Palmetto Championship at Congaree

Interesting field this week.

Field is similar to a top tier European Tour event with a handful of strong players receiving appearance fees. Huge dropoff after the first 4 golfers.

I’m hoping the course will play very easy this week, it increases the chances of a mixed up leaderboard and big prices hitting on the T5/T10/T20 markets. I’m thinking -20 or so will win but hoping for -25.

From a betting perspective I find that I do better the easier the course gets. The moderately hard courses is where the datagolf model performs the worst. Of course if we see 1999 Carnoustie the leaderboard becomes totally jumbled once again and you’ll see longshots hitting.

I love looking at course fit and course history - not that it is more important than player trend, but nonetheless, helpful - do we have any initial comparisons for Congaree?

Players that books are curiously bullish on:
Brooks Koepka - He’s a machine when he’s healthy and on his game. The question is whether we see the regular tournament Brooksie or the major championship Brooksie. I’m guessing the former and his knee can still act up. He is inconsistent and prone to missing cuts so I think playing the big plus price to miss the cut might be the way to go. He might be vulnerable in matchups too.

Tommy Fleetwood - He’s still good but never wins. Still finishes in the top 20 with some consistency so I’d be wary of fading him in matchups. He is up and down though so a missed cut is possible.

Brandt Snedeker - He’s made 5 cuts in a row with some high finishes so he might not be the pushover in matchups that he once was. Still, he’s going off at the same odds as Kizzire or Glover which seems to be a stretch. Want no part of him in the win market. Could be a decent fade in matchups.

Keith Mitchell - He’s also played a little better lately and is on his way to keeping his card. Still, there’s a big difference between finishing in the top 20 once every 5 starts and sneaking in the occasional top 5, and consistently contending and sometimes winning. At 45-1 you’re looking for better.

Garrick Higgo - I think I’ve talked about him many times. I’m done losing money betting against this guy. Aside from the win market you’re not getting great prices to fade him anyway. He’s definitely an all-or-nothing player and thrives on easy courses so he might have a chance. Still, 45-1 seems a bit steep (now watch him shoot -25 and win by 5).

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Round 1 Report:
Course was WAY harder than expected, though there were some very good scores out there. Barring rain, -20 will win by a mile. -10 has a decent chance if the course continues to firm up.

Let’s see if Dustin Johnson can grab the tournament by the throat tomorrow. Anything in the 60’s should get the job done, if the weather forecasts for tomorrow materialize.

Report on the players mentioned yesterday.
Brooks Koepka - Looks like we saw the regular tournament Brooksie today, thanks to his short game and putting issues. Maybe he’s just looking to get some more practice in before the US Open. He might as well just tank tomorrow’s round and get 2 days of extra rest for his knee. He’ll have to play his best golf just to make the Top 10.

His health is the only cause for concern. Even if he pulls a Matt Wolff tomorrow I wouldn’t discount his chances in the US Open.

Tommy Fleetwood - Not a guy you want in the win market but a good first round means this is probably one of those weeks he finishes in the Top 20. If you’re bullish on him you really have to focus on the matchups and T20’s. If you go for more than that you’re likely to be disappointed.

Brandt Snedeker - Not a great start and he’s less than 50-50 to make the cut this week. On the bright side he did beat Kizzire and Glover today. Looks like a meh week and you’ll have better opportunities to back him at better prices.

Keith Mitchell - Probably makes the cut and finishes outside the top 20. A median performance from him.

Garrick Higgo - Big week for him, I think a Top 20 gets him into the Top 50 in the World Rankings. At that point he will get into all the big events (well not the US Open unless he wins) and will probably be able to get into most of the fall events if he so chooses. The jury is out on whether he can become a solid PGA Tour pro but he’s likely to get at least 10 more cracks at it by the end of the year, if he chooses to concentrate on the PGA Tour. My guess is that he’s a +0.5 SG level player which puts him in the same range as Lanto Griffin, Kevin Na, Kevin Kisner, Mark Leishman, and Adam Hadwin. That would put him about 70th in the Data Golf rankings which seems about right to me.

If he targets easy golf courses and weak PGA Tour fields for his exemptions I think his chances of gaining full privileges during 2021-22 season are pretty decent.


Nice summary, Daniel. A couple of my observations:

I didn’t see a shot, but, from ShotTracker, it looks like you can pretty much bomb it on every hole here if you want to. Wilco Nienaber was flexing that power, it might be a good course fit for him and other bombers. In our predictions of players’ “true driving distance”, which is estimated in the same way as our skill levels based off total strokes-gained, we have Wilco as the longest in the world at +30 yards relative to an avg PGA pro. Bryson and Cameron Champ are both around +25. (These estimates only use the 2 officially measured drives in each round.)

I was tracking the Lahiri/Harrington/Kaufman 3-ball for a bit today – it must be so brutal for Kaufman to play like that. He’s completely lost it off the tee, looks like some version of the full-swing yips to me. Hopefully he can pull a Brendon Todd and recover from that someday. I’m not betting on that, though.

If it’s a bomber’s course, then it might be good for DJ!

FYI, I bet on DJ to pull off the Palmetto/US Open Double at 130-1. Probably a sucker bet but I felt it was the best way to bet DJ to win at Torrey. Let’s see how this plays out!

