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The Approach: PGA DFS Picks Based off Awesemo’s Rankings for the Palmetto Championship

Geoff Ulrich



DraftKings & Fanduel daily fantasy golf picks Palmetto Championship PGA DFS lineup with expert rankings, projections and ownership for Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tyrrell Hatton, Brandt Snedeker and more

The Palmetto Championship is replacing the Canadian Open on the schedule thanks to Covid-19, and while the event is just a one-year temporary solution, the course some heat. Congaree is a newly built Tom Fazio design that was created in 2018 and is already known as one of the top courses in the country. It plays as a 7,655-yard par 71, which is long even for tour standards, but also relies more on natural waste hazards than traditional rough. With it being a new course and a week before a major, finding the right mix of daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups can be a bit tough with not much information to go on. As always, we’ll use Awesemo’s expert projections and ownership to find some of the best PGA DFS picks for the week.

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Congaree Stats and Info

  • Converted par 71 that plays well over 7,600 yards; has three par 4’s that play over 500 yards, one of which is converted down from a par 5.
  • Flatter course on a big piece of land with little to no rough. The venue has some old trees it runs through but also plenty of wide-open spots where the ball can run into waste areas.
  • Water comes into play on 10 holes, and there are only a few doglegs, which means this could be more of a driver-heavy course; look for high driving accuracy this week, especially if the course takes in a bit of moisture early in the week.

Putting Splits

The greens at Congaree are Champion Bermudagrass. As for comparables, it may be beneficial to look at other venues in the region that also use similar strains, mainly Sedgefield (Wyndham) and Quail Hollow (Wells Fargo). Use caution with these in your daily fantasy golf picks; they aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Negative Bermudagrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Russell Knox: -31 strokes on Bermudagrass, -11 strokes on all other surfaces
  2. Bronson Burgoon: -9 on Bermudagrass, +11 on all other surfaces
  3. Rory Sabbatini: -3 on Bermudagrass, +14 on all other surfaces

*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Positive Bermudagrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Camilo Villegas: +11 on Bermudagrass, -7 on all other surfaces
  2. Vincent Whaley: +13 on Bermudagrass, -2 on all other surfaces
  3. Brooks Koepka: +22 on Bermudagrass, -6 on all other surfaces

Latest PGA DFS Content

Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel

Tyrrell Hatton: Grades: A+, A; Values: B, B

Hatton enters this event in a small rut but is still playing well. He has crept all the way up to No. 11 in the OWGR (and was even higher at one point) but has only managed one top-20 in his last six starts — 18th at the Masters. The good news for Hatton fans is that there doesn’t appear to be much wrong with his game. He is devoid of the power that many of the other top players have, so he does need his putter to get hot to really compete most weeks, and lately that club has been stagnant. He still ranks fifth in strokes gained on approach and sixth in DraftKings points over the last 50 rounds, though, and has gained two or more strokes on approaches over his last two starts.

Hatton rates fine in the model this week too, coming in just under Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in point projections, but also with a better value score. When considering there’s a $800 to $1,000 difference between Hatton and those two, taking the discount on Hatton this week seems like a fine move. Congaree might be long, but it also is devoid of rough and should provide plenty of roll off the tee for shorter hitters like Hatton, whose short game could also play a factor around tricky greens. Hatton is a fine pay-up option this week and is still trending strongly on the site.

The Stats:

  • Ranks top 10 in both strokes gained on approach and tee to green over the last 50 rounds; has lost strokes on his approaches in just one of his last seven starts (missed cut at The Players)
  • Has been a consistent fantasy scorer this year — ranks eighth in birdies or better and sixth in DraftKings points over the last 50 rounds

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 25.1%

Ian Poulter: Grades: A, A; Values: B, B

This week has a mixed bag of players who have undergone huge price increases. It is strange to see Ian Poulter up in this this price range, but his play of late means he deserves respect in this field. He has made five of his last six cuts on tour and most recently recorded his best finish of the year at the Charles Schwab where he finished third after gaining over 3.9 strokes on his approaches and with his putter. How he will handle a longer and wider course like Congaree is up for debate, but if it gives the shorter hitters more roll, the opportunity could be there for Poulter to strike. Few have been better on the greens than he has over the last few events — he ranks third in strokes gained putting over the last 24 rounds.

Poulter ranks seventh in the PGA DFS points projections this week in the Awesemo model, but he also has a solid value score and a better made-cut projection than others in his range as well. The step down in competition here means views have to change on players like Poulter, whose sharpness on and around the greens of late gives him plenty of upside against the weaker competition.

The Stats:

  • Third in strokes gained putting over the last 24 rounds; has gained over two strokes around the greens and putting in three of his last four starts on tour.
  • Produced solid starts in two previous stops in this area of the country already this year, including a 30th at the brutally tough Kiawah Island for the PGA three weeks ago; has produced 67 or more DraftKings points in four of his last five starts.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 11.6%

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Low-Owned PGA DFS GPP Flier

Camillo Villegas

Villegas has quietly put together a solid season in 2021. He comes into this week off a missed cut at the Memorial last week — where he lost over two strokes on the greens — but also has recorded four top-25 finishes in four of his last seven starts on tour. While he has struggled to put together four solid rounds at times, it’s worth noting that several of his finishes have come with him threatening or even being at the top of the leaderboard in tournaments. His stretches of hot play have also been reflected in the stats, as he’s ranked 14th in strokes gained on approach in the field and 10th in strokes gained around the green.

There is also the added benefit that Villegas has had some success both in this part of the world and on other Tom Fazio courses. He has two top-10 finishes at the Fazio-designed Seaside Course (RSM Classic) and even finished sixth there in November of 2020. He has also been far more proficient with the putter on Bermuda greens, gaining 10 strokes putting on the surface over his last 50 rounds versus losing seven strokes on bent/poa greens — and it’s also worth noting that each of his four top-25 finishes have all come at courses with Bermudagrass. His higher $7,600 salary doesn’t make him a huge bargain, but he’s shown he has the upside to more than pay that off at events and venues like this one. At well under 10% projected ownership, he makes for a low-owned daily fantasy golf pick and potential longshot betting target for me.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 6.5%

DraftKings Top Three Under Five

I am targeting three players here that I ultimately think will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. We’re searching for boom/bust players here with an almost 100% focus on upside.

Sean O’Hair ($6,400)

There is no free square to play under $6,500 this week on DraftKings, but O’Hair is an interesting target in this range, nonetheless. He has made a couple of cuts in a row on the PGA, and he’s done so by showing improvement with his irons. He has gained over 1.5 strokes with his approaches in two straight starts — the first time he has done so since 2018 — and could be ready to pop here against this weaker field.

Henrik Norlander ($7,100)

Norlander has been a roller coaster in 2021, landing a handful of solid finishes near the beginning of the season but mostly floundering in the middle. He gained four strokes on his approaches though at the Charles Schwab and has had success on other Tom Fazio courses in the past (mainly Sea Island, home of the RSM Classic). He is striking the ball well enough to compete if he can just find a little success on the greens.

Luke Donald ($6,800)

Donald is a very intriguing daily fantasy golf target this week in GPPs. He has gained over a stroke against the field with his irons in three straight starts, the first time he has accomplished that feat since 2018. If Congaree plays wide open off the tee — which it may given the lack of rough — Donald could be a spike candidate if he figures out these greens early. He has been making some strides of late in his practice, and playing against this weaker field could be the perfect spot for a resurgence week.

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