124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Betting Analysis

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Can this longshot really hang with Scottie Scheffler?

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 11: Tom Hoge chips on to the 12th green during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 11, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Just like that, two majors have come and gone and now we make our way into the meat of the PGA Tour schedule, starting this week with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, fresh off one of the wildest weeks of his life, is in the field as he looks to get his season back on track. Last week's T-8 is his worst finish since Riviera.

Yes, that was sarcasm, but it still will be interesting to see how Scheffler rebounds from a week of being in the headlines for reasons that had nothing to do with his golf. Despite the off-the-course drama, he's still a massive +275 favorite.

Our betting panel is comprised of a caddie reporting anonymously from the grounds of Memorial Park, Pat Mayo of Underdog/Mayo Media Network, Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel, Andy Lack of RunPureSports.com, your two authors and Keith Stewart, the CEO of Read The Line. Stewart, our newest member of the panel, is our new betting content partner as well.

Scroll down to read our analysis for our best bets at the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge:

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Scottie Scheffler (+280, DraftKings) — Scottie will be motivated after a weird week (to say the least) in Valhalla to change the narrative back to his winning brand of golf. A methodical type of golf is what translates to success at Colonial, which is up Scottie’s wheelhouse.

Pat Mayo, Underdog/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Tom Hoge (50-1, BetMGM) — Just feels like it's really his time this time.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Collin Morikawa (12-1, FanDuel) — If Morikawa had a better Sunday, his odds would be shorter than 12-1. While his iron play is down from his career baseline, he’s making up for it with other key stats. And while the putter still is a bit of an issue, his underlying splits are great and show reasons to expect regression in his favor. He’s a 76th-percentile putter from within 15 feet this season.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Tom Hoge (50-1, BetMGM) — Most approach rankings have Tom Hoge listed somewhere near the very top. He can compete with Scottie and the best of them when it comes to the iron game. His victory at Pebble Beach a couple years ago proved his approach ability can capture trophies. Just last week, Hoge gained six strokes on approach. Tom’s touch with the putter has been great lately. In his last 12 starts, he’s gained positively 10 times. Hoge’s combination of patience off the tee, proximity to the hole, and putting ability make him a very viable winning option against Mr. Scheffler in Dallas.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Brian Harman (40-1, BetMGM) — It’s not exciting, but it’s honest work to bet a short hitter like Brian Harman who has a great short game. I think the short game is going to more important than usual with the newly revamped green complexes and surrounds.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Brian Harman (40-1, BetMGM) — With his sneaky T-26 finish at Valhalla, Harman now has five finishes inside the top 30 in his last eight starts. The reigning Open champ gained 5.7 strokes on approach last week at Valhalla, which bodes well for Colonial, a plodder’s paradise. No surprise that Harman has good course history here, with four finishes of 14th or better here since 2015.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Brian Harman (40-1, BetMGM) — I always have interest in Brian Harman on short, positional golf courses that emphasize iron play, and the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year is coming off a strong approach week at the PGA Championship. Now Harman returns to a track where he has recorded eight top-30 finishes in 11 appearances, and I expect him to build upon his strong resume at Colonial this week.

Past results: The boys officially bagged a major, with our anonymous caddie and Christopher Powers both correctly predicting Xander Schauffele’s PGA Championship victory at 14-1 (and, more importantly, we avoided the dreaded headline curse). That’s CP’s first hit of 2024 and our caddie’s third (!) cash of the year. He leads the way, with Pat Mayo checking in next with two wins (Jake Knapp 40-1 in Mexico; Akshay Bhatia 65-1 at Valero). Stephen Hennessey also cashed on Bhatia at Valero. Not bad, not bad.

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Lee Hodges (100-1, BetMGM) — The Alabama product has been hot and cold this year, but he’s a momentum player and is coming off a great week at the PGA. I expect him to contend being back in the form we saw last year.

Mayo: Keegan Bradley (55-1, BetMGM) — The approach play is all the way back after a quiet start to the year. As always, just need some putts to fall.

Gdula: Andrew Putnam (55-1, FanDuel) — Putnam stands out at a course where he doesn’t need to pound driver. He’s an accurate driver and excels in approach, around-the-green, and putting right now. Across those three strokes-gained areas (approach through putting), he’s sixth in the field over the last 50 rounds.

