Palmetto Championship odds, preview, and course notes
In the final tune-up before next weekend’s U.S. Open, the PGA Tour will make a stop at Congaree Golf Club for the inaugural Palmetto Championship, a one-time replacement for the Canadian Open.
Hosted in Ridgeland, South Carolina, the tournament will welcome 156 players to the breathtaking Congaree course designed by Tom Fazio in 2017.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson enters as the favorite (+750) at the event, which is held in his home state. Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka (+800), world No. 11 Tyrrell Hatton (+1100), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1200), and Sungjae Im (+1600) represent some of the strongest competition in the field.
Palmetto Championship at Congaree 2021
Sun, June 13 2021, 8:00 PM
Varner III, Harold
Palmetto Championship course notes and relevant statistics
Stretching to 7,655 yards, the par-71 layout features wide fairways that afford bombers the opportunity to go for distance with their driver.
Four of the 11 par 4s measure 465 yards or farther, and three range between 510 and 540 yards.
One of the three par 5s reaches 645 yards, while the four par 3s run between 170 yards and 230.
Inspired by Australia’s sandbelt courses, Congaree is a unique layout, blanketed by sandy soil and razor-edge bunkers. Towering, centuries-old oak trees keep golfers honest along the fairway, while the greatest challenge will come from the fast and firm Bermuda grass greens.
These undulating greens average 6,150 square feet, which is around average on the PGA Tour. With little rough on the course, golfers will be able to attempt putts from nearly 50 feet off the greens, so strokes gained around the green will be an important statistic.
The superb Congaree Golf Club gets the spotlight for the first time this week when the Palmetto Championship, benefitting the Congaree Foundation, kicks off this week. Reminiscent of an Australian Sandbelt course, this 2017 Tom Fazio design should be a terrific venue for the PGA. pic.twitter.com/bjAHHaq2t6— LinksGems Golf Photos (@LinksGems) June 7, 2021
Strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approaching the green, driving distance, and strokes gained putting on Bermuda grass are other key statistical categories to examine.
Best bets for the Palmetto Championship
Koepka has endured a roller-coaster season, because of a lingering knee issue, but he is trending in the right direction, with a second-place finish in his most recent start, the PGA Championship in May.
The 31-year-old's game is suited for Congaree, as he is one of the longest drivers on tour and ranks 20th in strokes gained off the tee. Koepka also ranks 15th in strokes gained approaching the green, 40th in strokes gained around the green, and is tied for 28th in strokes gained putting.
Some of his best finishes this season were on Bermuda grass. Koepka landed second at the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession, fifth at the Houston Open, and won the Phoenix Open.
Featured Groups for this week's Palmetto Championship:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 8, 2021
⛳️ Dustin Johnson
⛳️ J.T. Poston
⛳️ Kevin Kisner
🏌 Tyrrell Hatton
🏌 Ian Poulter
🏌 Matt Fitzpatrick
⛳️ Brooks Koepka
⛳️ Keith Mitchell
⛳️ Lucas Glover
🏌 Sungjae Im
🏌 Brandt Snedeker
🏌 Patton Kizzire pic.twitter.com/Z989EQMyXP
At +800 odds, Koepka doesn't offer a ton of value, but in a fairly weak field, he should take control quickly.
For a longer shot who could finish high on the leaderboard, look to Harold Varner (+4500). The 30-year-old from Ohio ranks near the top 50 on tour in strokes gained off the tee, driving distance, and strokes gained approaching the green. He is also 32nd on tour in strokes gained around the green.
Varner placed second at the Heritage, 13th at the Phoenix Open, 19th at the Houston Open, and 21st at the Arnold Palmer Invitational — all on Bermuda grass.
He may find himself particularly comfortable on Congaree's Australian-esque course, as his lone professional win was in the Australian PGA Championship, where he also was runner-up in 2015.
How to watch the Palmetto Championship
The winner of the Palmetto Championship will receive $1.314 million of a $7.3 million purse and 500 FedEx Cup points.
You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. ET on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage Saturday and Sunday, 3-6 p.m. ET.