This week’s Charles Schwab Challenge venue, Colonial Country Club, is a big change of pace from Southern Hills Country Club even though they are both Perry Maxwell designs. Colonial is heavily tree-lined and relatively short. Players will need to keep the ball in the fairway in order to have the best chance to attack the pins with their short irons and wedges. Putting usually plays an outsized role at Colonial as players are continually faced with makeable putts. If looking to build to the ideal player, look for someone who can keep it in play off the tee, is above average from 125 to 175 yards on approach, and has the ability to putt lights out.
Here are a few players to target:
Jordan Spieth $10,400
This is a great bounceback spot for Spieth after an underwhelming 34th place finish at the PGA. Prior to that, he won at the Heritage and narrowly missed out on a playoff at the Byron Nelson. At the PGA, Spieth was held back by his putter as he lost over 3 strokes on the greens. His game fits Colonial perfectly as he has been striking the ball beautifully off the tee and on approach. So it’s no surprise that he has finished inside the top 10 in seven of nine starts at Colonial. Yes, his putter has been holding him back this year but that is no different than what we have seen the last few years for Spieth. When he gets to Colonial, his putter seems to catch fire on command. He has gained a massive 34 strokes putting in the last six years of this event. If he brings that type of putting this week … he wins.
Kevin Na $8,100
Na has quietly had a very solid 2022 season, finishing 28th or better in seven of ten starts. He now heads to a course that is arguably his best fit on the PGA Tour. He keeps the ball in play off the tee and ranks second in approach from 125 to 175 yards. Na has the ability to get unconscious with the putter just like he did in 2019 at Colonial, gaining seven strokes en route to victory.
Brian Harman $7,800
Harman has been Mr. Consistency at Colonial as he has finished 31st or better in each of his last seven starts in this event. He ranks top 10 in putting and accuracy off the tee. His approach play over his career has been sporadic, settling slightly below average. In his last two events, however, he has gained at least five strokes on approach. This is the perfect combination for a high finish this week from Harman.
UPDATE: PAULIE’S PICKS FOR THE 2023 CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE AT COLONIAL