Charles Schwab Challenge Power Rankings
Brooks Koepka earned another major championship last weekend in New York, parlaying his early-week press conference confidence into a wire-to-wire victory at Bethpage Black. He held off a Sunday charge from good friend Dustin Johnson and survived windy conditions to win his fourth major in the past two years.
We head back to the Dallas Fort Worth area this weekend to complete the Texas two-step. Justin Rose will defend at Colonial Country Club, where another jacket will be awarded to the winner. There’s a pretty strong field for the week following a major, with 16 of the world’s top 30 players making the trip back down to the U.S.’s largest state. It’s off to the races again as the PGA Tour never slows!
10. Kevin Kisner
Coming off of a missed cut at the PGA Championship, the Georgia Bulldog will look to right the ship on a course that better suits his game. He won here in 2017 and will look to replicate that magic. Kisner has ascended all the way to 27th in the OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) with his latest win at the Dell Matchplay, yet his lack of consistency has him entering the week at 47th in the FedExCup. His ball striking and solid putting will aid him in Fort Worth. He’s 29th in Driving Accuracy Percentage, 44th in SG (Shots Gained): Putting, and 62nd in SG: Total. We’ll see if he can find the form that had him wearing the plaid jacket two years ago.
9. Louis Oosthuizen
The South African has rather quietly had a very consistent season thus far. With three top-10 finishes, it seems he has been knocking on the door quite a bit. He will be high on a lot of lists because of his T5 here last year, and why not? He comes into this week ranked fourth on Tour in SG: Around the Green, 20th in Sand Save Percentage, and 35th in Driving Accuracy Percentage. After placing 60th last week at the PGA Championship, he’ll get a different look this week.
8. Tony Finau
Another young player with loads of talent who has performed well on the highest of levels, including major championships. Finau has teed it up in Texas three times and has yet to finish outside the top 34. He ranks fourth on tour in Driving Distance, 21st in Scoring Average, and 37th in Birdie Average. Finau faded to 64th last week at the PGA, but one of these weeks he is going to put it all together.
7. Jordan Spieth
One of the biggest quandaries of the year finally flipped last week when Spieth broke through for a T3 at the PGA Championship. It will be important to monitor him moving forward, but the proverbial monkey is definitely off his back. There was no blow-up round, no collapse to speak of last weekend. It appeared that he had summoned shades of his former self. He should be affordable, too, with his OWGR having taken a massive hit over the past six months. Spieth will return to his home turf this weekend as well, where he won in 2016 and tied for second in 2015 and 2017. Is he back?
6. Paul Casey
Casey has been simmering since his title defense at the Valspar. He faded to a T29 at the PGA but has two other top 10s since his win. Further proof that confidence breeds confidence, he has finished in the top 10 five times on the season. He’s sixth in SG: Tee to Green, 12th in SG: Off the Tee, and 13th in Driving Accuracy Percentage. Casey also likes it in Fort Worth with a fifth in 2009, 13th in 2010, and 10th in his last appearance in 2017.
5. Francesco Molinari
Last year’s Open Champion showed his mettle in major championships again last weekend with another solid showing. He will look to find the winner’s circle for the second time in the young season this week in Texas. Molinari has played a heavier schedule on the PGA Tour this season, and adding this event will help get him to the number of starts needed (the reason Rose played here and eventually won last year). His style should line up a little better this week, too, as his Driving Accuracy (45th) and Sand Save Percentage (sixth) should come in handy.
4. Xander Schauffele
Schauffele had another impressive major showing last weekend in New York. He slid a little on Sunday due to the phenomenally difficult conditions, but ultimately finished T16 with a final-round 76. His reputation as a player who can perform on difficult tracks and rise to the occasion continues to grow. He will enter this week third in the FedExCup rankings and is coincidentally seeking his third win this season. Checking in at 11th in SG: Total, 18th in Birdie Average, 14th in Scoring average, and 19th in SG: Tee to Green, Schauffele looks like a very good fit this week.
3. Rickie Fowler
Still majorless, Fowler struggled on Sunday at the PGA Championship, eventually fading all the way to T36. His prowess for the regular events seems to be more in his wheelhouse at the moment, and as gamers, we must not discriminate. Despite his inability to rise to some of the bigger moments, he still remains one of the most consistent performers on tour. He enters the week seventh in the FedExCup standings with five top-10 finishes already this season. After placing 14th here last year and fifth in 2012, expect him to make some noise this weekend.
2. Jon Rahm
Ryan Palmer’s partner from the winning team in New Orleans could look to get some information as he heads to Mr. Palmer’s home course this weekend in Fort Worth. Rahm has been humming all year, and he will still be one of the overwhelming favorites despite missing last weekend’s cut. Rahm ranks third on tour in SG: Off the Tee, 18th in SG: Tee to Green, 17th in Birdie Average, and 18th in Scoring Average. He also has a preposterous eight top-10 finishes early in the season.
1. Justin Rose
The defending champ has found some of the form that took him to number one in the world as of late. The former major champion struggled a little on Sunday, ultimately fading to T29, but was right in the thick of things behind Koepka headed into Sunday’s play. Had it not been such a blowout, one can believe he would have been a little more focused. Perhaps he was already thinking ahead to this weekend’s title defense in Fort Worth. The Farmers Insurance Open champion will go for his second win of the year, and the timing seems ideal following a brutally tough major. Rose is a veteran and will have enough in the tank to be a full go this Thursday. He’s eighth on tour in SG: Putting, 14th in SG: Approach the Green, and eighth in Scoring Average.