Current world affairs continue to affect sporting schedules and this week there is a new event on the PGA Tour. Traveling restrictions and general logistical issues mean that there will be no Canadian Open in 2021 and the Palmetto Championship at Congaree slots in as its temporary replacement.
It is intended to be a one-off and hosting duties are taken by the Congaree Golf Club in Gillisonville, South Carolina.
Last week at the Memorial Tournament, we kept up a run of top 10 finish returns as Patrick Reed came home in a solo fifth. It has been a reasonable record in recent weeks but it would be nice to land a winner as we move through the schedules. That is the plan with our Palmetto Championship predictions and picks for this golf preview.
With one week to go until the US Open there is a mixed field for this new event. Many are resting ahead of the fourth Major while others feel that the best preparation is to get out on the course. Two big names looking for game time are Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka who are joint favorites with the American offshore sports betting firms for the Palmetto Championship at odds of 8/1.
Neither man is in particularly good shape right now and that is reflected in the fact that both appear some way down the Power Rankings. Considering that Johnson dominated golf in the second half of 2020, it is incredible to note that he has only returned one top 25 finish in his last seven starts.
Koepka continues to raise his game for the Majors and he tied for second at the PGA Championship. However, doubts over his suspect knee are never far away and it may be a surprise to see him in attendance this week.
Behind the two favorites, a gap emerges to the English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton who are both listed at 14/1 in places. Both have impressed on the PGA Tour with Hatton even entering the winner’s enclosure at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2020.
Hatton appears to be highly fancied but has been isolating and this is only his second appearance in more than a month. Fitzpatrick is also attracting interest but needs a lift in form after missing the cut at Muirfield Village.
Moving through the chasers, Sungjae Im and Tommy Fleetwood are both available at 20/1 while Harris English is further back at 28/1. English ranks highly in Par 5 Scoring and Scrambling and those could be key stats this week.
Ian Poulter, Patton Kizzire and Alex Noren are all quoted at around 40/1 with the sportsbooks. Poulter is definitely worth watching at that figure as the Englishman leads the Power Rankings for the Palmetto Championship. He has good, relevant stats and strong form after his tie for third at Colonial.
Lucas Glover is also highly rated in those rankings and he, plus Harold Varner III, are both on offer at 45/1.
Those who don’t follow the European Tour will not be familiar with Garrick Higgo but I recommend keeping a close eye on the young South African. A graduate of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Higgo is just 22 but he has already won three times in Europe, most recently with an impressive six-shot victory at the Canary Islands Championship.
Higgo is listed at 50/1 and you can find those same odds next to the names of Brandt Snedeker and Keith Mitchell. Further back, Jhonattan Vegas is quoted at 66/1, Kevin Kisner is at 70/1 while former US Masters winner Danny Willett could be tempting at 80/1.
In this type of field, we may get a long odds winner at the Palmetto Championship so let’s see what it will take to get over the line.
Our Preview’s Palmetto Championship Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict with Course & Betting Trends
The Congaree Golf Club is another Tom Fazio design and it is now the newest course on the circuit. It was completed in 2018 and has been in line to host a Tour event for some time. The Congaree is a par 71 but there is some serious length here at a shade under 7,700 yards.
Distance hitting could certainly be rewarded but accuracy will be vital. Fazio based this course on those that can be found in the sandbelt region of Australia and the result is a curious one. The Congaree has no rough, so there is no layer of protection between the fairways and the sand. There is plenty of that sand, so the winner will need a classic combination of power, accuracy and some form with the flatstick.
Because this is a brand new event, there are no winning trends to identify, so it’s all about form and having the game to suit the course. Dustin Johnson certainly isn’t in good shape but we all know that he’ll come good at some point. He has been out of the top ten for some time but, if he is even close to his number one world ranking best, there’s no one in this field that can live with him.
We don’t like tipping favorites but a win is a win and this is a weakened field, where DJ can dominate. Johnson for the victory is the main betting pick but there are three other top 10 finish predictions which could conceivably hold better value when the supplementary markets open.
- Go with Dustin Johnson to win @ +800 (8/1) with Bovada, Intertops or BetOnline.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (odds will be available with Bovada, BetOnline & Intertops shortly): DJ, Ian Poulter, Garrick Higgo and Lucas Glover.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.