course that didn't suit anywhere close as to what Colonial does. Spieth loves this place with a win and three further runner up finishes. His long game is in superb condition, of that there is no question and nor has there been for a while now.

It is simply remarkable he has a win and two runner ups putting the way he has this year. That is a testament to just how good his long game is and I see no reason why that won't continue this week in Texas. Had he putted well last week he would have contended once again. He has topped the putting statistics here two of the last three years, and finished 4th the other.

Quite simply, he knows how to putt on these greens and if anywhere holds a chance of him finding the requisite form with the putter then it's here at Colonial where he has found it on numerous occasions. I shudder getting involved at this price with someone putting so consistently poorly, but this looks like the place where it turns and we see the putts finally drop.

3pts WIN J.Spieth 14/1

Jordan Spieth - 3pts @ 14/1

Chirs Kirk at 45/1 (Eight Places)

In a year where we have had a number of golfers winning an event they have previously won, I'm happy to punt Chris Kirk this week and add his name to that list. With a win, a top-five, and four other top 20s here Chris Kirk boasts some of the most solid course form here. He ranks 43rd in ball striking on tour this season and that is no surprise. His long game has long since been in tremendous nick but the gamble lies with the flat stick.

It has been an inconsistent year on the greens but must be noted the four events he has gained strokes on the greens this year have resulted in finishes of 5th, 5th, 7th and 14th. If the putter behaves, Kirk is a serious danger. Three of those events were consecutively also at Phoenix, Honda and the Arnold Palmer. That concludes what we already know, that he is streaky on the greens. It was another solid week last week on the greens and I'm hoping that trend continues like it did after the good week in Arizona. If it does, he has to be a serious danger to the front of the field. 

1.5pts each-way C.Kirk 45/1 (1/5 8)

Chris Kirk - 1.5pts e/w @ 45/1

Webb Simpson at 33/1 (Eight Places)

Webb Simpson has been struggling all year to find anywhere near remotely his best but signs were positive last week at the PGA and he must be risked at a venue where he has a couple of top fives back in 2016 and 2017. He played well through the bag last week with the most notable improvement being on approach with a new set of irons in the bag. He finished 33rd on approach, his best numbers of the year to date, and his best since the RSM last November when finishing 8th.

At his peak, we'd see Simpson here going off close to half this price with the emphasis on a strong game in all departments and the lack of length needed around here. Throw in the experience tag and we have someone who would fit right in on the winners rota around here. With him waxing lyrical about the new irons, it's certainly worth chancing.

1pt each-way W.Simpson 33/1 /(1/5 8)

Webb Simpson - 1pt e/w @ 33/1

Justin Rose at 66/1 (Five Places)

Having swapped some distance for more accuracy in 2022 Justin Rose must be considered at a venue where he won back in 2018 and finished 3rd just two years ago when golf returned from its Covid enforced break. The Englishman has struggled somewhat with his long game all season and the gains he used to make off the tee are probably in the past. His approach game has also struggled but when it does land we see improved results automatically.

9th on approach last week was his best week with the irons since the Farmers when he finished 6th, ranking 5th on approach. When that part of his game fires then he has a chance. He is on course for his second-best putting season in his career, and for someone who has had problems in that department down the years, he has become very consistent with the flat stick. His game has changed slightly and maybe these are the venues where he will excel late on in his career and at a top price of 66/1 I'm prepared to chance after last week's effort. 

1pt each-way J.Rose 66/1 (1/4 5)

Justin Rose - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

Peter Malnati at 175/1 (Eight Places)

One worth siding with at bigger odds is Peter Malnati. Malnati is on a run of five made cuts on the spin, his most consistent period since late 2020, a period in which he finished runner up at the Sanderson Farms, an event he had won previously. His game off the tee may not meet the requisite standards for the profile needed here, but the other parts of his game are in decent shape, and should he manage a good week off the tee he could be a contender.

36th on approach at the Byron Nelson, 32nd on approach in Mexico and 26th on approach at Harbour Town make up three of his last four events. 18th on the greens at Wells Fargo and then 3rd last week show us his putting is in decent shape too. He could fit the bracket of those with a solid short game to perform well here. Signs were good when finishing top 10 at the Byron Nelson so I'm happy to get involved at triple figures here. 

0.75pt each-way P.Malnati 175/1 (1/5 8)

Peter Malnati - 0.75pts e/w @ 175/1