Stewart: Taylor Moore (66-1, BetMGM) — Taylor Moore has not missed a cut this season in 13 events. The 2023 Valspar winner has an incredible comp course victory for tough iron-heavy tests. Moore gained 10 shots on the field at Valhalla and finished 12th. He’s extremely well-rounded and that complementary skill set makes him very dangerous on courses like Colonial. I believe the restoration by Gil Hanse will cause players to test their around-the-green skills. A strength of Moore’s, that is where he will separate and ultimately win.

Watch the below video for our favorite bets and players we're fading for the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge:

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Maverick McNealy (60-1, BetMGM) — McNealy reannounced himself at TPC Sawgrass, a club-down positional golf course, where he finished top 10. He’s coming off a T-23 at the PGA Championship and has gained strokes off the tee in eight straight measured events. The irons are traditionally his strong suit, and he can get a hot putter—he’s finished 20th here at Colonial, so I like Mav here.

Powers, Golf Digest: Maverick McNealy (60-1, BetMGM) — McNealy didn’t quite finish the week how he wanted to at Valhalla, yet his T-23 result was still by far his best in a major championship. Perfect confidence booster ahead of Colonial, a tight, tree-lined track with small-ish greens, the style of golf that suits McNealy’s game perfectly.

Lack: Aaron Rai (66-1, BetMGM) — I’m a long suffering Aaron Rai bettor, and I will always look in his direction on short, positional golf courses. In his last appearance at Colonial, Rai finished 12th, gaining over nine strokes ball-striking. His combination of elite driving accuracy and short iron play is a perfect fit for Colonial, and I expect him to continue his strong play this week at the familiar venue.

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Min Woo Lee (35-1, DraftKings) — I’m a big believer and a fan of Min Woo. Just not on this golf course where his tendency to get wild can cost him, plus he doesn’t have the type of experience here that most of the field has.

Mayo: Collin Morikawa (12-1, FanDuel) — Sunday's par-fest at Valhalla had to be mentally and emotionally draining for the two-time major champ. Expecting a natural letdown.

Gdula: Tony Finau (28-1, FanDuel) — While Finau has played Colonial well in the past, he also continues to display horrible putting splits, and that’s been limiting his pure upside.

Stewart: Jordan Spieth (20-1, DraftKings) — I took a long hard look at Jordan Spieth while I was at Valhalla last week. I believe there was something bothering him physically when I watched him hit balls on the range. There have been stretches in his career where the game has gone sideways, but his iron game is off. The last time he was in Dallas, he missed the cut at the Byron Nelson. He’s ranked 94th (!) in this field on approach. He finished 43rd at the PGA and shot 73 on a Sunday when only four players inside the top 50 shot over par.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Max Homa (18-1, DraftKings) — The six-time PGA Tour winner has struggled on shorter positional courses all year—he finished T-55 at the RBC Heritage, T-64 at The Players and T-66 at Pebble Beach. I lost money on a top-20 bet on him last week, so I’m familiar with his up-and-down week at Valhalla, and I think that continues here.

Powers, Golf Digest: Scottie Scheffler (+275, BetMGM) — Is he going to top 10? Yup. Lock it in. This is just too short of a price for an outright.

Lack: Harris English (22-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — While Harris English certainly had an impressive PGA Championship, I still do not him find worthy of being one of the tournament favorites. As is often the case with English, he relied mainly on his putter at Valhalla, gaining over eight strokes on the greens. Colonial will be far more of an approach test, requiring controlled short irons to small, firm targets, and he is still a below average wedge player in this field.

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Taylor Moore (-110) over Tom Kim (DraftKings) — Moore—a Texas native—is playing some great golf and gained strokes in all four major strokes-gained categories en route to a T-12 finish at the PGA Championship. Tom Kim had a nice week as well but struggled on the weekend—which is how this year has gone for him.

Mayo: Daniel Berger (+100) over Billy Horschel (Bet365) — Horschel had a nice finish last weekl at Valhalla but Daniel Berger, a former winner at Colonial, is too good to pass up at even money in this H2H.

Gdula: Tom Hoge (-115) over Billy Horschel (FanDuel) — Horschel is hot right now but is just riding the putter. Hoge’s putter is flowing, too, but he has a huge edge in iron play, helping me side with him in this matchup.

