Preview: Palmetto Championship at Congaree

Not many have seen this track but those who have point out how fantastic it is.

Congaree Golf Club is only four years old but is hosting a TOUR event for the first time.

Palmetto Championship at Congaree

Congaree Golf Club

Ridgeland, South Carolina

  
Yards (per official scorecard):7,655
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:Champion Bermuda; 6,100 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter:Tournament speed; not over-seeded so pure Bermuda.
Rough:“Not applicable”; there isn’t any.
Bunkers/Water Hazards130 acres of sandy/waste areas; 6 water hazards in play on 10 holes;
Architects:Tom Fazio (2017).
Course Record:??; Luke List says the internet.
Tournament Record:Inaugural event.
2021 Purse:$7.3 million; $1.34 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).

Notes:

  • Field of 156
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • One-time host replacing the RBC Canadian Open (COVID-19).

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak*
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen*
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy
AT&T Byron NelsonKH Lee
103rd PGA ChampionshipPhil Mickelson
Charles Schwab ChallengeJason Kokrak (2)
Memorial TournamentPatrick Cantlay (2)

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners

(*Playoff)

YearWinnerScoreNotes
2021Inaugural Event  

Facts and Figures:

Odd Fact:Club only has two members, the rest are ambassadors.
Odd Fact II:Lucas Glover is the Professional Ambassador for the club.

Quick Thoughts on Congaree

Hey, another new track this season!

Check Horses for Courses for the previous newbies this season on TOUR, majors not included. I wouldn’t think they would set up a TOUR stop with just a handful of players inside the OWGR top 50 like Augusta National or Kiawah Island!

It’s long on the card but plays firm, fast and fiery according to those who are on property most of the year.

It’s Bermuda from tee to pin and there’s no rough so shotmakers do apply this week.

Oaks and Pines frame holes but it’s wide open off the tee.

There’s no rough to stop golf balls so mis-hits will be, and should be for that matter, penalized.

Sharp edges on bunkers is homage to the Australian Sand Belt courses and rewards properly struck/navigated shots.

With no rough, decision making will be paramount around the greens so those who scramble should flourish.

Greens are lightning but can’t be that fast for 156 TOUR pros. Nobody signs up for 6 hour rounds outside of major championships. I’ve read the greens are SIMILAR to Seminole (turtle shells) so that means shots that don’t spin will run off. Great shots will stick and birdie putts will be had.

New track levels the field so chalk is the play for me this week. Lucas Glover may know the place better than most but that doesn’t make the ball go in the hole. Hell, Jason Day has exactly ONE top 10 at Jack’s Place and he’s a member so go figure. Webb Simpson is a member at Quail Hollow and rarely plays well there.

So what? So let’s dance!

With a new track, guys playing well should still play well and talent is going to trump less talented.

Can a guy like KH Lee (+14500) come from out of the woodwork to steal it?

Absolutely.

But I’m leaning class and form in a VERY light field.

You gotta do you.

Last Week: Memorial Tournament

Another great duel on Sunday between prominent players resulted in a playoff. Congrats to Cantlay and his backers and unlucky MUDBALL for the Morikawa contingent.

Plenty of drama after the third round as well but no point in hashing that up again for the Rahm players.

Jon Rahm (+1000): You saw what happened last week. Same big favorite, same little price. Some will argue that he destroyed this track last year, one nobody had seen before in the way it was set up, and that’s fair. I also remember him pretty hot at Kiawah. Save him for Torrey Pines. WD. Just brutal as he led by six after 54 holes. If you don’t know the story by now, you should quit following golf. You’re really bad at it.

Jordan Spieth (+1400): The form is awesome. The only hiccup was Kiawah Island (T30) as the rest have been top 10s. Now, going close at home last week, taking next week off and then the US Open? That would seem a natural checking out point to me. I’ll point out he’s played this event every year since 2013 so he’s conditioned for this. Top 10. Top 20. Splitsville with T18.

Rory McIlroy (+1600): Not at this price. Not at this track. He also WD from the Wednesday Pro-Am. Better check that out before you dive in. I’m sitting this one out. T18 with his best round of the week 71.

Justin Thomas (+1600): No value here but it’s better than the normal +1000 that we would get with him in form. He’s not, he said as much today in his presser. Grandma moved to North Carolina so she won’t be there rooting him on. Two things happen for me and they are both extremes so I’m out. T42. More rounds over than under continues.  

Collin Morikawa (+1600): The days of upper 20s are long gone folks and they should be. This dude has been contending for 18 months and some weeks can’t make anything. Let’s hope this isn’t one! I prefer him on Bentgrass to anything so I’ll have a bite at this number and run him Top 10 and Top 20 as well. Brutal playoff loss but I’ll cash two of three here. Again, without Rahm WD, the win ticket would have had slim to none of coming in.

