It seems as though COVID just won’t leave the golf world alone right now, as it wreaked havoc last week at The Memorial. That has been discussed at length, so there is no need to dive into it anymore. This week, it changes things up yet again, as restrictions in Canada forced the RBC Canadian Open to be canceled. In its place is the Palmetto Championship at a new course not seen to many. A new course is always fun to break down for PGA DFS. To get the course, head inland 30 minutes from Savannah, Georgia, just over the border into South Carolina, to famed Congaree Golf Club. The First Cut is my analysis based off the initial glance at the course, data and field with a full daily fantasy golf breakdown and PGA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel.
If it is your first time joining us, here’s a brief synopsis of what you can find in this article most weeks.
- Tournament and Format
- Course Commentary
- Course Facts and Figures
- PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
- PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet
- Player Preview
Palmetto Championship at Congaree PGA DFS Preview
Getting top-tier talent to a new course can be tricky, and PGA DFS contests can lag, but that is not the case here this week for either category. No. 1 golfer in the world Dustin Johnson is set to tee it up, and DraftKings is offering $200,000 to first place for their top prize. A full field of 156 players will make the trip to South Carolina, and some of them for the third time this year.
No professional events have been played at this course, so a lot of anecdotal information about it will be used from a lot of the same sources.
Course Commentary: Congaree Golf Club
Nestled in the low-lying forest areas of South Carolina, there are plenty of water features on the course — or so it seems from all the pictures. Many of the surrounding areas off the fairway are more sandy waste areas than rough, as tall palmettos line the holes. Designed by Tom Fazio, the par-71, 7,600-yard course will be a nice change of pace for the PGA Tour golfers. It will be in line with how with what golfers experience at the WGC at Concession down in Florida: High-end private club feels with no homes or cities in sight, aka just a golf course.
The eighth hole, which measures just over 500 yards from the back tees, will play as a par 4 this week, making it a par 71 for this event.
Par and Yardage
- Par 71: 7,600
- Four par 3’s: 170, 195, 205, 230
- 11 par 4’s: 435, 360, 520, 540, 510, 490, 465, 360, 435,475,445
- Three par 5’s: 590, 650, 585
- Tom Fazio
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PGA DFS Sweat Sheet for the Palmetto Championship
The Concession could be a good barometer for how this course should be scored by the pros, so a lot of the same numbers and factors were applied into the sweat sheet. A basis of 442 scores accumulated per hole were used and then the holes were matched up with like holes from the WGC Concession based on yardage and par. If there were some yardage differences, a formula was added to calculate the difference, harder or easier.
The results are given the length of most of the par 4’s and par 3’s. The three par 5’s will be vital to scoring this week. They could accumulate up to 50% of the DFS scoring, while the next three easiest holes aren’t likely to get to 20% total. The second, third and fourth holes are likely to make up the easiest stretch on the course, with holes 6-10 being the toughest.
The Palmetto Championship Player Preview
There are two elements working against the field this week: It’s the week before a major, and the course is completely new. But 18 of the world’s top 100 in the golf rankings are here, including seven in the top 30. That should bring enough class to the field to keep the interest all week. A strong Euro contingent is in the field for the week, as Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Garrick Higgo and Erik van Rooyen are some of the better names scheduled to tee it up this week. They will join Johnson and Brooks Koepka here this week. Other notables in the field include Sungjae Im (who is in bad form right now), Harris English and Kevin Kisner. The latter two do not have to travel far from their homes to get to this week’s course.
Notable Sponsor Invites
- Wilco Nienaber: Nienaber broke through on the European Tour last year and known for his long ball of the tee, which rivals that of Bryson DeChambeau. He will make his first start on the PGA Tour.
- Davis Thompson: The second-ranked amateur in the world has competed four times on the PGA Tour, making one cut, coming in a tie for 23rd at the RSM Classic earlier this year. He won his last college event three weeks ago.
- Cole Hammer: The 13th-ranked amateur in the world last competed on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago at the Byron Nelson, where he couldn’t do enough to find the weekend. He made the cut back at the Houston Open and tied for 61st.
- Bryson Nimmer: When given a chance to play on a tour, Nimmer has earned a paycheck in 11 of his last 13 counting events. That includes starts on the LocaliQ series tour, the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour. His last start came at the Knoxville Open, where he finished in a tie for 27th.
- John Pak: Saving the best for last, Pak is the fourth-ranked amateur in the world, but more importantly, he finished his last season in college ranked No. 1 in the PGA Tour University. The top five, including Pak, will be eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour starting this week. The other 10 will get stats on the Forme Tour, with events starting in a few weeks. For Pak and Thompson, this will be the first of six sponsor invitations on the PGA Tour to earn enough points and ultimately their PGA Tour Card.
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