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Power Rankings: Charles Schwab Challenge


Golf Channel’s game has a new look in 2019.

This year in addition to picking a tournament winner we’re also shifting the focus to head-to-head matchups, with both the Golf Pick ‘Em game and an additional Sunday-only contest that focuses on the final round. Both contests can be found in the NBC Sports Predictor app, which fantasy players can download to make their selections each week.

Players can compete for weekly cash prizes, with the best scores during the season qualifying for the season-ending FJ $100,000 Championship, where cash and prizes will be awarded to top finishers.

The contests continues this week in Texas with the Charles Schwab Challenge. Here’s a look at some of the top players you should consider when making picks, as Justin Rose returns to Colonial to defend his title:

1. Jon Rahm: Don’t let one bad week fool you. Rahm made an early exit at last week’s PGA, but Colonial’s old-school layout fits the Spaniard’s game to a T. Rahm was a runner-up here in his 2017 debut, finished fifth last year and won the Zurich Classic with Ryan Palmer less than a month ago. Expect more of the same.

2. Justin Rose: How good was Rose en route to victory last year? Well, it was good enough to hold off Brooks Koepka. The Englishman was a ball-striking machine a year ago, torching the famed layout en route to a 20-under total. After a solid but unspectacular outing at Bethpage, he’ll look to channel the form that helped him finish third earlier this month at Quail Hollow.

3. Francesco Molinari: It’s amazing to think that a ball-striker of Molinari’s ability has never tackled the Horrible Horseshoe. Molinari will make his Colonial debut this week, and like his fellow Europeans he should find the course to his liking. While he struggled to keep pace on the burly Black Course, it wasn’t that long ago that the Italian was stringing together three top-5 finishes including a win and a near-miss at the Masters.

4. Jordan Spieth: Is this a sign of things to come? Spieth finally got his long sought-after result at the PGA, tying for third for his best finish in more than a year. After combining solid ball-striking with a red-hot putter, he now returns to DFW and a course where he won in 2016 in between a pair of runner-up results.

5. Kevin Kisner: Kisner had a week to forget on Long Island, but he’s one of many in the field who are excited to see a course this week that requires a different skill set. Kisner won here in 2017, the highlight of a run of three straight top-10 finishes, and his march to victory earlier this year in Austin showed that he can raise it up a notch when the conditions allow.

6. Rickie Fowler: Fowler was in the mix through 54 holes at Bethpage before ballooning to a Sunday 77 that dropped him outside the top 35. His Colonial record includes three top-20 finishes in six career starts, including a T-14 result last year when he broke par all four days on the par-70 layout.

7. Paul Casey: Look no further than Casey’s record at Innisbrook to realize his penchant for playing small ball. The Englishman has won in Tampa each of the last two years on a track that bears a passing resemblance to Colonial, and his time in Fort Worth includes a fifth-place showing in 2009 and a T-10 result two years ago in his most recent appearance.

8. Xander Schauffele: It was another near-miss in a major last week for Schauffele, who finished T-16 at Bethpage despite a closing 76. Already a winner twice this season and a runner-up at the Masters a month ago, he has turned eight of his 10 starts this calendar year into top-25 finishes. Expect him to improve this week on his missed cut from a year ago.

9. Rory Sabbatini: It was 12 years ago that Sabbatini slipped into the plaid jacket, fueled by a Saturday 62 to the fourth of six PGA Tour titles. While he got stuck as first alternate last week, Sabbatini’s recent run includes three straight top-20 finishes, highlighted by a T-5 result two weeks ago across town in Dallas.

10. Tony Finau: While Finau is known for his prowess off the tee, he’s also demonstrated an ability to handle cozy confines like Colonial. Three prior trips to Fort Worth all netted top-35 finishes, including a T-19 result in his 2015 debut. While he hasn’t been on leaderboards in recent weeks, Finau did snag a T-5 finish last month at the Masters and hasn’t missed a cut since early February.