How do you cap last weekend’s record-setting win by Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship? Well, you don’t.
The 50-year old Mickelson defied PGA tour odds and cruised to become the oldest golfer to ever win a major tournament. And it wasn’t close in the end. His odds to win this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge (+12500) prove that last week’s success doesn’t automatically make him this week’s favorite.
No, those honors go to Jordan Spieth (+333). While Spieth had a pedestrian finish at the PGA Championship last week (30th) — a four-day slog in which he shot under par only one day — he does have seven top-10 finishes this year and his third-place showing at the 2021 Masters proves he can still strike at any time and on the biggest stage. He’s a three-time major winner, showing he can handle the pressure.
So how does this course play? Colonial Country Club is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and opened in 1936. It has a reputation for being a very tight course in the fairways, with dense tree cover and challenging dog-leg holes. Water and fairway bunkers are common, adding to the challenge.
Hole No. 1 was the easiest to birdie last year, statistically. It is a par-five selection — and then the course gets tougher from there. The bottom line is, hitting bombs out of the tee box won’t necessarily translate to major success, while being one of the most accurate drivers in the tournament certainly helps.
With Spieth entering the tournament as the favorite and playing well on day one, the next tier to keep an eye on is Collin Morikawa (+1200), Justin Thomas (+1400), and Abraham Ancer (+1600).
Morikawa understandably has a chip on his shoulder after falling to Daniel Berger (+3000) last year in a playoff at this tournament. Both are on hand at Colonial to battle it out again at the Charles Schwab. Morikawa won earlier this year at the World Golf Championships at Bradenton, Fla., and he has five top 10s in this pandemic affected season.
Here’s a look at some of the key players who are on hand this week:
KEY NAMES – TOURNEY ODDS
Justin Thomas (+1400) — 2nd in FedExCup Standings
Jordan Spieth (+333) — 9th in FedExCup Standings
Billy Horschel (+5000) — 13th in FedExCup Standings
Abraham Ancer (+1600) — 15th in FedExCup Standings
Matt Jones (+20000) — Honda Classic winner in March
Phil Mickelson (+30000) — PGA Championship winner last week