The PGA Tour will resume play this week when Colonial Country Club plays host to some of the world’s best golfers for the 76th edition of the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Headlining the annual stop in Fort Worth, Texas will be local favorites Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris, as well as newly-minted PGA Champion Justin Thomas.
Scheffler, Thomas, Spieth and Zalatoris will be joined by top-20 ranked stars such as Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns, Billy Horschel, and Abraham Ancer.
Known as a shotmaker’s golf course dating back to its opening in 1936, Colonial – the former home to Ben Hogan, more often than not, serves up a winner who is able to creatively craft shots as opposed to long bombers – hence the nickname “Hogan’s Alley.”
Here are some more details to get ready for this week’s PGA Tour stop in Texas.
PGA Tour At-a-Glance
Name: Charles Schwab Challenge
Dates: May 26-29, 2022
Where: Fort Worth, Texas
Course: Colonial Country Club
Distance: Par 70, 7209 yards
Architect: John Bredemus/Perry Maxwell (1936)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,512,000
OWGR FP Points: 60
Defending Champion: Jason Kokrak
How to Follow the Charles Schwab Challenge
TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 4-7 p.m. (GOLF); Sat: 2-5:30 p.m. (GOLF), 5:30-7 p.m. (CBS); Sun: 1-2 p.m. (GOLF), 2-6:30 p.m. (CBS)
STREAMING: Thu-Fri: 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN+); Sun: 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
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The Charles Schwab Challenge History
Colonial Country Club is permanently tied to this event, but interestingly enough, the course got its professional start as the 1941 U.S. Open venue. The course showed its teeth right away, as the U.S. Open field was outright beat down. The winner of the tournament, Craig Wood, finished at +4. The tournament was so difficult that those at +15 finished in a tie for 10th.
At just over 7,200 yards, Colonial was considered lengthy at the time. Today, it plays as one of the shorter tracks on tour.
In the 1946 inaugural event, known initially by the name of the Colonial National Invitation, Ben Hogan stepped right up and claimed the first title, and then repeated again the next year. He scored five victories overall in this event, including the only back-to-back victories (1952-53). As a result of that success, Colonial is often referred to as “Hogan’s Alley.”
In addition to Hogan, event winners have included legends such as Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Spieth.
Nobody has won more than twice, with the exception of Hogan’s five. Ten players own a pair of titles, with Zach Johnson (2010, 2012) accomplishing it most recently.
As an “invitational,” the Fort Worth event has a more exclusive field than most tournaments (121 golfers this year), and is given more freedom with its invites. The tournament famously has a “Champion’s Choice” invitation, where the previous year’s champion gets to grant two spots to players of their choice who otherwise did not qualify.
A Champion’s Choice has won on just a single occasion, when Dave Stockton took the 1967 title, finishing as the only man in the field under par (-2).
History: Title Sponsors
- Charles Schwab Challenge (2019-Pres)
- Fort Worth Invitational (2018)
- Dean & DeLuca Invitational (2016-17)
- Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (2007-15)
- Bank of America Colonial (2003-06)
- MasterCard Colonial (1996-02)
- Colonial National Invitation (1995)
- Southwestern Bell Colonial (1989-94)
- Colonial National Invitation (1946-88)
History: Recent Winners
2020: Jason Kokrak (-14)
2020: Daniel Berger (-15)
2019: Kevin Na (-13)
2018: Justin Rose (-20)
2017: Kevin Kisner (-10)
2016: Jordan Spieth (-17)
2015: Chris Kirk (-12)
2014: Adam Scott (-9)
2013: Boo Weekley (-14)
2012: Zach Johnson (-12)
2011: David Toms (-15)
259 (-21) – Zach Johnson (2010)
5 – Ben Hogan (1946-47, 1952-53, 1959)
2 – Zach Johnson (2010, 2012)
2 – Phil Mickelson (2000, 2008)
2 – Nick Price (1994, 2002)
2 – Corey Pavin (1985, 1996)
2 – Bruce Lietzke (1980, 1992)
2 – Ben Crenshaw (1977, 1990)
2 – Lee Trevino (1976, 1978)
2 – Billy Casper (1964, 1968)
2 – Julius Boros (1960, 1963)
History: Colonial Country Club
Colonial Country Club was started 85 years ago in 1936 by Marvin Leonard, who had a keen interest in bringing bentgrass greens to his hometown of Fort Worth. When his initial plans to install bentgrass greens at an already existing Fort Worth golf club failed, Leonard came up with his vision for Colonial Golf Club. His vision became a reality in January 1936 when the club opened with approximately 100 members.
The golf course at Colonial Country Club was designed by John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma. The par-70 course, currently at 7,209 yards, is bordered on the northern edge by the Trinity River (Clear Fork) with the rest of the course surrounded by the neighboring residential area.
The course length in 1941 was 7,035 yards, considerably long for the era.
In the late 1930s, Leonard began talks with the United States Golf Association (USGA) to conduct the U.S. Open at Colonial. After guaranteeing the USGA $25,000, Colonial was granted the rights to the 1941 edition, won by Craig Wood, the winner of that year’s Masters.
In 1942, Leonard decided to sell the club to the members of Colonial. His first attempt to sell to the members was rejected, but he eventually sold the club to the members on December 31, 1942, when it took its current name, Colonial Country Club.
