PGA DFS Primer: Palmetto Championship at Congaree (2021)
Welcome to the PGA DFS Primer! I hope you took my advice in last week’s article suggesting Patrick Cantlay as a prime candidate to target in your lineups at the Memorial Tournament this past weekend. The 29-year old won (-13) his second title in three years at Muirfield on Sunday, which would have rewarded you with a winning lineup.
Many viewers witnessed the thrilling finish at the 2021 Memorial Tournament this past weekend, as Cantlay (-13) edged out Collin Morikawa in a playoff to win the Memorial for the second time in three years. However, there was controversy swirling amidst the rain and cicadas in central Ohio. Former 2020 champion Jon Rahm was on pace to crush the competition with a six-stroke lead on Saturday and repeat as champion until testing positive as an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. Rahm was forced to withdraw before playing the final round, allowing Cantlay and Morikawa to face off in a sudden-death playoff.
This week, the PGA Tour heads back to South Carolina for a unique one-time tournament at Congaree golf course in Gillisonville, South Carolina. The RBC Canadian Open could not be held due to ongoing safety protocol and restricted travel between countries, so there will be plenty of opportunities for off-the-radar golfers to ascend the leaderboard throughout the weekend on one of the newest courses on Tour. The Palmetto Championship has a unique course layout that doesn’t feature any roughs, placing an emphasis on strokes gained off-the-tee and around-the-green.
DraftKings caps their salary at $50,000, while FanDuel allows up to $60,000 to be spent on creating your six-player lineups. With that in mind, here are a few players to target that will help you construct successful, winning lineups this weekend at the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club.
Congaree Golf Club is located in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, sporting a unique new-age design mirroring the Australian Sandbelt layout. Ranked as the “Best New Private Course” in 2018 after its initial opening in 2017, Congaree continues to impress and has earned the honor of hosting the one-time event to replace the RBC Canadian Open. At 7,515 yards, the course is a lengthy stock par-71 that will challenge golfers frequently throughout the weekend. There is a lot of sand to replace the typical rough grass that lines the perimeter of fairways, emphasizing the need for accurate drivers and hot irons to reach the bermudagrass greens.
The first three holes feature an array of hazards, including a road and a left dog-leg fairway to navigate amidst plentiful amounts of sand. Hole 8 is a difficult par 4, stretching 540 yards towards a green surrounded by massive sand hazards. With the weather expected to be off and on with light showers during playing hours, temperatures will surpass 90 degrees on three of the four days at the Palmetto Championship, increasing the difficulty of an already treacherous course. Golfers able to control their drives and hit the greens in regulation will have an advantage over those frequently finding themselves swinging out of the sand.
Relevant Betting Stats
- Greens in Regulation (GIR)
- SG: Tee-to-Green
- SG: Off-the-Tee
- Driving Accuracy percentage
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
Sungjae Im ($9,700)
The 23-year old Korean is available to add to your lineups at a reduced salary due to his recent struggles, having missed the cut at both the Charles Schwab Challenge and the Memorial Tournament across the last two weeks. While there is inherent risk involved with Im, he has two top-20 finishes in the last five weeks, including finishing T17 at Kiawah, which is another South Carolina course with similar challenges to Congaree. Im’s strokes gained off-the-tee ranks seventh amongst all golfers on Tour. He also has a hot putter, ranking 38th in strokes gained putting, which creates enticing value that I’m willing to take at this salary.
Matt Fitzpatrick ($10,400)
One of the more expensive players to target is Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick. The 26-year old failed to make the cut at the Memorial Tournament this past weekend but is highly ranked in numerous strokes gained categories, including top-20 in strokes gained off-the-tee and putting through 39 measured rounds this season. While Fitzpatrick could be challenged with the lengthy fairways, his 68.86 DAP% bodes well for his ability to steer his driver to avoid the numerous sand and water hazards lining holes throughout the par-71 course at Congaree. Fork up your salary and acquire Fitzpatrick to guarantee a safe floor, as he competes for his fifth top-ten finish on Tour this season.
Ian Poulter ($9,200)
One of the best putters on Tour, Ian Poulter, lands at a great value heading into the Palmetto Championship this weekend. The 45-year old golfer out of England withheld from the Memorial Tournament but finished T3 (-10) at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas a couple of weeks ago. Paired with an accurate driver at 64.82 DAP% and a top-30 ranking in sand save percentage, the 26-year veteran has all parts of his game hitting at once, making him a priority player to target when constructing your lineups.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
Brandt Snedeker ($10,000)
The past few months have seen Brandt Snedeker elevate his play, resulting in four top-20 finishes. He’s solid in strokes gained around the green and strokes gained putting but has shown weakness with driving distance and reaching the greens in regulation. He’s much better with maintaining accurate drives, so he should be able to avoid the sand and set up good approach shots near the green. The 40-year old native of Tennessee doesn’t inspire the most confidence, but he is a decent salary saver with upside who has avoided missing the cut for six consecutive tournament appearances. His putting and navigation of fairways could result in him climbing the leaderboard and subsequently flooding your lineup with points.
Tommy Fleetwood ($11,500)
Recent missed cuts have not dropped the salary needed to acquire Tommy Fleetwood in your lineups at Congaree this weekend. The 30-year old Englishman has managed to produce quietly impressive outings amidst his inconsistent play, finishing T10 (E) at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and T14 (-2) at the Wells Fargo Championship last month before missing the cut at Kiawah. Fleetwood is phenomenal in strokes gained around the green, ranking fourth at .593. He also ranks top-40 in strokes gained from tee-to-green, which is a skill set that can translate well on par 3s and strong drives. Fleetwood does not have a good GIR% or DAP%, so he will need to rely on his irons and putter to return to the top-15 on the leaderboard at the Palmetto Championship.
Harold Varner III ($9,700)
Harold Varner III might be one of the best players available to target when it comes to conquering the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The 30-year old played at East Carolina University and is very familiar with the terrain, finishing T2 (-15) at RBC Heritage back in April. He ranks highly within the majority of strokes gained categories, including tee-to-green and around the green. His putting is markedly lower than the rest of his game, but his familiarity with the terrain, combined with a driver that averages 301.2 yards per attempt, should bode well for Varner’s output at Congaree. If nothing else, Varner is a safe salary-saving option at $9,700. He can easily rise atop the leaderboard if he dominates the fairways early. It will just come down to whether or not his putter is hot throughout the tournament. He’s a solid addition to lineups, allowing you to also pursue pricier blue-chip players like Brooks Koepka and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.