The PGA TOUR was initially slated to play the RBC Canadian Open this week, however plans modified when COVID-19 insurance policies lingered and the occasion was pressured to cancel play for the second yr in a row.
Fear not. We will not have a bye week on the schedule due to Congaree Golf Club who stepped up on a one-year foundation to fill the void. Rumor has it they’re looking for a spot as a bunch course for the Presidents Cup so a profitable week would go a great distance towards reaching that purpose.
When I first regarded into the course I believed, “oh great, another private golf course that most viewers will never sniff the chance of playing.” Then, I regarded into the mission of the membership and shortly realized they’ve one thing particular happening with ambassadors/mentors whose predominant deal with getting ready underprivileged kids for the subsequent step in life. One of these ambassadors is even within the area this week. More on that as you flip the web page and see the Players to Watch part.
You can go look into the Congaree Foundation if you wish to be taught extra about that however for now, we’re going to deal with the golf aspect of issues, so let’s dive proper in.
Played the week earlier than a serious, three time zones away, the total area of 156 golfers is a bit weaker than common, as you may anticipate. Still, there are a handful of massive names trying to tune up their recreation earlier than the U.S. Open. That contains Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka at the highest of the board.
Given the ugly climate forecast, we should not be stunned if there are a number of extra pre-tournament WDs as we speak or tomorrow. For those who do peg it, the highest 65 and ties will advance via the cutline, as traditional.
Congaree Golf Club is a Tom Fazio design constructed pretty lately, in 2017.
The scorecard reveals a beefy par 71 that stretches to 7,655 yards however there’s extra to the story.
Built on what the European Tour members may name “heathland” this linksy format has agency and quick in its DNA. Hopefully, the entire precipitation within the forecast does not destroy that but when it is not enjoying agency and quick they would want to maneuver up plenty of the tee packing containers, most probably.
When in search of comp programs, location looks as if a simple attribute to make use of as there are three common occasions on the PGA TOUR rota which are inside a two-hour drive from Congaree. Kiawah Island additionally falls in that bubble, latest website of the PGA Championship.
From a hole-by-hole view there are two par 4s that play simply 360 yards but in addition 4 par 4s that play over 490 yards. All three of the par 5s play over 580 yards together with the par-5 fourth which stretches out to 645 yards.
We talked about how the course is designed to play agency and quick however even nonetheless, you could be retaining it on the fairways if you wish to navigate all that size.
When you are not discovering fairways, you’re probably going to search out some waste areas that are littered all around the property this week.
When a brand new course joins the PGA TOUR rotation, they often proceed with warning when establishing the course. In that regard, we must always anticipate to see some low scores this week, even on such a brawny format that stretches out to just about 7,700 yards.
Looking at the turf, golfers will see TifGrand bermuda fairways and Champion bermuda greens. The speeds of the greens can run 12+ ft on the stimp, even for week-to-week play, however it’s unsure what their goal can be this week.
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Looking at grass varieties, geography, course attributes, and previous efficiency, listed here are a number of programs/occasions that I feel may show to be an excellent pointer this week:
Harbour Town Golf Links
Augusta National Golf Club
Sea Island Golf Resort
Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course
Quail Hollow Club
Corales Golf Club
The theme this week is in search of programs within the space (Harbour Town, Augusta National, Sea Island, and Kiawah Island are all reached by automobile in underneath two hours). The different angle is to look at programs that Tom Fazio has his hand on and Quail Hollow and Corales caught out for me in that regard since additionally they have loads of yardage on the scorecard.
Thursday: Strong likelihood of showers and/or thunderstorms, significantly within the afternoon, with a excessive of 90 levels. Calm winds.
Friday: Sunny with a excessive of 92 levels. Slight likelihood of showers. Winds at 6 to 10 MPH.
The climate forecast is fairly ugly this week with a powerful change of precipitation principally on daily basis. Combine that with a serious championship being performed subsequent week and it would not shock me if we noticed much more
Golfers to Watch
The South Carolina native opens as an 8-to-1 betting favourite this week. However, he has been a Monday WD within the final two occasions main as much as majors so regulate his standing as we speak. When you add within the native climate forecast, it would not be surprising if we drop one other huge title or two earlier than Thursday. As for Johnson, he arrives in poor type, by his lofty requirements. He has completed outdoors of the highest 45 in 5 of his final six stroke-play occasions performed. You are banking on long-term pedigree in the event you make investments this week.
The different “class of the field” participant, Koepka proved his knee will not be a serious concern when he posted a runner-up end at Kiawah Island. Dating again to the beginning of the season he has posted high 10s in 5-of-12 occasions performed but in addition missed the reduce in 5 occasions. He’s very boom-or-bust so players ought to plan accordingly.
Back on web page one I talked about one of many Congaree ambassadors enjoying within the area this week. That could be Lucas Glover who can be very aware of the course this week whereas most golfers within the area can be spending their pre-tourney prep attempting to be taught the format. The Clemson product has cashed a verify in 9 of his final 10 occasions performed with a pair of high 10s combined in alongside the way in which.
Another golfer with ties to the course. His swing coach, John McNeely, is the Director of Golf for the Congaree Foundation. Perhaps he’ll use the additional nuggets in fact data to search out his first high 10 on the calendar yr. He did submit a solo third at the Sanderson Farms Championship final fall however has gone 20 begins since then with out discovering one other high 10, touchdown three high 20s over that stretch.
When John McNeely talked to Links Magazine, he used the phrase heathland which immediately makes me consider the British Masters occasion on the Euro Tour. Although the occasion rotates programs, evidently an excellent little bit of them are performed on “heathland” programs. That could also be very interesting for the Englishmen within the area with Fitzpatrick, Hatton, and Fleetwood being the three that stick out close to the highest of the board.
The St. Simons Island resident reached No. 1 within the World Amateur Golf Rankings a number of instances throughout his days at the University of Georgia. He is popping professional this week and the sky is the restrict for the teenager. He has pegged it 4 instances on TOUR as an newbie, lacking the reduce in three of these begins with a T23 within the different (2019-20 RSM Classic). Whether Thompson shines out of the gate or not, he’s actually a reputation to look at this summer season.
Similar to Thompson, Pake can also be turning professional this week at the Palmetto. Pak performed at Florida State and reached as excessive as No. 2 within the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He completed first within the inaugural PGA TOUR University program which suggests we’ll see him on the Korn Ferry Tour subsequent season. Pak’s has one earlier begin on the large stage, a T51 at the 2020 U.S. Open final September.
Ranking the Field
1. Dustin Johnson
2. Brooks Koepka
3. Matthew Fitzpatrick
4. Tyrrell Hatton
5. Lucas Glover
6. Ian Poulter
7. Harris English
8. Tommy Fleetwood
9. Sungjae Im
10. Alex Noren
11. Danny Willett
12. Garrick Higgo
13. Patton Kizzire
14. Kevin Kisner
15. Scott Stallings
16. Ben Martin
17. Jhonattan Vegas
18. Harold Varner III
19. Brandt Snedeker
20. J.T. Poston