In addition to the annual PGA Tour event, the course has hosted three major or significant professional golf events: the 1941 U.S. Open, the 1975 Tournament Players Championship (won by Al Geiberger), and the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open (won by Meg Mallon).
Look Back: 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge
A crowd overwhelming rooting for his playing partner, PGA Tour veteran Jason Kokrak was able to overcome the elements at the Charles Schwab Challenge, winning the long-running event by two strokes over a recently-resurgent Jordan Spieth.
Kokrak had a stretch from late-February to mid-March where he posted three consecutive top-10 finishes but had not been especially stellar since. He finished in 49th place at The Masters, and after a final-round 77 at Kiawah Island last week, he posted a T49 at the PGA Championship. He appeared comfortable from the start at Colonial, though, with rounds of 65, 65, and 66 respectively, before his final-round 70.
His 23 birdies led the field for the week. He had nine bogeys, with five of those in his final round. Kokrak also led the field in strokes gained: off-the-tee and driving distance and was second in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and greens in regulation.
2021 Charles Schwab Challenge: Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Jason Kokrak -14 (E)
2. Jordan Spieth -12 (+3)
3. Charley Hoffman -10 (-5)
3. Patton Kizzire -10 (-3)
3. Ian Poulter -10 (-2)
3. Sebastian Munoz -10 (-2)
The Course: Colonial CC
The golf course at Colonial Country Club was designed by John Bredemus of Texas and Perry Maxwell of Oklahoma. The par-70 course stretches to 7,209 yards and is bordered on the northern edge by the Trinity River (Clear Fork) with the rest of the course surrounded by the neighboring residential area.
The course length in 1941 was 7,035 yards, considerably long for the era.
Because of its association with the great Ben Hogan, it is generally considered one of America’s most iconic golf courses.
In addition to the annual PGA Tour event, the course has hosted three major or significant professional golf events: the 1941 U.S. Open, the 1975 Tournament Players Championship (won by Al Geiberger) and the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open (won by Meg Mallon).
The signature holes are Nos. 3, 4 and 5, nicknamed the “Horrible Horseshoe” – a brutally tough three-hole stretch comprised of a 241-yard par-3 sandwiched between two lengthy par-4s.
The fifth hole of the course (which has the Trinity River running alongside the right for nearly the entire length) is often mentioned as one of the best holes in America. It also ends the “Horrible Horseshoe.”
No.5, Colonial Country Club
Par 4, 467 yards
The most difficult and most iconic hole at Colonial Country Club. The tee shot is to a thin fairway, with a ditch to the left and a river on the right. Even a good tee shot leaves a long, narrow approach to a small green guarded by two big bunkers in the front.
2021 average: 4.228 (toughest)
2021 scores: 36 birdies (9%), 244 pars (63%), 96 bogeys (25%), 13 doubles (3%), 1 triples+ (0%)
The Charles Schwab Challenge Field
Despite being slotted as the first event following the PGA Championship, the field at Colonial is surprisingly stout, and includes 13 of the top-25 ranked players in the world, including six of the top 10, highlighted by this season’s two major winners: world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (Masters) and No. 5 Justin Thomas (PGA).
Other top-25 stars teeing it up this week include Collin Morikawa (No. 4), Viktor Hovland (7), Jordan Spieth (9), Sam Burns (10), Will Zalatoris (14), Billy Horschel (16), Abraham Ancer (19), Tony Finau (21), Sungjae Im (22) and Bryson DeChambeau (25).
Several marquee players will enter with something to prove, namely No. 4 Morikawa, who comes off four finishes outside the top-25 in his last five (stroke play) starts, with three of those results outside the top 50 (T55, T68, MC). Same with his 2019 rookie compadre, Hovland, who has put up three straight (stroke play) results outside the top 25 (T41, T27, T33).
Daniel Berger, the 2020 Colonial champion, got off to a terrific start to the 2022 campaign, with a pair of top-5s and two other top-20s in his first five outings. But since leaving Florida, the four-time PGA Tour winner has posted four finishes outside the top 20, including a missed-cut last week at the PGA. The Florida native will look to get back on track at a course that most definitely fits his game.
Scheffler, the field’s top-ranked player at world No. 1, enters off four wins in his last eight starts but will look for a soft reboot following a missed-cut at Southern Hills.
Thomas, meanwhile, enters in absolute top form, with three top-10 finishes in his last four starts including a T8 at the Masters and a thrilling win at the PGA.
Zalatoris, who nearly captured his maiden PGA Tour title last week in Tulsa, coming up just short to a record-breaking performance by Thomas in overtime, is also a player bringing the heat into Colonial. The 25-year-old Texan is now ranked No. 14 in the world, after posting a runner-up (PGA) and T6 (Masters) in the two opening majors.
The third marquee Texan, Spieth, also enters in fine form, with a win and runner-up in his last three starts. The three-time major winner, and 2016 Colonial champion, finished a respectable T34 at the PGA.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Scottie Scheffler (10/1)
2. Justin Thomas (12/1)
2. Jordan Spieth (12/1)
4. Collin Morikawa (16/1)
5. Viktor Hovland (20/1)
5. Will Zalatoris (20/1)
Full Field & Odds
Up Next: The Memorial
The Memorial, the season’s final elite invitational event, gets underway next week at Muirfield Village in Ohio with Jack Nicklaus hosting and Patrick Cantlay defending.
Credits: Joel Cook, PGA Tour Media, Getty Images