The RBC Canadian Open was canceled for the second straight year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, S.C., is hosting the PGA Tour for the time for the Palmetto Championship. The inaugural running of the event is taking place the week before the 2021 US Open. As a result, it’s a rather weak field, and there have been many withdrawals since last Friday. These can be some of the best and most profitable tournaments for golf betting amid the chaos and unpredictability; below. We’ll look at the best prop bets for the 2021 Palmetto Championship.
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka are the top two names in attendance at Nos. 1 and 8, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Just six others from the top 50 are making their final preparations for Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif., next week. Designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2017, Congaree is a par 71 playing 7,655 yards with Bermudagrass greens.
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Best Finishing Position
Dustin Johnson -125 vs. Brooks Koepka +100 (on BetMGM Sportsbook)
The two biggest names in the field are pitted together in the marquee betting matchup of the week. Each of DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetMGM list this matchup, but BetMGM is the only one offering even money on the two-time US Open champ. The last event they each played was the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, where Johnson missed the cut and Koepka tied for second behind Phil Mickelson.
Koepka missed the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson ahead of the PGA Championship in his first event since missing the cut at the Masters following knee surgery. However, he played the week before both the 2020 Masters and PGA Championship and finished T5 and T2 at the Vivint Houston Open and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, respectively. Expect him to be a little more dialed in than Johnson this week ahead of his much-anticipated battle with 2020 US Open champ Bryson DeChambeau next week.
Top Rest of World Player
Sungjae Im (+300 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
At No. 25 in the OWGR, Im is the top-ranked player in this group, and he’s the most recent PGA Tour winner. His first and only PGA Tour win to date was at the 2020 Honda Classic. Fazio also designed that host venue, PGA National, possibly giving him an advantage in the Tour’s debut at Congaree.
Im also leads this group while ranking eighth among qualified golfers in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee this season, according to Data Golf. He’ll be able to contend at the long track and remains an excellent value at 3-1 odds as the only true contender in this prop pool.
To Make the Cut
Tommy Fleetwood: No (+300 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Once ranked as high as No. 9 in the OWGR, Fleetwood enters this week at No. 32 and in desperate search of some old form. He opened his 2021 schedule with a T7 at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but he has a top finish of T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational through eight PGA Tour events. He’s coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship, and he’s averaging 0.05 strokes lost off-the-tee per round for the season.
He’s one of the biggest names and still one of the highest-ranked golfers in this field, but the long course doesn’t seem as though it’ll help him find his game.
Ian Poulter (+550 on BetMGM Sportsbook)
The veteran Englishman tied for third against a much stronger field than this at the Charles Schwab Challenge for his top finish of 2021. He placed in the top 30 at each of the PGA Championship and the Masters. Though he may struggle with the length of Congaree, his short game has been in excellent form, and he’s third on Tour this season in scrambling and 29th in sand save percentage.
Garrick Higgo vs. Harold Varner III/Kevin Kisner/Patton Kizzire/Russell Knox (+400 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Higgo doesn’t have a PGA Tour win to date, but he has four international victories since February 2020, with one in his native South Africa and three more on the European Tour. He won twice within a three-week stretch from April 25 to May 9 and enters this week 54th in the OWGR following a T64 at the PGA Championship.
He has never played a non-major in North America; however, he’s the most accomplished golfer of late in this group. His strength is with the putter, but the sandy and open nature of Congaree is reminiscent of the South African courses where’s he had so much success before.
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