Stewart: Brian Harman (-125) over Min Woo Lee (BetMGM) — Min Woo Lee is an exciting player. He is a top-five driver of the golf ball on tour. Unfortunately, his ability with the big stick does not transfer over to his iron game. In fact, it is the opposite. In his last nine measured starts, Min Woo has lost strokes with his irons six times. Brian Harman just finished 26th at Valhalla gaining six strokes on approach. The current Open Champion is in really good form gaining two strokes as well with his putter over his last five tournaments. On a course where length is mitigated, take Harman’s accuracy and putter head-to-head.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Brian Harman (-125) over Min Woo Lee (BetMGM) — We love Harman as shown above, and Min Woo’s greatest strengths—his power off the tee—will be mitigated here.

Powers, Golf Digest: Keegan Bradley (-120) over Justin Rose (DraftKings) — Rose is fresh off a T-6 at the PGA Championship but it was a bit of a smoke and mirrors performance, the Englishman gaining nearly eight strokes with his putter. That will be tough to replicate at Colonial, where Rose should feel comfortable as a former winner. But I’ll roll with the much more consistent Keegan Bradley, who has three top 25s in his last four starts.

Lack: Tony Finau (+100) over Harris English (DraftKings) — I was very surprised to see Tony Finau as a short underdog to Harris English in a matchup, as the former is a far superior player. Finau led the entire field last week in approach play, and one of the strongest indicators of success at Colonial is recent approach play. Outside of Scottie Scheffler, they may not be a better iron player in the field this week than Tony Finau.

Matchup Results from the PGA Championship: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Homa (-139) over Cantlay); Lack: 1 for 1 (Niemann (-150) over C. Smith); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Thomas (+100) over Clark); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Fleetwood (-115) over Homa); Powers: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1; Stewart: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 13-6-1 (up 6.46 units); Caddie: 13-6-0 (up 5.51 units); Lack 13-6-1 (up 5.5 units); Gdula: 10-8-2 (up 0.74 units); Powers: 8-9-2 (down 0.92 units); Hennessey: 8-9-3 (down 2.01 units); Stewart: 8-12-0 (down 4.72 units)

Charles Schwab Challenge picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: JT Poston (+500, DraftKings) — JT was playing some fantastic golf to start 2024 and has struggled on larger, driver-heavy courses. The Sea Island resident plays his best on these types of layouts.

Mayo: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+400, DraftKings) — The South African is coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship but he had previously piled up five consecutive top-28 finishes. His iron play and putting have both been strong along the way which bodes well for Colonial.

Gdula: Harris English (+280, FanDuel) — English is rounding back into form and is a top-seven golfer in adjusted strokes-gained among this field over the last 50 rounds, via datagolf. English’s putting splits are great, and he has played Colonial well in the past, including four top-20 finishes in eight starts.

Stewart: Tony Finau (+300, Bet365) — Tony Finau has a nice little competitive history at Colonial. He finished fourth in 2022 and runner-up in 2019. The main reason why Finau finishes well here is his iron game. He’s ranked eighth in the field on approach and just gained 10 shots at Valhalla. His runner-up finish in Houston a little over a month ago was also fueled by incredible ball striking. After a top 20 at the PGA Championship, I’m going to take the 10 places and expect another fantastic Finau finish.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Hayden Buckley (+5000, DraftKings) — A total flier, but 50-1 on a top-10 bet on a player who has played well at short, positional courses like Waialae Country Club and Harbour Town feels like a decent longshot.

Powers, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (+450, DraftKings) — Kirk was awful last week but that’s because he needed to hit it long and straight to have a chance. Not the case this week at Colonial, where he can work it right to left all day and play positional golf. Since 2015, he has three top-15 finishes and a win in this event.

Lack: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+400, DraftKings) — Similar to Harman, I love Christiaan Bezuidenhout on shorter golf courses with small greens to accentuate short iron play, as the South African is one of the best wedge players in this field. Outside of his skill on approach, Bezuidenhout also ranks second in this field in Bentgrass putting. The combination of elite short iron play and Bentgrass putting has proven to pay dividends at Colonial time and again.

Top-10 results from the PGA Championship: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Bryson DeChambeau +260); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Bryson DeChambeau +260); Stewart: 1 for 1 (Bryson DeChambeau +260); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 5 for 20 (up 3.25 units); Caddie: 4 for 19 (down 1.65 units); Mayo: 3 for 20 (down 4 units); Gdula: 4 for 20 (down 0.9 units); Lack: 4 for 20 (down 5.45 units); Stewart: 4 for 20 (down 6.82 units); Powers: 3 for 20 (down 9.4 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for numberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports