We’re less than two days out from the inaugural meeting of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina. The event will mark the one year anniversary of the PGA returning to play following the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the tour in the first half of the 2020 season.
Take a look at our Best Bets for the 2021 Palmetto Championship below:
Best Bet To Win The 2021 Palmetto Championship:
Brooks Koepka (+800)
Fresh off a runner-up performance at the PGA Championship last month, Brooks Koepka is our pick to win the inaugural Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club this weekend. Admittedly, the 2021 season has been very hit or miss for Koepka, as the 31 year old has finished in second place twice in his past four events, while also failing to make the cut on five occasions this season, which already ties his career high. Although surgery and rehab has meant that Koepka has only played eight rounds of competitive golf since March, the world No. 7 has to be considered a chance to win at Congaree this weekend, as he is one of only two top-10 ranked golfers in the 2021 Palmetto Championship field.
Tremendous round today from @BKoepka, totaling five birdies.#PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/vpiJtDyWc0
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 22, 2021
Koepka’s driving accuracy percentage (55.11) may be his downfall at this event, as he currently ranks 169th on tour this year. However of the field this weekend, Koepka enters with the third most strokes gained off the tee over his past 24 rounds, picking up 16.2 strokes in that time. This will be an important factor at Congaree this weekend, as sandy areas and hundreds of large oak trees line either side of the fairway on the majority of holes, meaning it will be important to be hitting long and straight. The four-time major winner is continuing to improve as he recovers from knee surgery and in a weaker fields, his experience and recent form make him an undeniable contender to with the inaugural Palmetto Championship event this weekend if he can utilise his driver.
Best Bet For A Top Five Finish At The 2021 Palmetto Championship:
Ian Poulter (+550)
Coming off a pair of solid performances in his last two starts, Ian Poulter is our pick to make the top five at the inaugural Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club this weekend. The Englishman finished an honourable 30th at a difficult PGA Championship a few weeks ago, before following it up with a third-place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial golf course late in May. Poulter gained 3.9 strokes on approach and 6.3 strokes tee-to-green in his recent third placed finish at Colonial. When looking at the field for this weekends event, Poulter ranks eighth from his past eight rounds and seventh when looking at putting.
2004 – ✔️
2005 – ✔️
2007 – ✔️
2008 – ✔️
2009 – ✔️
2010 – ✔️
2011 – ✔️
2012 – ✔️
2013 – ❌
2014 – ✔️
2015 – ✔️
2016 – ✔️
2018 – ✔️
2019 – ✔️
2020 – ✔️
Ian Poulter has made 15 cuts at #TheMasters, only failing to make it to the weekend once. pic.twitter.com/27w6wloRlR
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 6, 2021
As well as the motivation to be crowned the first time Palmetto Championship winner, Poulter will undoubtedly have extra incentives to perform well at Congaree this weekend, as it is a Ryder Cup year. As is often the case prior to the Ryder Cup, Poulter has started to appear on leaderboards in the lead up to the event. The 45 year old is looking to make his case to join the European team at the Ryder Cup four the seventh time in his career.
Best Bet For A Top 20 Finish At The 2021 Palmetto Championship:
Luke List (+280)
Luke List is another long-hitter who has flashed strong recent form this season. The world No. 165 tied for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship last month before a T61 finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Although he has since missed the cut at the more recent Charles Schwab Challenge and the Memorial Tournament, List has a pair of top 10 finishes on the tour in 2021, with a T10 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open in January to go along with his strong performance at Quail Hollow (Wells Fargo Championship). List has never won on the PGA Tour, however he tied for second at the 2018 Honda Classic and he has two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Driving Distance leaders this season:
1. Rory McIlroy (320.2)
2. Trey Mullinax (318.7)
3. Tony Finau (316.3)
4. Tom Lovelady (315.9)
5. Luke List (315.2)
6. Dustin Johnson (314.5)
7. Bubba Watson (313.6)
8. Brooks Koepka (313.4)
9. Gary Woodland (313.2)
10. Justin Thomas (312.9) pic.twitter.com/NrKSUcCvha
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 8, 2018
When looking at how List’s game will suit the conditions at Congaree this weekend, the 36 year old will enter the event with the fifth most strokes gained off the tee over his past 24 rounds, picking up 14.2 strokes in that time. As well as that, List ranks fourth in the field for driving distance over his last 24 rounds, which will suit him well this weekend. There are some extremely long par fours at Congaree, as well as some the natural obstacles that are best avoided with carry in the air. Keep an eye on the long-hitting List this weekend, as he is our pick for a top 20 finish.
Top 10 favorites to win the 2021 Palmetto Championship
- Dustin Johnson (+800)
- Brooks Koepka (+800)
- Tyrell Hatton (+1400)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1600)
- Sungjae Im (+2000)
- Tommy Fleetwood (+2200)
- Harris English (+3000)
- Alex Noren (+3600)
- Ian Poulter (+3700)
- Harold Varner II (+4000)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.