We thought last week’s Memorial Tournament had thrown us a curveball by being staged on a Muirfield Village layout that had undergone serious renovations.
Turns out, the three main protagonists were the last three course winners. Patrick Cantlay (2019 Memorial champ) beat Collin Morikawa (2019 Workday Charity Open winner) in a play-off. And defending champion Jon Rahm would surely have hoisted the trophy again but for recording a positive COVID-19 test and being told to withdraw when six clear with a round to play.
In other words, past course form proved just as useful. Once more, scare stories about having to rip up previous results turned out to be a distracting red herring.
But that was last week. This week, we have a proper headspinner: a brand new course and a brand new tournament – the Palmetto Championship in South Carolina. But don’t get too caught up in assessing the outcome on Sunday night as this is a one-and-done stand-in due to the Canadian Open being canceled.
At least the calendar has done the Palmetto a favor in terms of attracting some top names who want to hone their games ahead of next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines South in California.
Congaree Golf Club
A new course, Congaree Golf Club has made an instant impact. In 2018, it was named as Golf Digest’s best new private course. And in May’s 2021 edition, it was a new entry at No.39 in the publication’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
It’s a Tom Fazio design and, on the card, measures in at 7,685 yards with a par of 71. That sounds lengthy but those measurements are from the tips and there are two extremely long par 5s which are likely three-shotters for everyone without a helping wind.
Of more use are comments from Congaree’s Managing Director and the Major winner who acts as a Professional Ambassador. MD John McNeely points out there is plenty of room off the tee and sand everywhere rather than rough. Lucas Glover adds that imagination and shaping the ball are key components for success. The 2009 U.S. Open winner believes that we could see both short and long hitters contending.
Many have noted that Fazio has take some inspiration from Australia’s famous sandbelt courses in Melbourne. That could prove a useful clue.
Finally, the course is a short hop from another famous South Carolina venue, Hilton Head. Both tracks have Bermuda greens and require brain rather than brawn. There’s a lot of guesswork this week but at least we have some hooks to hang our gaming hats on.
A check of the weather forecast for Congaree shows lots of rain and possible t-storms. The wet stuff is prevalent in the build-up and returns on the weekend after holding off on Friday. Temperatures are pleasant (high 80s) while wind speeds are between 6mph and 10mph.
Here’s an entirely FREE lineup for you this week with MORE for subscribers (DraftKings Prices)
|Player #1||I. Poulter||$9,200|
|Player #2||P. Kizzire||$9,100|
|Player #3||B. Snedeker||$8,400|
|Player #4||C.T. Pan||$8,100|
|Player #5||J.T. Poston||$7,600|
|Player #6||E. Van Rooyen||$7,500|
Remaining cash $100
Ian Poulter ($9,200) When trying to solve the clues and join the dots, Poulter’s face starts to emerge pretty clearly. He’s won on a sandbelt course in Australia, is an elite player around the greens, is wielding a hot putter and posted third on his most recent start at Colonial. The Englishman has also played well before a major numerous times; that includes winning the Houston Open prior to the 2018 Masters. Add in a stellar record at nearby Harbour Town and he’s well worth the investment.
Patton Kizzire ($9,100) I’m hoping this turns out to be one of those courses where Kizzire’s skill-sets come to the fore. A whizz through his 2021 form shines a clear light: he was seventh at the Sony Open and had back-to-back top threes at the Byron Nelson Championship and Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial last month. This should be about approaches and putting and that will suit him.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,400) Glover’s opinion that shaping shots and showing imagination brings Snedeker into the crosshairs. We’ve seen him show his creative side in Open Championships and he’s played a fair bit of golf in Australia too. Bumping him up even further is a real return to form over the last few months: that includes T-6 at the Texas Open, T-11 at the Valspar Championship and T-17 at the Byron Nelson.
C.T. Pan ($8,100) Pan’s one PGA TOUR win came near here at Harbour Town and he’s strong with his wedges and possesses a deft touch from sand. He also won two of his three matches in the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne (perhaps the most famous sandbelt track) and has shown enough encouraging form of late to justify the money. That’s highlighted by T-3 at the Honda Classic.
J.T. Poston ($7,600) Born in North Carolina, resides in South Carolina. Put that local knowledge to good use when winning the Wyndham Championship in 2019 and owns a pair of top eights at Hilton Head. His current form is a little patchy but he’ll head to Congaree after coming through U.S. Open qualifying with a pair of 67s to comfortably claim his spot at Torrey Pines.
