Palmetto Championship 2021 Picks: Kisner for the longshot
Kevin Kisner is our longshot pick for the Palmetto Championship
15:58 Tuesday 8th June 2021 - 6 minute read
Enjoy all the action from the South Carolina Low Country! The inaugural Palmetto Championship at Congaree is here …
Our PGA man J.N. Campbell is here with his thoughts ahead of the tournament.
Weekly Preview: Palmetto Championship at Congaree
Course: Congaree Golf Club
Location: Ridgeland, SC (30min north of Savannah, Georgia)
Date: June 10—13
Par: 71, Yardage: 7,655
Purse: $7.3 Million, Winner: $1.3 Million
Design: Tom Fazio (2017)
Challenge hole: 4th, Par 5 (645yds)
Defending Champion: None (1st Time Tourney)
The palmetto tree is a symbol of the state of South Carolina, and the attribution applies metaphorically to a variety of qualities that can be found in this biologic. Resilient and hearty, its structure has withstood decay at the hands of water, and such foreign objects as cannonballs (Historical note: wood was used in fort building in the 19th century).
For the first time, Congaree Golf Club will host a PGA Tour event, as the RBC Canadian Open was summarily canceled for a second-straight year in the land “North of the Border.” A fill-in of sorts, the state is set to host its 3rd golf event of the year for the men’s game. Some major players will roll into town, including 8 of the Top 50 in the World Rankings (names like … Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, headline). It should be a good group in attendance.
The course that will serve as "stage” later this week was designed by the formidable Tom Fazio. A landscape architect, renowned for constructing over 200 links around the world beginning in the last quarter of the 20th c. and into this one, built this gauntlet back in 1997. Using a 3,200-acre piece of property in the Low Country north of Savannah, traps and tree-lined fairways make this a tough overall test. South Carolina conditions are fraught with perils, and tee-to-green, this design is no exception. The PGA might consider this a permanent stop, if all goes well. The “Southern Swing” rolls on with 500 FedEx Cup Points on the line, before everyone who qualifies heads to sunny San Diego for this year’s U.S. Open!
Last week, some of our wagering recommendations went quite well, as Alex Noren turned in a superb performance. Not only did he make the weekend, but his scoring put him finishing at -3 (tied-13th). Though Xander Schauffele shot well over the first couple of days, his game failed him with all the weather delays, and he ended up just missing the Top Ten, tied for 11th overall (-4). Masters Champion, Hideki Matsuyama also turned in a lackluster tournament. Though he made the weekend, he finished well over par. That was miss, for sure.
As for the bets against “former champions,” that was a mixed bag. We missed on Patrick Cantlay who became a repeat champion, but we were correct in thinking Jon Rahm (WD) and Bryson DeChambeau (tied-18th) would not make the lead. Of course, the Spaniard Rahm was well on his way to the win, up by more than a handful of strokes, when he was informed by the PGA after the completion of the 3rd Round that he tested “positive” for COVID-19. Though the protocols were in place, this was highly unusual, and devastating for the returning champion. He handled with aplomb, but he was visibly distraught. Jack’s Tourney ended on a sour note, to be sure. Who do we look to this week, as the Palmetto Championship gets underway from Congaree Golf Club? Have a read …
A few promising prop bets …
Koepka’s Trick Knee … (Brooks Koepka, +925)
Despite a bum knee, the capable Brooks Koepka gutted it out at Kiawah Island during the PGA Championship. It showed guts and determination. Being paired with Phil Mickelson in the last group on Sunday was an intriguing match-up. Despite the lack of crowd control on 18 (shame on you PGA), the 2-time back-to-back PGA Champ was impressive. Now, after a week off, he comes to SC ready for a prep before the trip to SoCal. He could be very dangerous, especially squaring off against another pro by the name of Dustin Johnson, who has also battled injuries this year. I do not know if I want to take either of these short-priced swingers (Koepka or DJ). Maybe play against … trick knees are the worst.
Swede Driving … (Alex Noren, +2800)
I had a very nice pick last week in Alex Noren. He was a major price going into The Memorial Tournament, and he did not disappoint. Not only did he make the weekend, but he also acquitted himself well with some impressive shot-making ability. Ending up where he did (tied-13th) was one of his best career finishes on the Tour. Picking him this week makes total sense, but I am sure some bandwagon jumpers will be aboard this time. He might digress from his effort in Ohio, but I am hoping that is not the case. This course rewards his type of game, and I am betting his approach shots, and putting will be in fine form. Watch out for the Swede who we could see come Ryder Cup time!
Low Euro … (Tommy Fleetwood +2650)
Another possible Ryder Cupper is this English sharpshooter. He could very well be the low European for the Palmetto. That might be hard to believe considering his poor play in The Players Championship, RBC Heritage, and the PGA Championship. Those were all “cuts missed.” Slicing and dicing into this contest, I think he could be a solid play, as he prepares to ramp up for the next pair of Majors. With the U.S. Open not far off, and The Open Championship looming next month, the time has arrived for him to step up his game. After all, the WGC Dell Match Play, Arnold Palmer, and Wells Fargo were all Top 15 finishes. When it comes to “touch” around the green, there are few that are better (4th). That could be his greatest asset as he makes the trek north from Savannah, looking for his 1st PGA Tour victory.
Kevin Kisner Homecoming King … (Kevin Kisner +4650)
The Aiken, South Carolina hometown favorite was awfully good a couple of years back (2017) when he set records for himself. After graduating from the University of Georgia his putting was on fire. Lately, he just has not had the mustard he once did. It is difficult to keep up. From The Masters through the PGA @Kiawah, he missed every cut. So, coming back to South Carolina for a regular stop on the Tour could be just the ticket. I like picking local guys, maybe it is The Legend of Bagger Vance-lover in me? Kisner isn’t done by a long shot, even though his price on the odds board will look pretty high. We should take advantage of that, since he might be playing with some extra adrenaline. Adding to his $23 Million+ in career earnings is in order. If he could shoot around 67 each day, he could easily win this thing.