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The First Look: Charles Schwab Challenge

6 Min Read

The First Look

The First Look: Charles Schwab Challenge

Preview the storylines from Colonial Country Club

    One of the game’s legends is celebrated at the Charles Schwab Challenge, while one of its current stars hopes to continue his success at the historic Colonial Country Club.

    The course was coined “Hogan’s Alley” after Ben Hogan won four of the first seven editions of this event (and finished no worse than fourth in the other three). Now Spieth is Colonial’s most consistent contender.

    He won the Charles Schwab Challenge in 2016, has been runner-up three times and finished outside the top 10 just twice in 10 appearances.

    This week will be the 2023 homecoming for Spieth, who was forced to withdraw from the TOUR’s other stop in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the AT&T Byron Nelson, because of a wrist injury. He returned to make the cut in last week’s PGA Championship, however, competing with tape on his left wrist and KT tape on his forearm.

    Spieth has missed three cuts this season but also has a collection of fine results. Before his missed cut at the Wells Fargo Championship, Spieth had four top-four finishes in a span of five stroke-play events. That includes a playoff loss at the RBC Heritage and fourth-place finish at the Masters.

    He’s 20th in Strokes Gained: Total for the season, and – wrist injury and all – there may not be a better place for Spieth to find some extra comfort that the Charles Schwab Challenge, even with a few recent near misses.

    “I think the results show that I love this place,” said Spieth.

    FIELD NOTES: Sam Burns returns to defend his title from last season. Burns, who missed the cut at the PGA Championship, has four top-10 finishes this season. That includes a win at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. The Charles Schwab Challenge, where he beat friend Scottie Scheffler in a playoff, was one of three wins last season for Burns… Scheffler arrives back as world No. 1 after a T2 finish at the PGA Championship, where he held a share of the 36-hole lead. Scheffler has two wins this season, at THE PLAYERS and WM Phoenix Open… Viktor Hovland, who shared the PGA Championship’s 36-hole lead with Scheffler and Corey Conners, also is set to play Colonial. Hovland has a pair of top-25s in his two appearances at Colonial. He also has history here as a past winner of the Hogan Award, which is awarded at Colonial to the top player in college and amateur golf. He won the award in 2019…Other Hogan Award winners in the field include Doug Ghim (2018), Maverick McNealy (2017), Patrick Rodgers (2014), Nick Taylor (2010), Rickie Fowler (2008) and Chris Kirk (2007)… Two-time winner this season Max Homa is in action at Colonial for the fifth time. Homa had finished in the top 10 in half his starts before the PGA (7 of 14). He finished T55 at Oak Hill.… Alongside Homa is another two-time winner, Tony Finau. Finau will tee it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge for the eighth time. He’s never missed the cut and finished fourth a year ago… Justin Rose returns to Colonial, where he won in 2018. Rose has teed it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge nine times, but last year was the first time he missed the cut. He finished T9 at the PGA… Collin Morikawa will tee it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge for the fourth time. He finished runner-up at Colonial in 2020 and has four top-10s this season… This year’s Champions Choice selections are Pierceson Coody and Cole Hammer. The Texas Longhorn duo helped the school win the 2022 NCAA Championship. It’s a long-running tournament tradition for past champions to select two players to join the field who would not have otherwise qualified. Coody earned his second Korn Ferry Tour title this year while Hammer finished fifth earlier this season at The RSM Classic.

    SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: After a memorable display at the PGA Championship Michael Block will be in the field at Colonial. The PGA professional finished T15 at Oak Hill and recorded an ace in the final round playing alongside Rory McIlroy. Min Woo Lee is playing after finishing T18 at the PGA Championship earning Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR… Akshay Bhatia will tee it up for the 12th time on TOUR this season. He has two top-5 finishes, including a runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open that earned him Special Temporary Membership… Cameron Champ, a three-time TOUR winner, has two top-10s this season and is back in action… Erik Compton will tee it up at his second TOUR event of the season after finishing tied for 23rd at the Corales Puntacana Championship… European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald is in the field… Zac Blair is back in action, looking to improve on his season-best result of a tie for 10th at the Valspar Championship… A pair of Texans round out the sponsor invite list with TOUR winner Cody Gribble and fellow University of Texas Longhorn Kramer Hickok also in the field.



    Only one golfer in tournament history has defended his title – Ben Hogan. Hogan did it twice, including the opening two years of the tournament. Sam Burns is looking for back-to-back triumphs, something he’s done already once in his career (he took the Valspar Championship in both 2021 and 2022)


    Along with valuable FedExCup points and a Royal Tartan Plaid jacket, the winner of the Charles Schwab Challenge will once again receive an exclusive prize – a restored car. This year’s vehicle is a 1973 Ford Bronco. Previous winners got a 1973 Dodge Challenger, a 1946 Power Wagon, and 1979 Pontiac Firebird.


    Spieth was the last Texan to win at Colonial but there are plenty of golfers with Texas ties who are in action at this year’s Charles Schwab Challenge, led by world No. 2 Scottie Scheffler. There are upwards of a dozen golfers who are connected to the Lone Star State in some capacity.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: Colonial Country Club, par 70, 7,209 yards. The PGA TOUR is playing the John Bredemus/Perry Maxwell design for the 76th time, making this the longest-running non-major on TOUR to be contested on the same course. Shot-making and accuracy will be the keys to success once again at Colonial. The club will undergo a $20 million renovation, led by Gil Hanse, starting at the conclusion of this year’s tournament.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Zach Johnson (2010).

    18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Keith Clearwater (2nd round, 1993), Lee Janzen (4th round, 1993), Greg Kraft (3rd round, 1999), Kenny Perry (3rd round, 2003), Justin Leonard (4th round, 2003), Chad Campbell (3rd round, 2004), Kevin Na (4th round, 2018).

    LAST TIME: Sam Burns topped Scottie Scheffler in a playoff, nailing a 38-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole. Burns’ seven-shot comeback matched Nick Price in 1994 for the biggest final-round charge to win in tournament history. At one point, Scheffler was in a group of five golfers who were tied for the lead at 10 under, but with sustained winds of 20 mph and wind gusts of 30 mph, Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the Sunday scoring. Burns shot a 5-under 65 in the final round and waited about two hours to see where he would end up. It was Burns’ third win of the season.


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