Horses for Courses: Palmetto Championship at Congaree
June 08, 2021
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
- Tyrrell Hatton has three top-10 finishes so far this season on the PGA TOUR. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
It has been a spring of high visibility in the Lowcountry as the PGA TOUR returns for the third time in three months to the state of South Carolina.
As we saw last week with Jon Rahm's positive COVID-19 test, the pandemic is not fully behind us. This week provides another reminder as Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland, South Carolina, will be the one-time replacement host for the RBC Canadian Open. Canadian authorities cancelled the event and the TOUR pivoted to Congaree to play host the week before the US Open at Torrey Pines.
Tom Fazio's 2017 design stretches 7,655 yards (Par-71; 36-35) on the former 3,000 acre rice plantation. The course has been described as homage to the great Australian Sand Belt tracks.
After 24 acres of fairway at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, there's plenty of room to swing it off the tee this week as 58 acres of fairway are available. Errant shots can be penalized with oaks and pines shaping the holes plus 130 acres of sandy areas. Sharp edges and the absence of rough won't stop balls from finding those areas so keeping the golf ball under control is paramount. With excellent drainage conditions it should be able to play firm and fast this week so the yardage on the card won't seem as daunting.
The track is wall-to-wall Bermuda and Champion Bermuda is the choice on the greens. Averaging just over 6,000 square feet in size, the greens entering year four should be mature enough to handle any speed asked for this week. There's no need for over-seeding this time of year either so those surfaces should be slick and true. Perched above the fairways, hitting them will be a premium this week. Less than accurate shots will fall off or run through and then scrambling becomes the next challenge.
Tom Fazio has already had plenty of time in the spotlight this spring. His work at Augusta National is well documented and so is his work at Quail Hollow Club. Stretching back to the fall, Shadow Creek in Las Vegas was "seen" for the first time by many as the one-time host of THE CJ CUP AT SHADOW CREEK. Although all courses are different, the design elements can translate.
This season we have also had five brand-new tracks added or being used as one-time replacements. I'll also point out that most major championships are on tracks where the pros don't get too many reps so I'm looking in that direction this week as well. I'll have the top finishers from those events below instead of course data and history that we don't have.
It's not a perfect solution but it's angle to explore this week!
On the line this week is a $7.3 million prize pool with $1.34 million and 500 FedExCup points for the winner.
Recent Fazio Performers This Season (entered this week)
THE CJ CUP 2021 Masters Tournament Wells Fargo Championship Shadow Creek Golf Club Augusta National Golf Club Quail Hollow Club Bentgrass Greens Bentgrass Greens Champion Bermuda Greens 03 Tyrell Hatton 12 Si Woo Kim 03 Keith Mitchell 10 Harris English 18 Tyrrell Hatton 06 Luke List 12 Matt Fitzpatrick 21 Harris English 11 Satoshi Kodaira 12 Ian Poulter 26 Ian Poulter 11 Ben Martin 17 Mark Hubbard 34 Matt Fitpatrick 11 Scott Piercy 17 Si Woo Kim 38 Martin Laird 14 Tommy Fleetwood 21 Danny Lee 46 Tommy Fleetwood 18 Russell Knox 21 Robby Shelton 18 CT Pan 28 Tyler Duncan 18 JJ Spaun 28 Brooks Koepka 26 Pat Perez 28 Richy Werenski 26 JT