Brooks to steer clear of the water at the Congaree!


One more “practice” event before the US Open from Torrey Pines so back across the water we go for a closer look at the Palmetto Championship on the never ending search for a spot of value.

First things first and the course at the Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina is a par 71 measuring in at 7655 yards so as you can already guess, the big hitters arrive with a distinct advantage if they can keep the ball on the fairway. There is precious little rough to speak of but huge sandy areas instead, the weather forecast includes storms as well as stifling hot temperatures and this will be a war of attrition. Make no mistake, this is a tough track for any player with numerous water hazards, convoluted greens, and some horrendous run off areas – get it wrong and a bogey is just around the corner – or worse.

Selections with reasoning:

***NOTE*** Different bookmakers are offering different each way terms so do shop around – and make sure you only partake non-runner no bet – covid has seen last minute withdrawals all season and we don’t want to be throwing money away

1pt each way Brooks Koepka 17/2 best price, top eight places (William Hill, Bet365)

Not the most inspired selection at that price but still worth adding to your portfolio and arrives here in decent form. Finally getting back to his best after returning from injury he ranks eight for strokes gained off the tee, second for tee to green, and 12th for around the green – pretty impressive stats that will serve him well at this unusual course. Second in his last tournament to Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship he is a fiery character when certain rivals are on the course, but they are missing here which will help his focus, and he averages over 308 yards off the tee which will serve him well here –  I will be surprised if he isn’t in the running come the final day.

1pt each way Keith Mitchell 40/1 best price, top eight places (Most bookmakers).

If you have one at a short price, you need to balance things out – so I have for the rest of this article, starting with a 40/1 shot in the shape of the 29 year old American who has had a great season and could put the cherry on the cake here.  A tied fourth in the Zurich Classic and a tied third in the Wells Fargo is better than many here can offer up in the way of recent efforts, and although he was “only” 26th in the Byron Nelson (where he played well by the way to finish on 14 under) and missed the cut in the Charles Schwab, he has a decent accurate drive (of over 300 yards), and  ought to find this course plays to his strengths. No good thing by any stretch but more than capable if he gets going in the first two rounds and ought to trade shorter at some time during the tournament for those who like to cash out.

1pt each way Padraig Harrington 150/1 best price, top eight places (Most bookmakers). This suggestion is more about value than anything else but someone needs to explain to me why the PGA fourth, just the four shots adrift of a rejuvenated Phil Mickelson, is available at an outsider’s price, it is just an insult. Admittedly he missed the cut last week but that’s golf for you, and I am more wary about his fitness levels at the age of 49 in the temperatures and humidity, but that looks a risk worth taking.  He drives pretty much exactly 300 yards according to the statistics so won’t be overawed by the course, and although the rest of his stats don’t match up to some of these, we all know how capable he is on his day. Taking out the big guns of Johnson and Koepka he has a far better chance than his odds imply and I can’t resist, albeit to sensible stakes.

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