Sleeper Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge
May 25, 2021
By Rob Bolton, GolfBet for PGATOUR.COM
- Scott Piercy is one to keep an eye on this week at Colonial. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Scott Piercy (+15000) … Age 42; 10th appearance. As of nightfall on Monday, he was inside the bubble to qualify for the U.S. Open at the Dallas sectional, but he still had two-thirds of his second round to finish. (Weather suspended play until Tuesday morning. Ten spots will be filled when all hopefuls complete 36 holes.) Even if he doesn’t snatch one of the berths into the major, Colonial will provide a soft landing for the veteran. Since 2013, he’s 6-for-7 with a pair of top 20s. He’s also not too far detached from a T11 at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month where he led the field in par breakers and par-5 scoring.
C.T. Pan (+8000) … Age 29; fifth appearance. Not surprisingly, the diminutive and decorated product of the University of Washington has settled into a horse for courses to define his career mold, so a T18 at Quail Hollow three weeks ago steps forward differently than, say, a T20 at Riviera in February and a T3 at PGA National in March. The latter two align with his profile as a gritty competitor on tough tracks, while the former is a relative bonus because of its length. That said, it’s his most recent top 25 in a season that has yielded five of them. He’s also recorded a pair of Colonial with a T20 in 2018 and a T3 in 2019.
Brian Stuard (+20000) … Age 38; eighth appearance. The winner of the last Zurich Classic of New Orleans that was an individual competition (in 2016) always seems to be lurking, and that’s a hearty compliment as he’s survived 159 cuts in 274 PGA TOUR starts. He logged six of those paydays at Colonial, two of which going for a top 25. As one of the shortest members off the tee, this is a week that he circles before he, well, circles the prey, if you will. Currently third in fairways hit and 16th in proximity. He’s also a couple of clicks better than the TOUR average in scrambling and bogey avoidance, so numerous ingredients are present for something special at anytime.
Camilo Villegas (+10000) … Age 39; sixth appearance. Despite his experience at Colonial, he hasn’t had much to show for it. The more recent of two paydays was a T26 in 2013. Instead, this is all about momentum. Since securing conditional status via his Major Medical Extension with a T8 at The Honda Classic, the Colombian has gone on to record another trio of top 25s. The most recent was a T11 at the Valspar Championship where he led the field in connecting for par breakers on half of his 38 greens in regulation.
Joseph Bramlett (+12500) … Age 33; first appearance. As he continues to stalk his first FedExCup Playoffs in his third season, he’s closer to the target at 143rd in points thanks to a career-best T7 at the nearby AT&T Byron Nelson just two weeks ago. At TPC Craig Ranch, he fulfilled his reputation as a long-hitting ball-striker in ranking seventh in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, but he also finished 25th in Strokes Gained: Putting for the week, signifying a vast departure from that usual weakness. Hitting small greens at Colonial is a premium and he’s 34th on TOUR in GIR.
Odds were sourced on Tuesday, May 25 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
NOTE: Sleeper is a relative term, so Rob uses unofficial criteria to determine who qualifies. Each of the following usually is determined to be ineligible for this weekly staple: Winners of the tournament on the current host course; winners in the same season; recent major champions; top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; recent participants of team competitions.