The Palmetto Championship won't have nearly the kind of star power golf bettors will see at next week's U.S. Open, but two names stand out as they look to get things right ahead of the third major of the year.
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka highlight an otherwise watered-down field on the heels of a crazy finish at last week's Memorial Tournament. Jon Rahm carried the lead after 54 holes but was forced to withdraw and that created chaos in betting circles and opened the door for Patrick Cantlay to secure the win in a one-hole playoff over Collin Morikawa.
What will this week's stop at Congaree Golf Club have in store? And just how big a handle will DJ and Koepka see?
We preview the field, break down the course, and give our golf picks, predictions and best bets for the Palmetto Championship PGA Tour odds.
Congaree betting stats that matter
The thought of playing a course with no rough might seem appealing to some duffers out there, but this design quirk creates other problems for the field to navigate. Waste areas are a major wild card depending on what kind of lie you end up with, so hitting it straight and keeping it in the fairway will be critical for success this week. SG: Off-the-Tee is the most important stat to consider.
This course has never hosted a major professional event, so additional info is scarce. And since it isn't clear how the greens will run, or where tournament organizers will place the pins, there's no way to handicap which putters will fare best (other than the SG: Putting leaders, naturally). All in all, the best approach would be to target players who keep their drives straight and go from there.
Palmetto Championship outright winner bets
You'll see a smattering of familiar faces at Congaree Golf Club this week, but Johnson and Koepka are squarely at the top of the odds list. Johnson is the slight favorite at +800, while Koepka is next at +850. Tyrrell Hatton (+1400) and Matt Fitzpatrick (+1600) are the only other players with odds better than +2000.
Who will win the Palmetto Championship? Here are our best picks:
Dustin Johnson (+800)
DJ's slump is concerning, for sure. He hasn't finished inside the Top 10 in any of his previous seven tournaments, missing the cut twice over that stretch (with both MCs coming at majors, where he usually thrives). But this course is close to Johnson's hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, and it's that kind of home cooking that might be just what DJ needs to get his game going. He still has world-class skills, and facing a less-than-stellar field only increases his chances of pulling out a much-needed win.
Sungjae Im (+2200)
It's more than a little surprising to see Im further down the odds chart. He checks many of the boxes bettors should consider this weekend, ranked seventh on the PGA Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee (.644) and 14th in overall driving accuracy (69.2 percent). And while his recent form leaves much to be desired (five missed cuts in his last eight tournaments), Congaree represents an opportunity to hit the reset button and refine his game in time for next week's U.S. Open. He should contend this week.
Palmetto Championship matchup predictions
Ian Poulter Over Alex Noren (-110)
This is the kind of tournament where you shouldn't be surprised to see either or both of these guys on Page 1 of the leaderboard come Sunday, but we're higher on Poulter for a couple of reasons. While neither player drives the ball that far, Poulter has been much more accurate than Noren so far in 2020-21. Poulter also has a substantial edge with the flat stick, entering the week ranked seventh on tour in SG: Putting (.772). We favor players with strong putting games when we don't know much about the greens.
Patton Kizzire Over Lucas Glover (-110)
This is one of the dicier picks given Kizzire's penchant for spraying those drives, but there's a lot to like here. Kizzire's putting has been on point: He ranks sixth on tour in SG: Putting, and has gained strokes with the flat stick in nine consecutive tournaments. He also has a pair of T3s on his resume over his previous three tournaments, while Glover's best finish all season is a fourth-place showing at the Valero Texas Open in early April. We're leaning Kizzire here, though we don't feel great about it.
Palmetto Championship prop bets
Brooks Koepka Top-10 Finish (-120)
Sure, it's not a major, but Koepka should be able to take advantage of a weaker field this week in preparation for the U.S. Open. His all-around game remains sound, and while missed cuts at the Masters and Byron Nelson sent waves of panic through the betting public, he redeemed himself nicely with a T2 at the PGA Championship. Koepka is one of the wildest drivers among his peers, but his recovery game is among the best on Tour — and he won't even need to be at his best to land a Top-10 result.
Patton Kizzire Round 1 Leader (+5000)
We haven't had a real longshot pick in this space in some time, so let's throw a Round 1 Leader prop into the mix. Doubling up on Kizzire is a savvy pick here, as he owns the lowest Round 1 scoring average (69.9) of any player participating this week. Toss out a disappointing opening-round 76 at The Memorial Tournament last week, and Kizzire's previous four opening-round scores were 66, 69, 69, and 67. He's a fun longshot play to get your weekend started.
Palmetto Championship betting card
- Dustin Johnson Outright (+800)
- Sungjae Im Outright (+2200)
- Ian Poulter Over Alex Noren (-110)
- Patton Kizzire Over Lucas Glover (-110)
- Brooks Koepka Top-10 Finish (-120)
- Patton Kizzire Round 1 Leader (+5000)
Picks made 06/08/2021 at 1:21 p.m. ET.
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