Following the epic duel between Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay at Muirfield Village, which resulted in the latter’s second career win at the Memorial, the PGA Tour introduces the first-ever Palmetto Championship this week. This tournament is replacing the cancelled Canadian Open, and Congaree Golf Club (par 71, 7,655 yards) in Ridgeland, S.C., is the host of this event. If you haven’t already, this week is a perfect time to check out Monkey Knife Fight — a new style of PGA fantasy with a twist on the usual PGA DFS picks and strategy we’re used to — with the fantasy site offering some great contests for the Palmetto Championship. Below I break down some of my favorite PGA Monkey Knife Fight picks for their featured contests of the week.
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Monkey Knife Fight Picks for The Palmetto Championship
More or Less – Pick More/Less For Each Player | Prize: 2.5x
For this Monkey Knife Fight contest, it’s just like with a prop in that players have to choose if each golfer will score more or less their fantasy line. If both are correct, the payout is 2.5x on the buy-in. It is worth noting Monkey Knife Fight’s fantasy golf scoring system is different compared to other DFS sites. No points are awarded for finishing position or streaks, nor do players lose points for bogeys. Their scoring system is simple:
- Eagle or Better: 5
- Birdie: 3
- Par: 1
Dustin Johnson: Less than 93.5 fantasy points
Brooks Koepka: More than 93.5 fantasy points
Johnson may remain the No. 1 player in the world, but his play has been far from inspiring. He just missed the cut at the PGA Championship, which was Johnson’s second missed cut in his past four. His irons were brutal that week at the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island, and over his last 12 rounds Johnson ranks 110th in strokes gained on approach. With the poor iron play comes missing greens, and Johnson hasn’t been able to save himself as a scrambler either, ranking 127th in strokes gained around the green during this stretch. This is very worrisome for Johnson at Congaree, where the fast and firm Bermuda greens are difficult to stick and getting up and down for par consistently is a necessary skill to contend. Betting against Johnson in his home state is obviously risky, but he will post an average finish this week as he attempts to work the kinks out of his game before the U.S. Open next week.
As for Koepka, he bounced back in a huge way at the PGA Championship. After missing back-to-back cuts and appearing to be less than full strength after having knee surgery in March, he regained his superstar form at the Ocean Course, ranking third in strokes gained tee to green and seventh in strokes gained approach en route to a runner-up finish. Koepka was the heavy favorite to win this event heading into the final round, and he hasn’t produced more strokes on approach or tee to green in any other start this season. This outstanding form should carry over to Congaree this week, which is a perfect venue for Koepka to flourish. The last time he teed it up at a par 71 with Bermuda greens, Koepka won the Phoenix Open. Furthermore, in his last 50 rounds on this specific type of course, he ranks first in total strokes gained.
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More or Less – Pick More/Less For Each Player | Prize: 2.5x
Tyrell Hatton: More than 15.5 birdies
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Less than 15.5 birdies
Not many players on the planet are striking it better than Hatton right now. He ranks second in strokes gained tee to green and 10th in strokes gained on approach over the field’s last 12 rounds. Also, Hatton is a world-class putter on Bermuda, ranking seventh in total strokes gained and eighth in birdies across his last 50 rounds on this cut of grass. In other words, Hatton’s game fits Congaree like a glove, and he should go over this birdie line and be in the mix for a win.
Conversely, Fitzpatrick has been struggling mightily as a ball striker. Last week at the Memorial, he recorded a season-low minus-4.2 strokes when approaching the greens at Muirfield Village. Unfortunately, this was the sixth time in Fitzpatrick’s past seven events that he hasn’t supplied positive strokes with his irons. After this long and ugly stretch, it’s hard to imagine Fitzpatrick’s approach game getting rejuvenated at a course he has never competed at before.
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