Formally known as, the Fort Worth Invitational, the Dean & Deluca, the Crowne Plaza, the Bank of America, the MasterCard and the Southwestern Bell, the Charles Schwab Challenge was first staged 76 years ago in 1946.
Winners of the event are given a plaid tartan jacket and their names are etched on to a Wall of Champions adjacent to the first tee.
Local resident, Ben Hogan, won the first two renewals before going on to win it again three more times in the '50s. Nobody else has won the title more than twice.
The Charles Schwab Challenge is and invitational event with a field of 120.
Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
Par 70 -7,209 yards
Stroke Index in 2021 - 70.06
Designed by John Bredemus and opened in 1936, Colonial Country Club staged the US Open as soon as 1941, after Perry Maxwell (the designer of last week's venue - Southern Hills) had altered holes three, four and five.
This wonderful classic course has hosted this event since its inception and on the PGA Tour, only the US Masters has been staged at the same venue for longer.
Colonial is a tight, tree-lined track with 12 dog-legged holes and small bentgrass greens that usually run at around 12 on the Stimpmeter. Water is in play on six holes and the course is littered with strategically placed fairway bunkers.
The par five first hole once again ranked as the easiest hole on the course last year (averaged 4.65) and the par four second ranked the third easiest (3.89) but the next three faced, which were the only holes Maxwell altered prior to the US Open in 1941, are tougher and nicknamed the 'Horrible Horseshoe'. They were the three hardest holes encountered last year but they're not horrendously tough. Together the three combined played just over half a stroke over-par (0.54).
Colonial CC is often affectionately referred to as 'Hogan's Alley' after the five-time winner Ben.
Sky Sports are showing live coverage behind the Red Button from 13:15 on Thursday and Friday, with full coverage beginning at 21:00 (UK and Ireland time) for the first two days. The third and fourth round live coverage begins at 19:00 on Saturday and 18:00 on Sunday.
Last Seven Winners with Pre-event Exchange Prices
2021 - Jason Kokrak -14 75.074/1
2020 - Daniel Berger -15 120.0119/1
2019 - Kevin Na -13 90.089/1
2018 - Justin Rose -20 16.015/1
2017 - Kevin Kisner -10 32.031/1
2016 - Jordan Spieth -17 8.07/1
2015 - Chris Kirk -12 38.037/1
What Will it Take to Win the Charles Schwab Challenge?
Although last year's winner, Jason Kokrak, ranked first for Driving Distance this is not a track that can be overpowered and length off the tee is usually an irrelevance.
None of the 12 winners prior to Kokrak ranked inside the top-ten for DD and it's not a stat to consider at all. Colonial is short by modern standards and there are just two par fives. Irons are taken off several tees and the average DD ranking of the ten winners before Kokrak was exactly 30th.
Kokrak ranked fourth for Driving Accuracy and eight of the last 12 winners have ranked inside the top-ten for that stat.
Hitting it straight off every tee isn't absolutely essential though - Jordan Spieth only ranked 54th for DA when he won in 2016 and Chris Kirk ranked 60th seven years ago! The average DA ranking of the last 12 winners is 25.4
Kirk was one of the strangest winners, statistically, that I've ever seen on the PGA Tour. He basically just putted incredibly well all week long, averaging an amazing 1.57, so we should perhaps ignore the fact that (in addition to only ranking 40th for DD, 60th for DA and 39th for Scrambling) he ranked a lowly 62nd for Greens In Regulation.
As many as 11 of the last 14 winners have ranked inside the top-ten for GIR and 10 of those 11 ranked inside the top-six.
Kokrak ranked second, Berger ranked fourth in 2020 and the two winners before him both topped the GIR Rankings. The average GIR ranking of the last 12 winners is 9.2.
Kevin Kisner ranked second for Scrambling when he won here in in 2017 and Spieth ranked first six years ago but the last four winners have all got across the line with unusually ordinary Scrambling stats - ranking 42nd, 25th, 15th and 30th but all four putting brilliantly.
The last four winners had a Putting Average ranking of ninth, eighth, fifth and fifth and other than Kisner in 2017, every winner in the last 18 years has ranked 17th or better. And 11 of the 17 have ranked inside the top-five for Putting Average.
The top-six 12 months ago all ranked inside the top-10 for PA and the average Putting Average ranking of the last 12 winners is 8.08.
Given we're in Texas, an ability to handle windy conditions is usually essential and the forecasts suggest it will be again over the weekend.
Is There an Angle In?
There are two possible course links here - Deere Run and Augusta. They don't appear to correlate visually but all three venues reward excellent ball striking and short game skills and form at the three courses crosses over well.
David Toms, Kenny Perry, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth have all recently won this title and the John Deere Classic, staged at Deere Run in Illinois. The 2017 runner-up, Sean O'Hair's first PGA Tour success was at Deere Run and Brandt Snedeker and Tim Clark have both finished runner-up in both tournaments.
Sebastian Munoz, who topped the Strokes Gained Putting stats when finishing third here last year went on to lead the John Deere Classic through three rounds a couple of months later with last year's eighth here, Lucas Glover, closing with a 64 to take the title. The 2019 Colonial winner, Kevin Na, finished tied for second.
Zach Johnson has won this title twice recently so of the ten men to win the last 14 editions, four have also won the US Masters - Johnson, Spieth, Mickelson, and Adam Scott. And the 2018 winner, Justin Rose, has contended at Augusta on numerous occasions.