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Round 2 report.
Course shows its teeth in Round 2. I do expect the course to play easier due to less winds, rain, and lift-clean-and-cheat possibly being implemented over the weekend. I personally love seeing the mudballs but I don’t make the rules. I expect the winning score to be around -15.

This tournament really looks like Dustin Johnson’s to lose, despite the double bogey on 18. Hadley and Lee figure to fade over the weekend, possibly out of the top 10. A big bunch in the 3-6 under range however, and anyone who goes low and gets to -10 by the end of round 3 should have a live shot on Sunday. If Dustin Johnson wants to gain a stranglehold of this tournament it’s time for him to shoot a 67 or thereabouts and grab a multiple stroke lead.

Might as well throw darts on who might go low tomorrow.

Report on the players mentioned before the tournament.

Brooks Koepka - mailed it in as expected and will have two extra days to rest his knee.
Tommy Fleetwood - poor round 2 means he will have to go low on the weekend to finish in the top 20.
Brandt Snedeker - good round 2 gets him into the weekend. Not expecting much beyond that.
Keith Mitchell - misses the cut after a poor round 2.
Garrick Higgo - Still in contention! Very good chance of getting that Top 20 that will send him into the Top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He will be aiming higher though. He has everything to play for this weekend - stay tuned.

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And just like that, we are betting on Higgo :sweat_smile:
Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 8.00.58 PM

Model has updated Higgo’s skill from -0.12 to +0.43 thanks to some superb ball-striking in the first 2 rounds.

update: line quickly moved on Bet365 below our threshold and we didn’t get the bet on Higgo. Almost assuredly he’ll win that tmw :expressionless:.

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Hopefully Higgo shoots a 66 tomorrow! If he does we’ll have an interesting conversation on his chances on Sunday.
No matter what happens tomorrow, surely he’s in a position where he will be able to max out on his 8 sponsor’s exemptions on the PGA Tour. Obviously he needs to do something with them.

Higgo is third in the event shots gained tee to green.

The three South Africans are going well so may be condition based. Surprised Nianenber isn’t gaining more shots off the tee with his length. Only +1.2 for the event.

My hopes rest almost entirely on Tain Lee, I have him at strong prices in the Top 10/20/40 markets. A collapse from here would be tough to take but his scoring appears to be based on a solid long game rather than streaky putting so I am hopeful.

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Let’s go Tain! I got him to win outright 250-1, top5 and top10 all after r1. Also got him over English in round3 +240. DK def didn’t show any respect for Tain. @Obgeoff just wondering where did u bet those?

I am on the Tain Lee bandwagon. I have him for $1 at 1000:1 outright.

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Boylesports. 81 for Top 10, 31 for Top 20 and 13 for Top 40 in decimal format. 30 units profit if he does manage to cling on to a Top 10 spot. I’m still calculating his buffer to Top 40 though being the pessimist that I am.

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Round 3 recap.
Chesson Hadley with the big surprise, but it’s Saturday. I fully expect him to lose his lead tomorrow. Anything is possible but I would not be looking to back him at -125. With that said, who wins? (If not Chesson Hadley)

English is the obvious answer here although the value is gone at +300. You’re not going to win over the long run trying to beat 20-30% juice in the win market barring some big mistakes. The mistakes seem to get smaller as the tournament goes on and by the end of round 3 the juice just takes over.

Very disappointing from Dustin Johnson today. He did not look comfortable on the practice greens and he seemed to carry that to the golf course. He did the last thing I expected him to do, but I guess that’s why they make him play instead of handing him the trophy after 36 holes. He still has a puncher’s chance but that is all. Making up multiple strokes on English is a tough enough a task, let alone having to make up another few on Hadley.

If you’re playing the win market I’m afraid it’s Hadley or bust. I’m guessing he shoots 2 or 3 over tomorrow and we’ll see if anyone can catch him.

Higgo watch:
He did not quite shoot the 66 he would have needed to be in the thick of things, but a 68 will serve quite nicely and he faces the biggest round of his professional career. This is the week he enters the top 50 in the World Rankings and we’ll be seeing him in all the big tournaments in the near future.

If he strikes jackpot tomorrow I think Higgo-mania starts in full force and he goes off at 50-1 to win the US Open. (And yes, I’ll bet on him at that price)

@DanielSong39 respectfully why such disregard for Hadley? Just cause the putting has been carrying him?

I’ve seen it too many times, players performing way above their heads before crashing on Sunday.
He’s looked like a -1.5 SG player all year and it’s been 2 years since he put 4 solid rounds together. Shooting 2 or 3 over on this course would be a normal round for him under most circumstances.

He could surprise tomorrow and things like this do happen a few times a year. If he can shoot somewhere around the course average or 1 stroke above that he’s your likely winner. His baseline ability suggests he will not succeed, however.


Round 3 complete, Dustin Johnson completes his Round 3 meltdown while the pursuers dodge a bullet from English and Hadley.

Higgo and Hatton are the choices to complete the comeback, you should be able to get decent odds on them. I got 16-1 on Higgo and 22-1 on Hatton.

Hadley meltdown watch in Round 4!
(All hail to him if he holds on)

Forecast is for rain, any idea why the officials didn’t move the tee times up and send them out in 3’s from the 1st and 10th tees?

The final groups could have teed off by 11AM which would have given them a much better chance of finishing the round on time.

Course playing very easy today, Hadley probably needs to break par to win.