The First Look: Charles Schwab Challenge
May 23, 2021
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Daniel Berger wins at Charles Schwab
Someone had to go first. And in 2020, it was the Charles Schwab Challenge.
After a three-month hiatus during the early stages of the pandemic, the longstanding tournament at Colonial was the first to welcome back the PGA TOUR. Viewers were treated to a beauty as Daniel Berger birdied the 72nd hole and topped Collin Morikawa in a playoff.
This year the event returns to its usual spot on the calendar and features a stout field led by 2017 FedExCup champion Justin Thomas.
FIELD NOTES: Berger, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, returns to defend. Morikawa, who won the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession earlier this season, will also be back… Patrick Reed is the third player in the world top-10 slated to play at Colonial… Thomas is hoping to bounce back after missing the cut by a shot at the PGA Championship. He finished T10 at last year’s Charles Schwab… Both of the 36-hole leaders at the PGA Championship – Louis Oosthuizen and Phil Mickelson – are set to tee it up. Mickelson won the tournament in 2000 and 2008… Other past winners in the field include Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner, and Justin Rose, who won in 2018 (his FedExCup-winning season)… Fort Worth resident J.J. Henry is a Sponsor Exemption and will remain the active leader in consecutive starts at Colonial, having played every event since 2002. Other Sponsor Exemptions include Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, Michael Visacki, and former college standout and current Korn Ferry Tour pro Sahith Theegala.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
STORYLINES: Video of an emotional Michael Visacki calling his father to tell him that he had Monday-qualified for the Valspar Championship earlier this year has been viewed over 1.5 million times on Twitter. It also caught the eye of Charles Schwab himself, who extended Visacki an invite into the tournament that bears his name… Can Jordan Spieth continue his trend of good play in Texas? Spieth is teeing it up at Colonial and has a win at the Valero Texas Open (San Antonio) and T9 finishes at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (Austin) and AT&T Byron Nelson (Dallas) this year… Only one golfer has won at Colonial in back-to-back years: Ben Hogan, who did it twice (1946-47 and 1952-53)… This year marks the tournament’s 75th anniversary.
COURSE: Colonial Country Club, par 70, 7,209 yards. All 76 editions of the tournament have been played at Colonial, the John Bredemus/Perry Maxwell layout in Fort Worth, Texas. The mainstay on the PGA TOUR schedule is eclipsed only by Augusta National as a host course that has been on the schedule longer. Colonial puts shot-making at a premium with numerous doglegs and tight fairways. It also hosted the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open, the second edition of THE PLAYERS Championship in 1975, and the U.S. Open in 1941.
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: At the first event back after the COVID-19 pause, Daniel Berger shot a 4-under 66 to climb six spots on the leaderboard, then beat Morikawa in a playoff. Berger birdied the 72nd hole to finish at 15-under and made par on the first extra hole; Morikawa bogeyed. Berger’s third career TOUR title ended a three-year win drought. It was the first playoff at Colonial in six years. Jason Kokrak shot a 6-under 64, tied for the day’s low round, to tie for third alongside Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and 2018 Charles Schwab Challenge winner Justin Rose.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 5:30-7 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Featured Groups), 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (Featured Groups), 2 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (Featured Holes)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).
TOUR Pulse: Get the PGA TOUR app to utilize TOUR Pulse, which provides users the ability to experience a mix of content, such as video highlights, written hole summaries and stat graphics on every player after every hole they complete.