2023 Charles Schwab Challenge Final Round Best Bets: Harris English in Position for 5th Tour Win
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Harris English, our 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge best bet for Sunday’s final round.
It was hard to predict what would happen for the top players in the field this week at the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge, after many of them battled through last week's test at Oak Hill.
As we maybe should have expected, there are just two players at the top of the world rankings in the top 10 as we head into Sunday. Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler have maintained their strong play this week at Colonial Country Club, but while they do sit on the first page of the leaderboard, they aren't in a real position of contention, with five and six shots respectively separating them from the leaders.
Adam Schenk and Harry Hall share that lead at 10-under heading into the final round, and they both seek to capture their first PGA victories.
Schenk and Hall came out on Thursday battling for that first round lead and continued to go back and forth into Sunday. Their closest competitor is Harris English, who is just one shot back and looking to make his way back to the top after a hip injury halted his 2022 campaign just as it got started. He's put himself in the top 3 a couple of times this year and will be looking to capture his fifth career win tomorrow.
Those three players have separated themselves by three shots over two players at 6-under, making it seem like a three-player race going into the final round. Let's see who stands out as the likely champion on Sunday and if there might be anyone further down the leaderboard with a chance to climb into contention over the back stretch.
Strokes Gained Explanation
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
2023 Charles Schwab Challenge Final Round Best Bets: 3 Golfers to Buy
Prior to Sam Burns' win last year, 12 consecutive champions of this event were within at least three shots of the lead going into the final round — and only Chris Kirk in 2015 was even three back. This isn't typically a course where a player is going to come from way back to win on Sunday (although Burns did just that with his 9-under round that forced a playoff with Scottie Scheffler in 2022). We should see Burns as the exception, so I'll be focusing in on just the top three players as I look for a winner.
I'm going to lean in on the experience of Harris English in this spot. He may not be the guy that's been the best of this group overall — as his ace on Friday really clouds his strokes gained numbers — but being in the final pairing will be a very uncomfortable feeling for both Adam Schenk and Harry Hall on Sunday. We often see that inexperience rub into the play of both guys, and it can lead to a bit of a dud for them.
English will have the advantage of experience and being able to just simply play his game from in front of the leaders with the hopes of putting some numbers on the board early for them to have to think about. English is my pick, and it's as much about his knowledge of playing from a late Sunday tee time as it is his game, which has obviously been solid as well this week.
Brian Harman has been one of the best players in the field this week, and it shows with his current T10 position, but he should arguably be up there with the rest of the leaders. He's been great with his game throughout the bag, but unfortunately has yet to put it all together in the same round.
Harman was the best player in the field tee to green on Saturday, gaining more than a stroke on the field in each metric, including more than two on approach. His issue came on the greens, where he lost nearly half a stroke back. It wasn't that it was a bad round, as his 3-under Saturday was the second best of the field, but he really needed to move and just couldn't get enough putts to drop to put himself in shouting distance for the final round.
Still, I'll be looking for Harman to be one of those players that can get to a top 5 type of result after the final round, and there are only two shots between him and that position going into Sunday.
The player I am going to be watching the most on Sunday is Collin Morikawa. I don't know where I'll bet him for the final round, but his play over the last two days is grabbing my interest for next week at The Memorial. He played himself out of the tournament on Thursday with a 3-over round, but he really came back strong over the past two days, where he has gained more than five shots on this field with his irons. The putter didn't cooperate as much on Saturday, but if he can continue to show strong ball striking, I'll have interest in him at what will likely be a very solid number going into a course where he has won and finished runner-up.
The Pick: Harris English