The US Open is nearly upon us. But the PGA Tour will first head to South Carolina for the inaugural staging of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, including course information, players to watch and TV times.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: N/A. Inaugural event.
COURSE: Congaree Golf Club opened its gates in 2018 and the course was designed by the renowned Tom Fazio. The 7,027-metre layout was built on a former rice plantation, is already highly regarded and will welcome the PGA Tour for the first time this week. It features water hazards, plenty of sandy wasteland and is framed by established forests.
Congaree was Adam Scott's venue of choice to practise and prepare for his return to the PGA Tour last year after his extneded break at home in Queensland.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Many of the world’s top-ranked players have decided to skip this event to focus solely on next week’s US Open. Some, like World No.1 Dustin Johnson, however, have chosen to sharpen their game ahead of the test at Torrey Pines.
The South Carolina native grew up in nearby Columbia before relocating to Florida, and heads to Congaree as he continues the hunt for his first home state victory.
Johnson hasn’t played competitively since missing the cut at last month’s US PGA Championship and hasn’t won any silverware since he claimed the Saudi International on the European Tour back in early February.
RIGHT: Johnson is the bookies’ favourite to win the inaugural Palmetto Championship at Congaree in his home state. PHOTO: Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
Another high-profile player who has made the trip to Congaree is Johnson’s one time running mate Brooks Koepka, who, like Johnson, will be making his first competitive appearance since the US PGA Championship, where he finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson.
The Brooks-Bryson rivalry isn’t likely to receive any further fuel this week, with DeChambeau missing from the field. However, Koepka could throw another punch DeChambeau’s way should he manage to claim his ninth PGA Tour title (DeChambeau also has eight victories to his name).
Koepka, 31, has recorded two runner-up finishes and missed two cuts since winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, making it difficult to gauge his form. He also continues to experience pain in his right knee, following surgery in mid-March, and said he was "dinged" in the injured area during the fan surge on the 72nd hole at Kiawah Island.
72-HOLE RECORD: N/A. Inaugural event.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: N/A. Inaugural event.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Rhein Gibson, Mark Hensby and Cameron Percy.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 9am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 9am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 2:30am – 8am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 2am – 8am)
*AEST, check local guides