2023 Charles Schwab First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Bet Brendon Todd, Beau Hossler, Harris English, More
Pictured: Brendon Todd. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
The second major of the season delivered as Brooks Koepka held off Viktor Hovland to earn his fifth major championship and third PGA Championship, putting him in elite company as he’s now one of 20 players with five major championships. Koepka joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to have won three PGA Championships in the stroke play era.
Just a month away from the U.S. Open, the PGA Tour now heads to Texas to play the Charles Schwab Challenge. The field at Colonial Country Club this week is strong, especially considering it’s a week after a major championship.
In the past five editions of the Charles Schwab Challenge, there have been 14 first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the 14, seven have come from the morning wave, and seven have come from the afternoon wave. None of the 14 went on to win the tournament.
As of now, wind isn’t expected to be a major factor on Thursday, which is atypical for the event. Given the weather situation and the historical AM/PM first-round leader splits, I wouldn’t give an advantage to either the AM or PM starters.
2023 Charles Schwab Challenge First-Round Leader Picks
Brendon Todd +6600 (BetRivers)
First-Round Tee Time: 9:04 a.m. ET
Brendon Todd has played some great golf at Colonial Country Club. In his past six trips to the course, he has three top-10 finishes, including an eighth in 2021 and a third last year. Todd has also had some really low rounds at Colonial, including a 65 in round three last year and a 64 in round two in 2021.
Although he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, Todd finished eighth in his previous start at the Wells Fargo Championship, a designated event amongst the world’s best players. In his past 24 rounds, the 37-year-old ranks second in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass.
Pick: Brendon Todd FRL +6500
Beau Hossler +6600 (DraftKings)
First-Round Tee Time: 2:06 p.m. ET
Beau Hossler was hot earlier in the season but has since cooled off. However, being back in Texas, I believe the former Longhorn has a chance to play well at Colonial. At first glance, Hossler’s course history doesn’t look all that strong, but after taking a closer look, the 28-year-old has had some great hidden form at the course.
Last year, Hossler opened 66-65 on Thursday and Friday to take the 36-hole lead before struggling over the weekend (73-74). In 2018, Hossler opened with a 64 before unraveling over the weekend.
History shows us Hossler can start hot out of the gates at Colonial.
Pick: Beau Hossler FRL +6500
Harris English +8000 (BetRivers)
First-Round Tee Time: 1:55 p.m. ET
Harris English is another player with very encouraging course history at Colonial. He has four top-30s in his past five trips to the course, including a runner-up finish in 2016. In his past 24 rounds, English ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Total at Colonial.
Prior to the PGA Championship, English was flashing some signs of returning to form. He finished third at Quail Hollow and gained 7.5 strokes on approach, which was his highest strokes gained total in that category since June 2017.
I think English can find his groove once again at a familiar setup.
Emiliano Grillo +7000 (DraftKings)
First-Round Tee Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Emiliano Grillo was scorching hot prior to the PGA Championship. Given that he’s not long off the tee and hasn’t played great in the Northeast, it wasn’t all that surprising that he struggled at Oak Hill. I believe the Argentine is still in good form and will get back to how he was playing prior to the major. In the previous three starts, Grillo had finished fifth, seventh and 23rd and was gaining an average of 6.3 strokes on approach per start.
Grillo has also done really well at Colonial. In his past five starts at the course, he’s compiled finishes of third, 19th and eighth. The 30-year-old should rediscover his form at a course that really suits his game.
Pick: Emiliano Grillo FRL +6500
Andrew Putnam +9000 (BetRivers):
First-Round Tee Time: 1:33 p.m. ET
Sticking with the theme of the week, Andrew Putnam has played some great golf at Colonial Country Club. In five starts, he has finishes of 20th, third and 15th. Last year, the 34-year-old shot a 65 in round two, demonstrating his ability to go low at this course.
Putnam also played well in Texas last month, finishing 28th at the Valero Texas Open and gaining 5.6 strokes on approach. In the field, he ranks fifth in Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass greens and 13th in Strokes Gained: Total at Colonial in his past 24 rounds.
Putnam’s ability to get it rolling on the greens makes him a good candidate for a low Thursday round.
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