Golfers to watch at the Palmetto Championship

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Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa, the playoff combatants at last week’s Memorial Tournament, will take the week off to prepare for next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, but we do have a handful of top-quality participants at this week’s one-off Palmetto Championship in South Carolina that replaces the RBC Canadian Open this year.

The tournament favorite is World
No. 1 Dustin Johnson (15/2), who was born in Columbia, S.C. and played his collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina in Conway. Brooks Koepka (8/1) looked like his knee injuries were behind him three weeks ago at the PGA Championship, but had to settle for a runner-up finish behind Phil Mickelson. Tyrrell Hatton (12/1) also returns to the course for the first time since the PGA Championship.

Here are some longer shots who are worth a wager this weekend at Congaree Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design which opened in 2017.

Harold Varner III (40/1)

In the last non-major event held in South Carolina, Varner finished runner-up eight weeks ago at the RBC Heritage. He is always a top-end ball striker (fourth in the field for SG: Tee-To-Green, eighth SG: Ball Striking), but it is his putter that can hold him back. Nevertheless, he has gained on the greens in five of his last seven starts.

Ian Poulter (33/1)

Earned his spot in next week’s U.S. Open two weeks ago at Colonial, where a third-place finish got him into the OWGR Top 60. While Torrey Pines will not suit his game necessarily, this course just might. Poulter ranks first in the field for SG: Short Game and ninth in Total Strokes Gained over the last 24 rounds. In his career, Poulter has 17 top-10 or better finishes the week before a major.

Luke List (66/1)

Is not particularly good with the flat stick (148th SG: Putting; 137th SG: Short Game over the last 24 rounds), but he has been hitting the ball beautifully of late. He rates second in this week’s field for SG: Tee-To-Green, third for SG: Ball Striking, and fourth for SG: Off-The-Tee.

Richy Werenski
Richy Werenski
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Richy Werenski (66/1)

Ranks 98th in SG: Putting over the last 24 rounds but is excellent with the flat stick when putting on fast Bermuda greens, which the field will see this week. He rates top 30 in this field for SG: Off-The-Tee and SG: Ball Striking.

Vincent Whaley (66/1)

Has made nine straight cuts dating back to Pebble Beach in February. He ranks seventh in this week’s field for overall Strokes Gained over the last 24 rounds and 12th and 13th respectively for SG: Short Game and SG: Tee-To-Green.

J.T. Poston (80/1)

Was able to get his 36 holes in before the weather delay on Monday in Columbus and wrapped up his qualifying spot for next week’s U.S. Open. He is from the Carolinas and has course knowledge here at Congaree.

Camilo Villegas (125/1)

Has four top 25 or better finishes in his last seven starts. The short game has been solid all around, but he has been struggling a bit off the tee (95th SG: OTT). The wider fairways with substantial roll-out should mitigate that recent disadvantage.

Patrick Rodgers (150/1)

Clinched his spot in the U.S Open on Monday qualifying out of the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., finishing three shots clear of the field. He is a big hitter off the tee and should embrace the wider fairways at Congaree.

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