Palmetto Championship At Congaree Preview 2021
- Dates: June 7-13, 2021
- Course: Congaree Golf Club
- City: Ridgeland, South Carolina
- Par 71
- Yardage: 7,655 yards
- Purse $7.3 million
- Winner $1,314,000 + 500 FedExCup pts.
- Field: 156 players
- Format 72-hole stroke-play
- Thursday GC
- Friday GC
- Saturday GC, CBS
- Sunday GC, CBS
Palmetto Championship At Congaree Story Lines
Return to South Carolina: The Palmetto Championship at Congaree fills the date on the PGA TOUR schedule previously held by the RBC Canadian Open (canceled due to COVID-19) and will be the third tournament of the season held in the state of South Carolina (RBC Heritage, PGA Championship). Just four other states have hosted or are set to host more tournaments this season: California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.
World No. 1 back in his home state: World No. 1 and reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson will make his first start on TOUR since missing the cut at the PGA Championship. Johnson, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, has won 24 times on the PGA TOUR but is yet to win in his home state. The last time Johnson competed on the PGA TOUR the week before a major was in November; he finished T2 at the Vivint Houston Open and won the Masters Tournament the following week.
Koepka looks for second win of the season: In his first start since finishing runner-up to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship, eight-time PGA TOUR winner Brooks Koepka seeks his second victory of the season. His win at the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of three top-two finishes in his last six starts on TOUR.
Exemptions for up-and-comers: Two of the top amateur players are making their professional debuts this week, with John Pak and Davis Thompson set to compete on sponsor exemptions. Pak and Thompson finished 1-2 in the inaugural PGA TOUR University ranking and recently participated on the victorious United States team at the Walker Cup.
In addition, 22-year-old South African Garrick Higgo will compete as an exempt international player designated by the Commissioner. Higgo has won twice in his last three starts on the European Tour (Gran Canaria Lopesan Open, Canary Islands Championship) and has moved to No. 54 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Last week on TOUR: Jon Rahm held a six-stroke lead after the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, the largest 54-hole lead on TOUR this season, but was forced to withdraw on Saturday evening after testing positive for COVID-19. Patrick Cantlay went on to defeat Collin Morikawa in a playoff, becoming the fourth player with multiple wins on the PGA TOUR this season (others: Bryson DeChambeau, Stewart Cink, Jason Kokrak).
FedExCup race heating up: With only 11 events remaining until the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, Patrick Cantlay took a 178-point lead in the standings over Bryson DeChambeau after his win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
Few first-time winners: There have been just five first-time PGA TOUR winners this season: Jason Kokrak, THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK; Carlos Ortiz, Vivint Houston Open; Joel Dahmen, Corales Puntacana Resort & Club
Championship; Sam Burns, Valspar Championship; K.H. Lee, AT&T Byron Nelson. The last time there were fewer than 10 in a season: 2012 (9). Fewest in a season: 4 (1992).
Winning droughts snapped in back-to-back weeks: On August 6, 2017, Hideki Matsuyama won his fifth PGA TOUR title. At that time, Jordan Spieth was No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and Matsuyama was No. 3. Neither won on the PGA TOUR over the next 1,300 days, before back-to-back at the Valero Texas Open (Spieth) and Masters Tournament (Matsuyama).
Thomas joins elite company: Justin Thomas won THE PLAYERS Championship by one stroke, earning his 14th PGA TOUR title in his 165th career start at the age of 27 years, 10 months, 13 days. Thomas became the fourth player since 1960 to win 14 times on TOUR before turning 28, joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
Youth in the FedExCup standings: Eight of the top 10 players in the FedExCup standings are in their 20s, led by No. 1 Bryson DeChambeau. The only players 30 or older in the top 10 are Jason Kokrak (6) and Stewart Cink (10).
- 24 career PGA TOUR wins but none have come in his home state of South Carolina
- In search of first top-10 on TOUR since The Genesis Invitational (seven starts)
- Holds the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking for 42nd straight week
- Won: (2020) Masters Tournament
- T2: Vivint Houston Open
- T6: (2020) U.S. Open
- T8: The Genesis Invitational
- Making first start on TOUR since the PGA Championship (T2)
- Enters the week No. 17 in the FedExCup standings and No. 8 in the OWGR
- Five top-10s in 12 starts this season (best: Won/Waste Management Phoenix Open)
- Won: Waste Management Phoenix Open
- T2: PGA Championship
- T2: WGC-Workday Championship
- T5: Vivint Houston Open
- No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking
- Three top-10s in 14 starts this season (best: T3/THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK)
- Earned first PGA TOUR title at 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational pres. by Mastercard
- T3: THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK
- T7: Vivint Houston Open
- T8:Zurich Classic of New Orleans
- T18: (2021) Masters Tournament
- No. 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking
- Six-time European Tour winner (in search of first on PGA TOUR)
- Best result this season came in South Carolina (T4/RBC Heritage)
- T4: RBC Heritage
- T5: The Genesis Invitational
- T9: THE PLAYERS Championship
- T10: Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Current rankings: No. 30 in the FedExCup, No. 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking
- Earned first PGA TOUR title at The Honda Classic in 2020
- Missed the cut in each of his last two starts (first time since 2019)
- T2: (2020) Masters Tournament
- T5: Sentry Tournament of Champions
- T8: The Honda Classic
- T12: The American Express
More On The Field
John Pak and Davis Thompson
Two of the top amateur players in the world are making their professional debuts this week, with John Pak and Davis Thompson set to compete on sponsor exemptions. Pak and Thompson finished 1-2 in the inaugural PGA TOUR University ranking and recently participated on the victorious United States team at the Walker Cup.
Three-time European Tour winner Garrick Higgo
22-year-old South African Garrick Higgo will compete as an exempt international player designated by the Commissioner. Higgo has won twice in his last three starts on the European Tour (Gran Canaria Lopesan Open, Canary Islands Championship) and has moved to No. 54 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Local standout Bryson Nimmer
Bluffton, South Carolina, native and former Clemson star Bryson Nimmer will make his fifth career TOUR start on a sponsor exemption.
via PGA TOUR