Poston 42 Byeong-Hun An 26 Vince Whaley 45 Sungjae Im 26 Nick Taylor 45 Kevin Kisner 26 Kyle Stanley 51 JT Poston 37 Sean O'Hair 59 Tommy Fleetwood 37 Patrick Rodgers 61 Nick Taylor 37 Brian Stuard 75 Sung Kang 37 Richy Werenski 76 Alex Noren 43 Jason Dufner 43 Harris English 43 Peter Malnati 43 Andrew Putnam 43 Scott Stallings 43 Jhonattan Vegas 51 Kramer Hickok 51 Hank Lebioda 54 Hunter Mahan 54 Seamus Power 54 Sepp Straka 58 Michael Gligic 58 Patton Kizzire 58 Matthew NeSmith 58 Johnson Wagner 58 Roger Sloan 65 Jonas Blixt 65 Bo Van Pelt 72 Kevin Tway 72 Jimmy Walker 76 DJ Trahan 77 Beau Hossler
Key stat leaders
Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
Strokes Gained: Approach the Green Rank Player 9 Matthew NeSmith 11 Tyrrell Hatton 16 Brooks Koepka 26 Cam Percy 27 Russell Knox 29 Dustin Johnson 30 Hank Lebioda 32 Scott Stallings 40 Roger Sloan 42 Harold Varner III 43 Chez Reavie 51 Patton Kizzire 53 Camilo Villegas 61 Chase Seiffert 63 CT Pan 64 Luke Donald 65 John Huh 66 Doc Redman 68 Martin Laird 70 Tyler Duncan Scrambling Rank Player 3 Ian Poulter 4 Scott Stallings 6 Hank Lebioda 9 Fabian Gomez 10 Si Woo Kim 11 Andrew Putnam 13 Ben Martin 15 Harris English 18 Scott Piercy 19 Bo Hoag 20 Brice Garnett 24 Pat Perez 26 Aaron Baddeley 28 Scott Brown 32 Russell Knox 34 Adam Schenk 36 Vaughn Taylor 37 John Huh 38 Bill Haas Strokes Gained: Putting Rank Player 7 Ian Poulter 8 JT Poston 10 Kris Ventura 12 Patton Kizzire 14 Chesson Hadley 16 David Hearn 17 Hunter Mahan 19 Matt Fitzpatrick 21 Austin Cook 24 Andrew Putnam 25 Brice Garnett 28 Brooks Koepka 32 Vaughn Taylor 34 Rhein Gibson 36 Harris English 37 Ben Martin 38 Sungjae Im 39 Brandt Snedeker 41 Kevin Kisner 42 Ryan Armour 45 Alex Noren 49 Peter Malnati
New Course Performers (entered this week)
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Vivint Houston Open WGC - Concession AT&T Byron Nelson Sherwood CC (Nicklaus) Memorial Park Houston (Doak) The Concession (Nicklaus) TPC Craig Ranch (Weiskopf) Bentgrass Mini Verde Bermuda TifEagle Bermuda Bentgrass 14 Kevin Kisner 02 Dustin Johnson 02 Brooks Koepka 03 Patton Kizzire 17 Alex Noren 05 Brooks Koepka 11 Matt Fitzpatrick 03 Scott Stallings 26 Matt Fitzpatrick 05 Sepp Straka 22 Tyrrell Hatton 07 Joseph Bramlett 28 Tyler Duncan 07 Tyrrell Hatton 28 Sungjae Im 07 Troy Merritt 28 Harris English 11 Patton Kizzire 37 Erik van Rooyen 09 Seamus Power 28 Tyrrell Hatton 15 Russell Knox 41 Kevin Kisner 09 Doc Redman 35 Byeong-Hun An 15 Harold Varner III 44 Tommy Fleetwood 09 Jhonattan Vegas 35 Satoshi Kodaira 20 JT Poston 48 David Lipsky 13 Bronson Burgoon 41 Mark Hubbard 20 Erik van Rooyen 54 Dustin Johnson 13 Luke Donald 41 Sungjae Im 24 Scott Brown 59 Rafa Cabrera Bello 13 Harris English 57 Tommy Fleetwood 24 Austin Cook 66 Harris English 13 Satoshi Kodaira 57 Richy Werenski 29 Charley Hoffman 17 Hank Lebioda T63 Nick Taylor 32 Padraig Harrington 17 Brandt Snedeker 72 Danny Lee 32 Scott Piercy 21 Rafa Cabrera Bello 32 Fabian Gomez 21 Alex Noren 32 Troy Merritt 26 Ryan Armour 38 Will Gordon 26 Ben Martin 38 Satoshi Kodaira 26 Keith Mitchell 38 Nate Lashley 26 Rob Oppenheim 44 Brandt Snedeker 26 Sepp Straka 44 Jhonattan Vegas 26 Vince Whaley 48 John Huh 34 Scott Brown 50 Greg Chalmers 34 Mark Hubbard 50 Mark Hubbard 34 Adam Schenk 50 James Hahn 34 Roger Sloan 50 Brice Garnett 39 Russell Knox 50 Brian Stuard 39 Sean O'Hair 58 Kramer Hickok 39 Pat Perez 58 CT Pan 39 Brian Stuard 61 Kevin Chappell 39 Johnson Wagner 61 Doc Redman 47 Brice Garnett 64 Kris Ventura 47 Michael Gligic 64 Scott Harrington 47 Sung Kang 67 Sean O'Hair 47 Nelson Ledesma 47 Patrick Rodgers 47 JJ Spaun