Erik Van Rooyen ($7,500) Those who’ve watched him on the European Tour/Challenge Tour will know that the South African has a history of performing strongly when asked to engage the brain rather than just play by numbers. A T-21 on debut at Hilton Head added to that reputation and he’s another who gave himself a boost with a successful display in U.S. Open qualifying, where he was joint-winner of his section.
Now what do you get if you sign up now for $99?
- One week of our articles for free to test us out and then continued all-access to every sport that we do for a year after that!
- Check out another fully different line up for the Palmetto Championship including a trio of sneaky picks at $6,900, $6,800 and $6,500.
- Different options to prepare for breaking news if and when it happens.
- A couple of good alternative picks to help you build out GPP options based around not one but two CORE lineups.
Here’s A Hi-Low Lineup For The Palmetto Championship
|Player #1||M. Fitzpatrick||$10,400|
|Player #2||S. Im||$9,700|
|Player #3||T. Fleetwood||$9,500|
|Player #4||P. Harrington||$6,900|
|Player #5||C. Reavie||$6,800|
$200 leftover salary
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($10,400) Harbour Town is Fitzpatrick’s favorite course – he was T-4 there in April – and there’s good reason to think he’ll really enjoy this near neighbor too. The Englishman prefers a brain-over-brawn test and has a bunch of good form on Bermuda greens (6th SG: Putting at Harbour Town) in recent months. Top 25 at Kiawah Island, Fitzpatrick and caddie Billy Foster could be an ideal combo to thrive on this layout.
Sungjae Im ($9,700) A top 25 player in the world rankings, he’ll have an obvious chance on any course. But let’s go back to the sandbelt theme and the 2019 Presidents Cup. Im had a blast at Royal Melbourne, thrashing Gary Woodland in the singles (one of just two International wins that Sunday) and ending the event as joint-top points scorer. A great putter on Bermuda, Congaree looks a great fit.
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,500) The final part of our triumvirate at $9,500+ and, as with Fitzpatrick and Im, Fleetwood looks a strong match with Congaree. The Englishman grew up on linksland so the sandy visuals will appeal and his second place on rugged, windy Shinnecock Hills in the 2018 U.S. Open adds to the feeling that he’ll like what he sees. His form has been hit-and-miss but T-10 at Bay Hill, T-5 in the WGC-Match Play and T-14 at Wells Fargo provide enough positives.
Padraig Harrington ($6,900) Did someone forget that Harrington just finished T-4 at the PGA Championship? Missing the cut at Memorial with 78-77 gives the idea that his Kiawah Island display was a one-off but, with the Irishman, it’s all about the course. And this one will likely get the synapses firing in which case he’s a potential bargain.
Chez Reavie ($6,800) The bare PGA TOUR form looks pretty grim; a string of missed cuts. But Reavie has just waltzed through U.S. Open qualifying so should head to Congaree with a new spring in his step. The 39-year-old finished T-3 in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach so should have plenty of positive vibes swirling around as he looks forward to playing his national Open on the West Coast again.
Aaron Baddeley ($6,300) With all the mentions of sandbelt courses, it would be remiss not to consider an Aussie. Baddeley should instantly fall in love with Congaree so does he have the current form to justify getting him on board? It’s a point of debate but the four-time PGA TOUR champ (one of those was at Harbour Town) was fifth in a Korn Ferry event five starts ago and has made his last two cuts on the second tier.
Other Player Options For The Palmetto Championship
• Brooks Koepka was runner-up at Kiawah Island and T-7 on his last visit to Harbour Town so enjoys his trips to South Carolina. The game is there, the knee is on the mend but will his focus be on Torrey Pines?
• Alex Noren Sparked by T-25 at Harbour Town, the Swede has pieced together four top 25s in his last five PGA TOUR starts. He’s also a strong performer on Open Championship courses so $8,900 could be worth the money.
• Lucas Glover No-one in the field will know more about the course than the Congaree Ambassador. T-8 at Colonial two starts ago adds further appeal at $8,600 although we’ve seen this local connection angle go wrong plenty of times.
• Garrick Higgo The South African has been tearing it up on the European Tour with wins in April and May. He also made the weekend at Kiawah Island on his first major start, closing out with 69. At $9,000, the handicapper may have got him though.
COVID-19, US Open qualifying and Injury Warning:
The John Rahm story happened in-play but acts a reminder that Pro DFS players need to stay up-to-date on Twitter, DraftKings, FanDuel and-or subscribe to any number of email feeds and whatever to remain up to speed with injuries or COVID-19 withdraws. There’s an added element this week as some may decide to withdraw late due to US Open qualifying which has run over into Tuesday for some. As we know, players that don’t make the cut are tough enough. Players that don’t play all four rounds (even when pulling out at the last minute) make for a pretty weak lineup.
Go win your lineups and then tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
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