The Palmetto Championship at Congaree has never appeared on the PGA Tour. After this year, there’s no telling when or if the world’s top golfers will return to the Tom Fazio-designed course after this, but for one weekend, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and a host of other elite players will journey to South Carolina’s Lowcountry as a warmup for the US Open.
The PGA Tour added the Palmetto Championship to its schedule this year as a replacement for the RBC Canadian Open.
Koepka says DeChambeau rivalry good for golf
Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict travel over the border between the United States and Canada, the tour canceled the Canadian Open, replacing it with the event at Congaree.
A total of five of the world’s top 25 players will participate in the Palmetto Championship, just a week ahead of the US Open. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads the way, though he won’t come in as the favorite. That honor goes to world No. 8 Brooks Koepka. FanDuel Sportsbook lists Koepka as a +800 pick to win the Palmetto Championship.
|Palmetto Championship Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Brooks Koepka: +800||Dustin Johnson: +850|
|Tyrrell Hatton: +1400||Matthew Fitzpatrick: +1600|
|Sungjae Im: +2000||Tommy Fleetwood: +2200|
|Harris English: +3000||Alex Noren: +3200|
Koepka has put together an inconsistent run this season. Over his last eight starts, he has a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and two runner-up finishes, including at the PGA Championship. But he’s also missed four cuts in that same span.
When it came time to talk to the media before the Palmetto Championship, however, one topic dominated the conversation: Koepka’s rivalry with Bryson DeChambeau. After video captured Koepka’s exasperated reaction to DeChambeau simply walking near him during an interview, the world has been waiting to learn more. Koepka says that’s a positive development for the sport.
“I think it’s good for the game,” Koepka told reporters. “That fact that golf’s on pretty much every news outlet for about two weeks pretty consistently, I think that’s a good thing. It’s growing the game.”
Johnson looks to rebound at Palmetto Championship
Dustin Johnson sits just behind Koepka on the odds board at +850. Unlike Koepka, Johnson spoke mostly about golf during his pre-tournament press conference. While his form has suffered as of late, Johnson believes he’s close to getting back to the top of the leaderboard. He also thinks the links-style course at Congaree will suit him well this weekend.
“It’s different, especially for a course in South Carolina,” Johnson told reporters. “We don’t really play golf courses that look like this very often … there’s definitely a little bit of difficulty not knowing the golf course, but I felt like I got a pretty good beat on it.”
Other top players in the field include Tyrrell Hatton (+1400) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1600), both of whom rank in the world’s top 25.
The field will encounter a fast, firm course at Congaree for the Palmetto Championship. The key might be choosing the best approach shots and the best choices around the green, something Johnson says he’s looking forward to. “The greens have a lot of undulation and some slope, but with greens books and everything, it definitely helps,” Johnson said. “Especially for me, I like to use it on like hitting second shots, just kind of knowing where to hit the ball or, if you do miss it, like what side to favor on.”