The Charles Schwab Challenge (formerly known as the Fort Worth Invitational,Dean & Deluca Invitational and Crowne Plaza Invitational) is played annually in Fort Worth, Texas at Colonial Country Club.
The tournament was founded in 1946 as the Colonial National Invitation and honours the history of golf by using an official Scottish tartan jacket for its champions. Colonial has a Wall of Champions on the first tee engraved with the name and score of each champion.
The tournament is unofficially associated with Ben Hogan and is commonly referred to as Hogan’s Alley. The long-time Fort Worth resident won the tournament five times.
The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial is one of only five tournaments given “invitational” status by the PGA Tour and consequently has a reduced field of approximately 120 players. The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Memorial Tournament and The National.
Colonial has a unique PGA Tour tradition known as the Champion’s Choice invitation. Each year, former champions select two deserving young players, who otherwise would be ineligible, to compete in the tournament.
Pros who made their first appearance at the Charles Schwab Challenge as a Champion’s Choice include Al Geiberger, Tom Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Mark O’Meara, Paul Azinger and Davis Love III. In 2003 Annika Sörenstam played in the tournament missing the cut after rounds of 71 and 74.
The course at Colonial Country Club was designed by John Bredemus and Perry Maxwell. It is a standard Par 70 (35-35) measuring 7,200+ yards. The three hole stretch 3-5 is known as the “Horrible Horseshoe“. ‘Horseshoe’ because the three holes swing around in a ‘U’ shape and ‘Horrible’ because they are not easy.
Colonial is all about accuracy, both off the tee and from the fairway. It is a tight tree-lined layout with lots of dog-legs and water is in play on six holes. Players need to avoid the fairway bunkers and find the right portion of the fairways to attack the small greens.
Last year, Kevin Na captured the Charles Schwab Challenge on a final score -13 (267) for his third victory on Tour. The South Korean-born American closed with -4 (66) for a four shot victory over Tony Finau.
A bogey free second round 62 laid the foundation for his victory. He followed with rounds of 69 and 66 squaring only 2 bogeys for both rounds.
“They say this is a golf course that I’ve had the most leads in a tournament, so it tells you how much I like this place and how well I’ve played here.”Kevin Na
In 2018, Justin Rose emerged victorious finishing three strokes ahead of his nearest rival Brooks Koepka. He carded a final round -6 (64) to finish on a total -20 (260). The Englishman’s victory at Colonial was his ninth PGA Tour success.
The 2017 winner, Kevin Kisner, shot a final round -4 (66) for a -10 (270) total for his second PGA Tour title. He finished one stroke ahead of Jordan Spieth (defending champion), Jon Rahm and Sean O’Hair.
Kisner has had 6 runner up finishes in his career, including 4 in playoffs.
“I’ve been in this position a ton, and one thing I always take away is you just got to keep making birdies and basically look up when you can’t make any more.”Kevin Kisner
Colonial is a true shot-maker’s golf course requiring players to shape the ball off the tee. It demands precision and rewards good ball-strikers. Good scrambling is vital and the Texas winds form part of the course’s defense
Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Tips
Webb Simpson 22/1 (E/W) – followed up a T3 at Colonial in 2016 with a solo 5th in 2017. Prior to the forced break due to Covid, he had played 5 times with 4 x Top 10’s which included a victory in the WM Phoenix Open. Feature’s 2nd in this week’s Stats Analysis thanks to an outstanding all-round game. Has the ability to get the job done this week especially with his accuracy from the tee. Standout pick based on Colonial experience and skill set.
Joel Dahmen 80/1 (E/W) – this is his third look at Colonial with his best finish a T20 in 2018. His last three results prior to the season’s hiatus were a T14 (AT&T Pebble Beach), T5 (Genesis Invitational) and T5 (Arnold Palmer Invitational). Places just inside the Top 10 in this week’s Stats Analysis which is no mean feat considering the field depth. Has the game to unpick the challenges of Colonial tee-to-green. Needs his putter to get hot if he wants to contend. Excellent each way value.