Sleeper Picks: Palmetto Championship at Congaree
June 08, 2021
By Rob Bolton, GolfBet for PGATOUR.COM
- Scott Stallings is one to watch at Congaree after a T3 finish two starts ago at the AT&T Byron Nelson. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jhonattan Vegas (+6600) … He’s a two-time winner of the RBC Canadian Open, so no one likely is more eager to return to the Great White North more than the Venezuelan. Until then, he’ll find Congaree to his liking as a long-hitting, tee-to-green specialist. Even better, he’s in form upon arrival with nine paydays in his last 11 starts worldwide. The stretch includes a runner-up finish in Puerto Rico, a T18 at Corales and a T9 at TPC Craig Ranch. In other words, he’s capitalized on the moments when most of the notables have rested. And for a bonus, he’s fresh off surviving a 5-for-4 playoff at U.S. sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio. For the list of the 54 survivors of nine sectionals this week and all who have just gained entry into the U.S. Open, read Qualifiers.
Scott Stallings (+6600) … Like his fellow three-time PGA TOUR winner, Vegas, who is just seven months his senior, the 36-year-old Stallings does his work from tee to green and he’s streaky. Although safely positioned at 106th in the FedExCup, he also always figures out a way to retain his card even when his back seems to be against the wall. As it concerns the here and now, since joining forces with Brice Garnett for a T11 in New Orleans, Stallings is 5-for-5. The highlight was a T3 at TPC Craig Ranch. Currently 41st in greens hit and fourth in scrambling.
Hank Lebioda (+10000) … The first of two Florida State University products included here, the 27-year-old lefty often looks good but he continues to battle inconsistency enough to flail just outside the bubble of qualifying for the FedExCup Playoffs (currently 140th). However, he’s gone for a pair of top 20s in his last three starts with a T17 at the AT&T Byron Nelson as the most recent. Ranks 29th on TOUR in greens hit, sixth in proximity, sixth in scrambling and T31 in par-5 scoring. Perhaps the unfamiliarity of the greens at Congaree will lift his relative value elsewhere on the course just as it did at TPC Craig Ranch in his last start.
Bronson Burgoon (+8000) … Like the guys featured above, he also recorded a solid finish at TPC Craig Ranch. A T13 matched his season-best just two starts prior at Copperhead. In accordance with the theme, the 34-year-old figures out a way to keep at least a shred of status while doing his work with his longest sticks because he constantly throws enough against the wall, er, hits enough greens in regulation to keep the performance centers lit for a putter that too often has stage fright.
John Pak (+12500) … Get used to the name. The eight-time winner at Florida State was the “valedictorian” of the first graduating class at PGA TOUR University. He’s making his professional debut at Congaree following a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship. The 22-year-old cleaned up on all of the annual awards reserved for top collegians and he's a two-time Walker Cup winner. In his only prior appearance in PGA TOUR-sanctioned competition, he placed T51 at the U.S. Open in September.
Odds were sourced on Tuesday, June 8 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
NOTE: Sleeper is a relative term, so Rob uses unofficial criteria to determine who qualifies. Each of the following usually is determined to be ineligible for this weekly staple: Winners of the tournament on the current host course; winners in the same season; recent major champions; top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; recent participants of team competitions.