This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Charles Schwab Challenge
Fort Worth, Texas
Colonial Country Club - Par 70 - 7,209 yards
Field - 122 Entrants
Purse - $7.3M
The Fort Worth Invitational was sponsor-less in 2018, but the historic event hosted by Colonial Country Club since 1946 will now be known as the Charles Schwab Challenge until at least 2022. A surprisingly decent field travels southwest to Texas on the heels of a demanding PGA Championship that saw only six golfers finish in red numbers. Five of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 10 players will be in attendance alongside nearly half of the OWGR's top 100, which isn't too shabby given the invitational's 122-entrant configuration. Long-standing traditions in terms of both playing styles and festivities are in store this week, with a Scottish plaid jacket awaiting the eventual champion on the 18th green come Sunday afternoon. Peeking at the weather forecast, temperatures will be much higher than they were for the AT&T Byron Nelson just two weeks ago, but significant winds could force competitors to club up and manage a low ball flight throughout the tournament.
Key Stats to Victory
SG: Approach - Far from a bomber's paradise, the best iron players will be able to display their craft at this old-fashioned venue that rewards a methodical approach. Justin Rose led the field in GIR percentage en route to his 2018 victory.
Driving accuracy - Power off the tee is much less advantageous here than we've become accustomed to seeing around Tour, as an abundance of doglegs force precision rather than distance while driver often stays in the bag.
P4: 400-450 scoring - Efficiency on the par-4s becomes even more important on a par-70 layout with just two par-5s providing evident birdie opportunities, while seven of the 18 holes at Colonial CC fall into this 400-450 yardage range
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Jon Rahm - $48
Without a runaway betting favorite this week, Rahm is the most expensive player on the board despite missing the cut at last week's PGA Championship. The Spaniard has finished no worse than tied for fifth in his first two attempts at Colonial CC, ultimately falling just one stroke shy of former champ Kevin Kisner in 2017. Rahm, who ranks third on Tour in SG; Off-the-Tee and 12th in total driving, also comes in at 12th in proximity from 175-200 yards and sixth in par-4 scoring.
Justin Rose - $47
The defending champion nearly tied the tournament scoring record in 2018 when he won by three strokes over Brooks Koepka at 20-under-par. Rose disappointed gamers with an unexpected missed cut at the Masters in April, but he rebounded with a top-3 result at the Wells Fargo Championship before tying for 29th at Bethpage, where he gained strokes in every department except around the green. Well known for his ball-striking prowess, Rose has actually found something with the flat stick as he ranks second among his peers in SG: Putting over his last 12 rounds.
Paul Casey - $41
Nearly identical to Rose's recent form, Casey bounced back from a brutal two-day effort at Augusta by placing top-5 at the Wells Fargo Championship before also notching a T29 at the PGA Championship alongside his fellow countryman. Differentiating Casey is the fact that he leads this week's field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 12 rounds and has gained strokes on approach shots in all but one event throughout the past calendar year. Additionally, Casey putts better on bentgrass than any other surface and has finished top-10 at Colonial CC in two of five appearances.
Ian Poulter - $39
The trend continues with yet another veteran Englishman joining the party, while a missed cut at Bethpage Black should help drive ownership away from Poulter at what would already normally be an inflated price for someone who has won just once since 2013. Nonetheless, Poulter ranks 15th on Tour in GIR percentage, 32nd in driving accuracy and second in putting from 15-20 feet. Just like Casey, he's also placed top-10 in two of five trips to Colonial.
Scott Piercy - $35
Back-to-back top-3s at the RBC Heritage and AT&T Byron Nelson preceded a T41 for Piercy at the PGA Championship, where he endured a tough nine-hole closing stretch but still managed to finish top-20 in GIR percentage. It's been a mixed bag for Piercy at the Colonial CC, but he tied for seventh in 2017 and has made the cut in four of his last five showings at the event. Piercy paces the field in SG: Total over his last 12 rounds and has gained strokes off the tee in eight consecutive tournaments.
Kevin Na - $34
Prior to a missed cut at Bethpage's highly difficult Black Course, Na had placed T46-T10-T35 from the Masters to the AT&T Byron Nelson on the heels of a quarterfinal appearance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. An impressive Colonial CC resume for Na includes four top-10s and 10 cuts made in 12 attempts, most recently collecting a solo fourth here in 2018. He's been on the positive side in terms of P4: 400-450 efficiency in three straight starts as well.
Joel Dahmen - $31
Dahmen has made the cut in seven straight starts dating back to a T12 at the PLAYERS Championship in March, compiling four top-20s and solo runner-up honors at the Wells Fargo Championship during this span. He's risen from 183rd to 80th in the OWGR as a result, also climbing to 20th on Tour in driving accuracy. Dahmen has also gained at least 5.1 strokes on approach shots in each of his last two starts.
Danny Lee - $29
As somewhat of a horse for the course, Lee was going to foster attention this week regardless of his finishing position at the PGA Championship. A first-round 64 at Bethpage didn't do any favors in terms of making Lee less chalky at the upcoming Fort Worth venue where he's gone six for six with two top-10s. He gained 3.5 strokes putting and nearly five strokes on approach at the Black Course last week.
Rory Sabbatini - $28
It feels like Sabbatini continues to land in this section, but for good reason as the 43-year-old continues to produce with eight straight made cuts and three consecutive top-20s from the RBC Heritage to the AT&T Byron Nelson. He ranks third in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 12 rounds and remains positive in each Strokes Gained category on the season. Not to mention he's also a past champion here at Colonial, donning the plaid jacket back in 2007 following a playoff victory over Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
The invitational format of what is now called the Charles Schwab Challenge features only 122 entrants, and a handful simply stand no chance, so a larger percentage of players will make it through the 36-hole cut. Also, I'm not quite ready to get back on the Jordan Spieth bandwagon despite his incredible course history at Colonial. Sure, he finally returned to relevance during the latter stages of a golf tournament by tying for third at the PGA Championship. But he did nearly all of his damage either on or around the greens as he ultimately gained over 10 strokes putting throughout the week. The ball striking is simply still not there for the Dallas native, who could easily post another respectable finish this week if the flat stick stays scorching hot as he enjoys a home-field advantage.