Bryson DeChambeau (+1800): Jack ain’t gonna let that happen, fam. Sorry not sorry. Best round of the week was 71, just like Rory. T18 just like Rory.

Viktor Hovland (+1800): 1st in scoring average. 5th in strokes-gained total. Impossible to ignore that. He’ll be happy they changed the course after 77-79 on the weekend last year. These kids don’t have the notes, scar tissue or memories to block out. Hell, they’re playing most of these courses for the first or second time and killing it. No way am I talking you out of him this week. Made the cut comfortably before fading on the weekend, again, here (76-74).

Xander Schauffele (+2200): He’s going to an arm lock putter this week according to Colt Knost. He’s ninth on TOUR in Strokes-Gained: Putting. I mean… He was 4-under and six back heading into the weekend. He co-led the field in GIR but was T63 putting. T11. Experiment failed.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): Should have been a course for him to feast on with his past record. Saw glimpses of his game returning after FOUR MC in a row at Kiawah Island. Catching him on the up? Waiting for Torrey? Better value for me down below. SWUNG. MISSED. Played great and loves Nicklaus courses (Sherwood, MVGC) this year.

Hideki Matsuyama (+2500): Like him more every minute and this price is easier to digest than a few above. It’s no surprise he came back from Japan in less than stellar form. Last two events he’s played are brand new greens to him so what’s three in a row? Took last week off as well. Paint the Top 10 and Top 20. Wrong course horse. The answer was the one above. 79-76 weekend suggests the hangover from Augusta still lingers. L AND L.

Tony Finau (+2800): Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Top 20 machine so top 20 ticket. As I wrote in the OAD column, first time playing the weekend and NOT hitting the top 20 in 2021. I lose another.

33-1 or worse

Corey Conners (+3300): Worst finish in his last eight is T21. Played his college golf in Ohio. 7th in scoring average. Across the board, Win-T10-T20. T53 adds three more LOSERS. God I suck.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300): Might be too much meat on the bone, especially if wet. Played it great when it was burned out last year. Pass. MC.

Patrick Reed (+3300): Backed up his last MC with a T6 at Quail Hollow, which is no easy loop. I’d expect another bounce back this week but T20 is plenty. Solo 5th after being the only player to post rounds in the 60s both weekend days. Won at Torrey earlier this year. W.

Louis Oosthuizen (+3500): Leading putter on TOUR on brand-new greens should help. Great putters putt great. Seems like when he plays, he’s in the mix. Never won in the States. Top 20. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Best round of the week was 71, just like Rory and Bryson. T18 just like Rory and Bryson. Unlike those two, I cash here.

Shane Lowry (+4500): Killed it off the tee at Kiawah so that’s encouraging. So is his form coming off a season-best T4 on an impossible PGA Championship. Across the board. This week it was the putter leading the way! Cash top 10 and top 20 but no win ticket. HEATING BACK UP.

Cameron Smith (+4500): I still have RED ASS from the PGA Championship. I know it’s not the way to bet, got it. His strength is on and around the greens. I’m not heading down that path this week. MC.

Keegan Bradley (+4500): That’s more like it. Great run of golf over the last three months with eight of his last nine T30 or better. Top 10 and Top 20. Annnnnnnnnnnnnd 78 to open. L and L. Like Finau and Conners, big streaks busted this week.

Charley Hoffman (+5000): Interesting bystander this week as red-hot form meets terrible course history. I bet he was celebrating when he saw they were renovating. Of his 11 starts he’s hit the top 25 once. I’ll let you show me the way. Course form wins again. 80 on Saturday killed an otherwise very solid week. Don’t let Mr. San Diego’s one bad round fool you off at Torrey!!!

Sam Burns (+5000): WD during the PGA. Took a week off and is back. I’ll wait and see. T50.

Gary Woodland (+5000): T14 or better in three of his last six, including 5th and T6 at Quail and Valero, two big ball parks. Top 10, Top 20. MC and two more losses. Never threatened the cut line so thanks for the painless dump.

Kevin Streelman (+6000): Not crazy about that number but backing up your first top 10 in a major with a top 20 at Colonial doesn’t scream let-down to me. Prefers bent and blue and that’s the recipe this week. Top 20. A lovely backdoor 68, only Jimmy Walker went lower on Sunday (65), for T13 and another ticket to cash. Playing great golf.

Marc Leishman (+6600): He’s on 10 straight here. Make it 11 with T57.

Rickie Fowler (+6600): Missed a putt on 18 at the PGA Championship that would have gotten him in the Masters next year. He’ll know all the ins and outs of the redesign as he’s big friends with Jack. Top 10. Top 20. Splitsville as T11 chops. He’s found something with his prescription glasses. Rocket Mortgage here we come!

