Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

A course with a difference greets the field at Congaree this week. According to its creator, Tom Fazio, it is meant to resemble a Melbourne Sandbelt course with plenty of sand and not much rough, but it loses any similarity at 7,655 yards.

After two wins on the European Tour in recent times, South African GARRICK HIGGO has jumped the pond to try his hand in some events on the PGA Tour.

This might just be the kind of course where he could excel.

Sportsbet odds: $41

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

IAN POULTER was on the outside looking in of the US Open field until a T3 at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial meant sneaking inside the top-60 on the world rankings and getting a start at Torrey Pines. And I think that little boost will help this week.

Poulter skipped what ended up being an exhausting Memorial in terrible weather with more than 18-holes played on days, and will be better for it. So too should his Melbourne Sandbelt experience – and one win – help on what has been touted as a Sandbelt like golf course.

Sportsbet odds: $36

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Michael Jones – Golf Australia writer

I think Congaree will suit the strong ball-strikers this week – and there aren’t many players better at that in this field than SUNGJAE IM.

The South Korean has missed two consecutive cuts and is yet to add to his breakthrough victory – which came in March, 2020 – however I think he will find something in South Carolina this week, provided his short game is on song.

Sportsbet odds: $19

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

The golf course this week will be at least as interesting as the play itself as the PGA Tour heads to the Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina for the Palmetto Championship. Visually modelled on the Sandbelt course of Melbourne, it will be a detour for the field from the week to week style they are used to.

Whether the course resembles the Sandbelt in playing characteristics remains to be seen but all reports suggest firm and fast playing surfaces so an interesting week of golf lies ahead. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are the names that stand out but in a year where the veterans have been making their presence felt I’m liking GREG CHALMERS’ chances.

Sportsbet odds: $401

The Golf Stig – Anonymous Tour Pro

Get the distinct impression this is a US Open prep for most of these boys and one guy that I know that will be giving it his everything is TYRRELL HATTON.

Agreed, it’s hard to go past DJ and ‘Brooksey’ but they not at 100 percent after recent issues with their bodies.

A special mention to Garrick Higgo as well. He looks a genuine superstar and he has his first crack at a regular Tour event in the US.

Sportsbet odds: $41


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

Coming off a T35 at the Women’s US Open, LYDIA KO returns to Lake Merced where she won this event in 2018.

Despite her finish at The Olympic Club, Ko would have taken some positives out of the week, including her work on the greens where she averaged 28 putts per round.

Replicate that number this week and she will go close to claiming the title.

Sportsbet odds: $8.50

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

This is a really tough one, with a high quality field assembled, plenty of good form from recent events and past form at this event. But I have to pick one player and SHANSHAN FENG is that one for me.

Feng was right in the hunt last week at Olympic, finishing T4 and she has previously finished T15 and T3 in this event.

The Chinese star hits plenty of fairways and greens, which are hallmarks of the players who have previously won here, and if the putter gets hot, she should be right in the mix.

I will also be keeping an eye on Rachel Heck, an amateur that seriously has impressed so far and could go close.

Sportsbet odds: $13

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Michael Jones – Golf Australia writer

There’s no looking past MINJEE LEE at Lake Merced for mine.

She was runner-up here in 2018 – after Lydia Ko bested her in a playoff – and she shared eighth place when this event was last played in 2019.

Safe as houses.

Sportsbet odds: $23

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

There was little fanfare for her 6th place finish at Olympic but on the heels of a T3 at her previous start in Thailand the super talented ANGEL YIN will be one to watch this week.

A second straight home game for the Californian, Yin has previous good form at Lake Merced near San Francisco with a T3 finish in 2018. A powerful hitter and aggressive player, Yin will be dangerous in current form and if her putter co-operates she will be around the business end of the leaderboard come Sunday.

Sportsbet odds: $41

The Golf Stig – Anonymous Tour Pro

SHANSHAN FENG is in a rich vein of form with back-to-back fourth placed finishes.

The bookies have priced her at $13 in a very open tournament. I can't look past her recent form and think she has to be close to a break through.

Sportsbet odds: $13


Brendan James – Golf Australia Editor

West Aussie JASON SCRIVENER is in some of the best form of his career and a win can’t be far away.

He will be determined to do well here as a good finish could see him shuffle up the world ranking to a career high.

Also, don’t be surprised if Steph Kyriacou cracks a spot in the top-10.

Sportsbet odds: $

JIMMY EMANUEL – Golf Australia Deputy Editor

Yet another event where picking a winner is a seriously tough task, and in my opinion could come from both the men’s and women’s side if the course setup is right.

Steph Kyriacou is in form and has some good experience in similar events earlier this year at home and Annika Sorenstam can seriously contend here, but I am just going with MAVERICK ANTCLIFF over Steph to get the job done this week.

Antcliff will be smarting on the back of his final round 75 last week in Germany and won’t let another chance at a first European Tour win slip if he gets in the hunt this week.

The Queenslander keeps the ball in play, which will help around a new venue, and if the putter is working will surely be in the mix.

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Michael Jones – Golf Australia writer

I’m really excited to watch this event and I’m hoping MAVERICK ANTCLIFF can bounce back after last week’s final round, which may have cost him his maiden European Tour title.

The Queenslander knows how to win – having dominated the China Golf Tour in 2019 – and should enjoy the hard and fast layout at Vallda G&CC.

Rod Morri – Golf Australia magazine contributor and The Thing About Golf podcast host

The unique format makes trying to pick a winner here beyond difficult. Featuring a mixed field of European and Ladies European Tour players competing for the same purse and trophy but from different tees, the pressure this week is squarely on those charged with setting up the Vallda Golf & Country Club course in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This isn’t the first time the experiment has been tried (with mixed results) and while getting it right won’t be easy it will make for fascinating viewing. If you must have a bet consider our own STEPH KYRIACOU who has continued to impress since her remarkable victory at Bonville as an amateur in early 2020.

Despite a poor start last week in France she found something on Sunday and returned one of the rounds of the day and if she can carry that form into the week will be a threat.

The Golf Stig – Anonymous Tour Pro

I am finding it incredibly hard to line these guys and girls up and,  subsequently, finding it near on impossible to find a tip to win.

So, I've decided to go with a multiple winner in Europe in, JOOST LUTTEN.

A very difficult event to try and sort out for mine.


So far our so-called experts have combined to tip 13 winners in 2021, with 80 of their picks recording top-10 finishes that week and a best return of $61 for Max Homa to win the Genesis Invitational (tipped by Rod Morri).