Is There an Identikit Winner?
With length an irrelevance, the wily old pros have a really great chance to add to their silverware here and I say add because the vast majority of winners here have already bagged plenty of titles.
Prior to Berger's win in 2020, and Spieth's victory six years ago, Sergio Garcia, in 2001, was the last player under the age of 30 to take the title and eight of the last 23 winners have been aged 40 or over. The average age of the winners here is just under 37 and Kokrak won last year, one week after turning 36.
Colonial is a course that takes a bit of getting to know and debutants have a poor record.
Historically, the winners have already played the event eight times on average and it's rare to see someone win their first PGA Tour event here. Na was playing here for the 12th time when he won here in 2019 and he'd previously led the tournament three times after round one. He also led after round three (by a stroke) in 2015 before going on to finish 10th.
Garcia was the last first timer to win, in 2001, but he'd already won in Europe and before that, Ian Baker-Finch won his first PGA Tour title in this event in 1989 but he too had already tasted success, having already won Down Under. We all know how good the 2017 US Masters winner, Sergio, is and Baker-Finch won an Open Championship.
Given how impeccably good all areas of a player's game need to be to win here, it's probably not surprising to see so many major champions, Ryder Cuppers and WGC winners have been successful here.
The cream tends to rise to the top here although the last three winners have been fairly big in the market, going off at 75.074/1, 120.0119/1 and 90.089/1.
Winner's Position and Exchange Price Pre-Round Four
2021 - Jason Kokrak solo second - trailing by one 3.3512/5
2020 - Daniel Berger T7 - trailing by two 29.028/1
2019 - Kevin Na led by two strokes 3.45
2018 - Justin Rose led by four strokes 1.42/5
2017 - Kevin Kisner T5 - trailing by three 11.010/1
2016 - Jordan Spieth led by one stroke 2.111/10
2015 - Chris Kirk T4 - trailing by three 13.5
As illustrated above, three of the last six winners were in front with a round to go but it's not always easy to convert from the front here and in 2016, Spieth was actually the first third round leader to win since Phil Mickelson in 2008.
Being up with the pace is usually the way to go though and being on the heels of the leaders looks like the ideal place to be.
Having been inside the front three places all week, Kokrak sat alone in second and one behind the odds-on leader, Spieth, with a round to go 12 months ago, and he was four clear of Sergio Garcia in third.
Berger sat tied for seventh and no more than two or three off the lead after rounds one, two and three in 2020. The two winners that preceded Spieth were seven and six strokes adrift and outside the top-ten at halfway but that's unusual. Prior to Adam Scott's victory in 2014, Rory Sabbatini in 2007 and Sergio Garcia in 2001, had been the only two winners this century to be outside the top-ten and more than four strokes adrift through 36 holes and 18 of the last 20 winners have been no more than two strokes off the lead with a round to go. Kisner and Kirk are the odd men out and they only trailed by three so although it's hard to win from the front, winning from miles back is very rare.
Following a 15th place finish in the Byron Nelson Championship two weeks ago and a missed cut in the US PGA Championship last week, it looks like the world number one, Scottie Scheffler, may have finally started to cool off after a spell of sensationally hot form.
The 25-year-old is playing here for a third time following a 55th place finish in 2020 and a missed cut last year and it looks only a matter of time before fellow Texan, Jordan Spieth, supplants him at the head of the market.
The 2016 winner, Spieth, has returned to form of late and he has a brilliant bank of form around here with figures reading 7-14-2-1-2-32-8-10-2 so he looks almost certain to contend but his putting figures are very off-putting.
Spieth ranked 61st for Putting Average and 74th for Strokes Gained Putting (-3.236) when finishing 34th at Southern Hills last week but he'd finished first and second in his two previous starts with PA rankings of 40th and 23rd so he's playing remarkably well tee-to-green.
Last week's winner, Justin Thomas was 10th here on debut in 2020 but only 40th last year and he's hard to fancy after Sunday's heroics at Southern Hills. He's bound to have celebrated his second major success and looks one to swerve so soon.
I like a couple of outsiders here so I'll save them for the Find Me a 100 Winner column tomorrow but I have picked out two others before the off and they both caught the eye last week...
Mexico's Abraham Ancer finished ninth at Southern Hills where he ranked highly (as he usually does) for Driving Accuracy and for greens hit. And he also putted nicely, ranking 14th for Strokes Gained Putting, gaining almost four strokes (3.874).
The 31 year-old has course form figures reading 52-58-14-14 but his last two efforts were arguably better than the bare form suggests.
He sat third, trailing by one, after an opening 64 in 2020 and before finishing 14th for the second year in-a-row 12 months ago, he sat 63rd at halfway after a slow start. A pair of 67s on the weekend saw him move up the leaderboard nicely and this is clearly a course that suits his eye.
Justin Rose has been in the wilderness for some time but he's been showing signs of life of late - most noticeably when finishing 13th last week.
Rose ranked ninth for Greens In Regulation and 13th for SGP (4.229) last week so with course form figures reading 13-45-34-71-1-58-3-20, I was happy to take 65.064/1 about the 2018 champ.
Abraham Ancer @ 48.047/1
Justin Rose @ 65.064/1
I'll be back later today with my Dutch Open preview.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter