Sam Burns admires a tee shot

May 21, 2022; Tulsa, OK, USA; Sam Burns hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

  • The 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge from Colonial CC begins on Thursday (May 26th)
  • Sam Burns has a pair of wins and an additional three top-nine finishes already this season
  • Read below for our favorite sleepers and longshots in the outright, T10 and T20 markets

It was max pain for us and everyone else holding a Will Zalatoris ticket last week. For the second time this season, Zalatoris came up short in a playoff, crushing our chances of hitting two longshot winners in the past three events.

The great thing about golf however, is another tournament is just a few days away. This week the PGA Tour heads back to Texas, where a stacked field of 120 players will tee it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge starting on Thursday (May 26).

Colonial Country Club will once again play host to the event, and the key to success at this course is position. The tree-line track is narrow and short (by PGA Tour standards), putting a premium on accuracy and much less emphasis on driving distance than usual. Put the ball in the right place off the tee, flush your irons and make a few putts, and you might just find yourself in contention on Sunday.

2022 Charles Schwab Challenge Odds

Golfer Odds to Win Top-10 Odds Top-20 Odds
Sam Burns +3000 +300 +130
Tom Hoge +7000 +500 +200
J.J. Spaun +13000 +1000 +350
Stephan Jaeger +20000 +1400 +600

Odds as of May 24th at DraftKings Sportsbook.

One player built for this type of golf is Sam Burns, and he’s the first target in our sleepers and longshots betting card at a very generous +3000 price tag.

Burns an Auto-Bet

How can you not love Burns at this number. He’s won twice already this season and has an additional three-top nine finishes on his resume. Last week he gained 4.1 strokes with his irons at the PGA championship, and 5.1 strokes on the greens. If he replicates that formula this week, he’ll most definitely be in the hunt for the trophy.

Burns has had plenty of success at narrow, tree-lined courses in the past, as evident by his two victories at the Valspar. Over the past 50 rounds, he ranks top-seven in both strokes gained putting and proximity from 100-125 yards, one of the most common ranges for approach shots at Colonial, and top-10 in scoring.

Pick: Sam Burns to Win (+3000)

Hoge Coming in Hot

Next up, let’s target Tom Hoge a little further down the board. He’s fresh off 17th and 9th place finishes at the Byron Nelson and PGA Championship, gaining a combined 9.8 strokes with his irons, and 5.5 strokes with his putter along the way.

Like Burns, he’s having a fantastic 2021-22 season, posting a victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, to go along with a runner-up and fourth place results. The victory at Pebble Beach is key as that historic track is a good comp course for Colonial. Multiple players over the past 15 years have won at both venues, as it places a strong emphasis on accuracy and short iron play over distance as well.

At the moment there aren’t too many better iron players than Hoge regardless of the distance. He ranks third in the field over the past 50 rounds in strokes gained approach, and first in that key 100-125 yard proximity range.

Picks: Tom Hoge to win (+7000), Top-10 Finish (+500)

Top 20 Value Picks

  1. J.J. Spaun (+350): We can’t talk about how important iron play is this week and not mention J.J. Spaun. He’s gained at least three strokes with his irons on the field in four of his past five measured events, one of which was a win in Texas at the Valero last month. +350 is a great price in the T-20 market, and his outright odds of +13000 are worth a sprinkle as well.
  2. Stephan Jaeger (+600): He led the Korn Ferry Tour money list last year, and after a slow start to his latest PGA Tour stint, he’s starting to show why. He’s reeled off three straight made cuts, gaining a combined 12.1 strokes with his irons. Two of those finishes were inside the top-16, and Colonial CC won’t penalize his lack of distance off the tee, which is one of his biggest weaknesses.
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