Before we travel to Torrey Pines next week for the U.S. Open, the PGA TOUR will be hosting the inaugural Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club, which is located in Ridgeland, South Carolina. This event is taking the Canadian Open’s spot on the calendar, which unfortunately was cancelled for the second consecutive season due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Coming in at 7,655 yards, this par 71, which was designed by Tom Fazio, is the third longest track on the PGA TOUR schedule this season. While a mostly flat course, Congaree features sand off the fairways and around the greens on almost every hole. In fact, there is minimal rough, and if you miss these firm and fast fairways or greens, you will likely find yourself in the beach. That being said, the fairways are wide and the Bermuda greens are on the larger side at Congaree, and it appears that both longer and shorter hitters can navigate and succeed at this venue. Instead of worrying about distance, I think it is best to primarily focus on ball striking stats this week, which is usually the optimal move when we are attacking a brand-new course.
As for which holes are the most crucial at Congaree, the three-par fives should present some of the best scoring opportunities, and holes three and 15 are both par fours that are only 360 yards long. I expect a good amount of the field to try and stick these par fours off the tee, and we should see some eagles converted on both holes. As for the remaining par fours, three play over 500 yards and it is worth noting that five of the 11 total par fours land between 450-500 yards, making this a range to concentrate on this week.
While overall this is a much weaker field from what we saw at the Memorial, six of the top-30 ranked golfers in the world will be using the Palmetto Championship as a tune up before heading to Torrey Pines for the season’s third major. In total, this is a full field of 156 players, with the usual top-65 and ties moving onto the weekend following the second round. The bottom of this field is very thin when it comes to appealing names, but we still need to find some cheap values to round out our lineups, and below I have featured four of my favorite targets that cost $7,400 or less on DraftKings this week.
Jason Dufner, $7,200
Dufner has been playing on the weekend at four of his last five events, including a very encouraging T2G performance at the Memorial this past week. For the tournament, he ranked 13th in SG APP and 15th in SGT2G. So why did Dufner only finish T37th? Well, the veteran let his putter get the best of him, ranking 4th to last in SGP at Muirfield Village.
Dufner is never going to put on a show with his flat stick, but he can only improve from this putting performance, and if the superb ball striking maintains, he should find himself inside the cutline come Friday afternoon.
Bronson Burgoon, $7,200
Burgoon comes into this week making eight of his last ten cuts. He has recorded two T13s in his past three starts, finishing inside the top-25 in SGT2G for both tournaments. Across his last 12 rounds, the 34-year-old also ranks 8th in bogeys avoided, 12th in SG OTT and 15th in SG on par fours are 450-500 yards in length.
Bronson’s all-around solid game sets up well for Congaree and the unfamiliar name should come with little to no ownership in GPPs.
Kramer Hickok, $7,000
In his last start, which came at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Hickok posted a T14th finish, which marks his best result at the PGA level for 2021. During this top-20, Hickok ended the week 15th in SGT2G, 4th in SG on the par fours and he led the entire field in SG on the par fours that range from 450-500 yards.
Now, Hickok will transition from the bentgrass greens at Colonial Country Club, to Bermuda at Congaree, which has easily been his best putting surface throughout his career. For the nine tournaments Hickok has faced Bermuda greens this season, he has made six cuts with three finishes inside the top-21.
Hank Lebioda, $6,900
On the back of some awesome ball striking, Lebioda is currently riding a three made cut streak that features a pair of top-20s. Over this time, the Florida State graduate ranks 5th in both SGT2G and SG APP, while also ranking 2nd in GIR. Furthermore, Lebioda ranks 4th in total strokes gained and he has avoided bogeys at a better rate than any other player in this field when we compare all of these golfer’s last 12 rounds.
Without a doubt, the 27-year-old is playing some of the best golf of his young career as he heads to Congaree, and Lebioda brings the best upside of all the players sub $7,000 this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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