By News Team
8th June 2021
The PGA Tour has a new stop this week as Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina hosts the Palmetto Championship.
A new course presents plenty of unknowns, but perhaps slightly surprisingly plenty of the world’s best are teeing it up this week ahead of the US Open in seven days’ time.
Congaree Golf Club
So, what do we know about this week’s track then? Well, it’s pretty long, measuring 7,655 yards with two very long par 5s and interestingly, there isn’t much rough with sand seemingly the course’s biggest defence. It’s clearly a pretty tasty track with it ranked inside the top 40 in the annual list of America’s greatest golf courses.
In short, we don’t know very much about the course, but the inclinations are that the bigger hitters will be at an advantage given there is little penalty for being off line. As such, the claims of both Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are pretty obvious.
Big two stand out
World number one and South Carolina native Johnson heads the field at 8/1, but he has really struggled recently and doesn’t look the player who was virtually unbeatable last year. Since winning the Masters in such emphatic style in November, he only has two top 10s in 10 tournaments played. One of those was a victory in Saudi Arabia, but back-to-back missed cuts in Majors is a long way off the form of 2020 and confidence looks to be low. This does look a good opportunity to bounce back, though, and with the third Major of the year just around the corner, what better way than to prepare for that than by winning here.
Koepka seems to be in a pretty good spot on the course, at least. Knee troubles have blighted the four-time Major winner for some time now, but he is a winner this year and has two runners-up finishes in his last four events. Granted, those were separated by two missed cuts, but he showed for three rounds at the PGA Championship that his game is still more than good enough to compete. He ran out of puff on the final day, likely in no small part to how well Phil Mickelson played, but he’ll surely take great confidence from his performance at Kiawah Island and he’s much preferred of the top two in the betting at 9/1.
Of the remainder, Tyrrell Hatton (14/1) has the game to contend but hasn’t shown much in the past couple of months, while Sungjae Im has missed four of his last six cuts. It could be worth keeping an eye on KEITH MITCHELL at 40/1, though. He’s ranked 31st for driving distance and 19th for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, so this course should suit, while he impressed many with how he didn’t fall away at the Wells Fargo Championship despite the brilliance of Rory McIlroy. He does come off a missed cut at Colonial, but he had been swinging well prior to that and looks an interesting contender in a field where several have questions to answer.