Emiliano Grillo (+7000): Feels like he’s in here every week! Two-putt pars are great this week! Top 10. Top 20. Ah, the ol’ 1-under Round 1 followed by the 6-over Round 2. Yep, sounds about right. Add two more LOSERS.

Patton Kizzire (+10000): Back to back T3 on Bentgrass. Top 20. Tripled the first. Bad omen. MC. Another loss.

Long Shots: Do Whatcha Like

Troy Merritt +12500 – T50

Doug Ghim +12500 – MC

Lucas Glover +15000 – T37

Talor Gooch +15000 – T18

KH Lee +16000 – T65

Patrick Rodgers +25000 – ALMOST DFL, tied with Jamie Lovemark, MC

Rafa Cabrera Bello +25000 – T37 with one bad round. He’s found something.

Ben An +30000 – MC

Adam Long +30000 – T26

This Week – Palmetto Championship at Congaree

Dustin Johnson (+800): That’s all you get in a field with Omar Uresti. He’d be half of that if Koepka wasn’t playing!

Brooks Koepka (+850): The question of his health should be answered if he tees it up. It has to be better or he wouldn’t be here. He has the better form of the two and isn’t the hometown favorite.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1400): Fantastic putter on Bermuda and if that’s your angle this week, I can’t argue. Best form of the top players over the last three or so months.

Tyrrell Hatton (+1400): Steady. Super ball-striker. Last top 10 was in Saudi Arabia early doors of 2021.

Sungjae Im (+2200): Gives zero enchiladas about anything. Where’s the first tee and what’s the course record. Rolls in on MC in three of his last four starts so there’s that.

Tommy Fleetwood (+2800): Best finish is on a new track (Concession). Plays API and those greens well annually. T14 on the last Fazio (Quail Hollow Club). Dots connected. Value found. Win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Harris English (+3000): Practices there every now and again says the internet. Last time he saw a new track he picked up T13 at TPC Craig Ranch, his best of the season since winning at Kapalua to open 2021. Interesting. Top 10 and Top 20.

Ian Poulter (+3300): Tell him it’s for a spot on the Ryder Cup team! His son was playing the Pete Dye Junior up the road from me this week. He dislocated his knee and continued playing! Musta got that toughness from the old man! Fazio also designed Lake Nona where Poulter lived in Orlando. Top 10, Top 20.

33-1 or worse

Alex Noren (+3500): Too many really good ones (6 straight) but none of them are great (T13 Memorial). Top 20 and enjoy.

Harold Varner III (+3500): Like most, he’ll enjoy the open spaces and bigger targets this week. T2 Harbour Town will catch some eyes.

Patton Kizzire (+4500): MC after back to back T3 suggests there’s something here. I prefer him on Bermuda but those T3 are on bent! He also had T9 at Valero on Bermuda. Those three top 10s this spring are in Texas. His best finish otherwise is T58. Something’s gotta give. Top 20 just in case.

Lucas Glover (+4500): Some above him would suggest the extra course knowledge means little. He’s cashed in nine of 10 and he’s behind a few who haven’t. Interesting. But not that interesting. Pass.

Kevin Kisner (+4500): I’ll argue a change of scenery will help. Nothing else has. Not RBC. Not Colonial. Not Bermuda. But he’s an Ambassador as well. So no.

Keith Mitchell (+4500): With three T26 or better including a top 3 at Quail Hollow, I can make sense of this. Top 20.

Garrick Higgo (+5000): I don’t like any newbies on TOUR set ups with slick Bermuda. That’s me. You do you.

Brandt Snedeker (+5000): It’s wide open off the tee! Not many scramble on this level. Nibble on a win ticket, Top 10, Top 20.

Luke List (+6000): Had/holds the course record so if that’s an angle you need, saddle up.

Jhonattan Vegas (+6600): Cashed 4 straight and 8 of 9. Heat is good.

Doc Redman (+7000): Cashed three straight and Clemson ties. Can knock it.

CT Pan (+7000): Former winner at Harbour Town, podium this year at Honda.

Rafael Cabrera Bello (+8000): Sneak in a top 20 ticket. Only one bad round last week.

Vince Whaley (+9000): 10 straight on TOUR.

Long Shots: Do Whatcha Like

Matthew NeSmith (+10000)

Bronson Burgoon (+11000)

Satoshi Kodaira (+11000)

Vaughn Taylor (+14000)

Hank Lebioda (+15000)

Robby Shelton (+16000)

Mark Anderson (+30000)

DJ Trahan (+40000) Top 20

Ben Taylor (+75000) Top 40

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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