Want to make this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree even more interesting? Let’s talk about some golfers you should take in your Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) lineups this week to earn those all-important bragging rights in your weekly game.
The Ballers ($9500 and up)
Let’s start with the Baller category. These golfers are the filet mignon choices on the menu at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. If you blow your picks here, your entire weekend is ruined, so do your research! Listen, every Tom, Dick, and Harry will have either Dustin Johnson ($11,400) or the current PIP clubhouse leader Brooks Koepka ($11,100) on their squad this week. Sure, they are the stud muffins of a pedestrian field but let’s face it, DJ has not been himself in months and Brooksie, to his own admission, only cares about majors (and his rivalry with Bryson DeChambeau). I will pass on these two blue bloods and go with budget-friendly superstars Tommy Fleetwood ($9500) and Sungjae Im ($9700).
Congaree is going to be a difficult track and demand a lot of creativity from the golfers unlike many of the cookie-cutter courses these elite players play week in and week out. “Fairway Jesus” has an arsenal of shots in his bag and is currently 4th on tour in Shots Gained Around the Green, which I suspect will be a key stat this week. The Brit absolutely loves playing in the wind and it is always windy at Congaree.
While Im has not lit the tour on fire like he has the past two seasons, the young South Korean is still quietly one of the most consistent players in the world. His deliberate backswing lulls you to sleep and before you know it, Im has another top-10 finish and a bevy of FedExCup points. The former PGA Tour rookie of the year is currently 38th in Shots Gained Putting and is an absolute beast off the tee, averaging .644 shots against the field in driving. Im flourishes at the world’s most difficult courses with top 10s at The Masters and the Honda Classic earlier this year. Congaree may be the spot where Im gets back into the winner’s circle.
The B Listers ($8000-$9000)
The second-tier players are often the make or break portion of your lineup. Many Friday afternoons we find ourselves begging and pleading (and sometimes cussing) for the tournament’s cutline to shift a couple of shots so one of our mid-level stars sees the weekend. This week I am going with two South Carolina boys, Kevin Kisner ($8700) and Lucas Glover ($8600) to be our team’s foundation. Glover has been one of the main ambassadors for both the Palmetto Championship and Congaree Golf Club, and while that does bring along extra baggage, the Greenville native is top 50 on tour in all ball-striking categories. His knowledge of these perfectly manicured bermuda greens will give him a huge upper-hand and aid his Achilles heel, which is putting.
Like Glover, Kevin Kisner has logged several rounds at Tom Fazio’s latest Lowcountry gem over the past couple of years. The Aiken native will have rare course knowledge to rely on as the rest of the field learns the nuances of Congaree Golf Club. While Kisner has struggled a bit this season on tour, the former Georgia Bulldog can still putt with the best of them. While he is 134th off the tee, Kisner is in the top 50 in the world in Shots Gained Putting. While I will not pick him to win, I do see this savvy veteran easily making the cut and playing the weekend.
Bargain Box Finds ($7500 & below)
The wonderful high of landing a vintage Hartford Whalers t-shirt at my local thrift store is one of my favorite American pastimes. There is nothing like finding a treasure at a killer deal of a price. This week we have several players that qualify as our Bargain Box Finds that will beef up your team at a low, discounted price.
Two young studs to put on your team this week are John Pak ($6900) and of course, our Lowco legend, Bryson Nimmer ($6300). This will be Pak’s professional debut and the 2021 Walker Cup member will be licking his chops to earn more PGA Tour starts with a strong showing in Ridgeland. The 2021 Haskins Award winner (Best Male NCAA Golfer) dominated during his four years at Florida State, winning eight times and becoming the highest-ranked amatuer in the world. While his record does not show it, Pak played beautifully at the windy and challenging Seminole Golf Club during the Walker Cup matches last month, helping the United States retain the prestigious Walker Cup.
Meanwhile, local superstar Nimmer is back and the Hilton Head Christian Academy and Clemson University alumnus is looking for some redemption after missing the cut at April’s RBC Heritage. Nimmer has plenty of knowledge of the course, which again is a huge advantage against this field that is coming in blind in this unique one-off PGA Tour event. I will always bet on the competitor who wants it the most, and there is no question that Nimmer wants to prove to his fans and himself that he is ready for the big leagues.
My wildcard pick for the week is none other than the red-hot South African Garrick Higgo ($9000). The 22-year old has taken the European Tour by storm the past few months with two victories in the Canary Islands and a top 5 in Austria. Higgo is currently ranked as the 4th best putter on the European Tour while also driving the ball a cool 310 yards on average. The rising star made the cut at last month’s PGA Championship, placing 64th in his major debut. The kid has the game for all courses and conditions. In fact, Higgo is my pick to bring home the (one and only?) Palmetto Championship at Congaree trophy. Put Higgo on your team with confidence and school your buddies on this up-and-coming superstar.
By Brian Rietveld