It has not been a banner year for Dustin Johnson, who is hoping that familiar surroundings can turn things around when he tees it up Thursday in the 2021 Palmetto Championship in South Carolina. Although this is the first PGA Tour stop for the Palmetto Championship, world No. 1 Johnson will be playing in the state where he was born and played collegiately at Coastal Carolina. Although he missed the cut at the PGA Championship in his last event, also held in South Carolina, Johnson is the 8-1 co-favorite along with Brooks Koepka in the latest 2021 Palmetto Championship odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
With the U.S. Open scheduled for next week on the opposite coast in San Diego and the Palmetto Championship a fill-in event for the RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour, the tournament does not feature a bevy of highly ranked players. The 7,655-yard layout at Congaree Golf Club requires distance and accuracy, which is among the reasons that Tyrrell Hatton is listed as the third favorite at 16-1. Before making any 2021 Palmetto Championship Fantasy golf picks, check out the latest Fantasy golf rankings from data scientist Rick Gehman.
With his expansive database of golf statistics, course data and betting odds, Gehman creates advanced models and back-tests them constantly. These models have produced 12 outright winners in the past 18 months and three this season, including Viktor Hovland at 25-1 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and Daniel Berger at 20-1 at Pebble Beach.
At last week's Memorial Tournament, eight of Gehman's picks finished among the top 20 and four were among the top 10. They included Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa, who wound up in a playoff with Cantlay prevailing on the first hole to win the championship. The golf expert pegged Jon Rahm for a top-three finish and he appeared on his way to a runaway victory with a six-shot lead through 54 holes, only to be forced to withdraw from the tournament after learning of a positive test for COVID-19.
Gehman has been on fire all season. At the AT&T Byron Nelson, three of his top seven golfers finished in the top 10, including runner-up Sam Burns. At the Masters, three of his top eight made the top five, and at Pebble Beach earlier in the season, three of his top four had top-five finishes. Anyone who has followed his advice has cashed in huge.
Now, Gehman, co-host of "The First Cut" podcast on CBS Sports, has revealed his top 30 players for the Palmetto Championship 2021 over at SportsLine so you can win big with your Fantasy golf picks.
2021 Palmetto Championship Fantasy golf picks
Gehman sees Koepka as the top threat as he makes his way back from knee surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap in mid-March. "He seems to be getting healthy and stronger so he's the man to beat here at Congaree," Gehman told SportsLine. Prior to his surgery, Koepka was victorious at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. He missed the cut in his first two starts after the procedure but is coming off a tie for second place in the PGA Championship in his last event.
Even though he will be the crowd favorite, Gehman has some reservations about Johnson due to his recent form. "(He) hasn't played well by his lofty standards," Gehman said. "Johnson's last top-10 was the Genesis Invitational back in February." Since that eighth-place finish at Riviera Country Club, Johnson has played in six events and the results have not been encouraging. He has failed to finish better than 48th in five of the tournaments and missed a pair of cuts.
Brandt Snedeker is tied for ninth in the William Hill odds at 40-1, and Gehman acknowledged he is rounding into form with three top-20 finishes in his last five events. That is a dramatic turnaround from the early-season results for Snedeker, who missed the cut in five of his first seven tournaments of 2021 and finished 32nd and 68th in the other two events. Still, despite his resurgence since the start of April, Snedeker did not crack Gehman's top 25.
How to set your 2021 Palmetto Championship Fantasy golf lineups
Instead, the golf analyst is backing a pair of long shots with odds of at least 40-1, including one that he labeled a "birdie-making machine." Gehman is only sharing who it is, and his top 30 golfers in order, right here.
Who wins the Palmetto Championship 2021? Who are the top golfers to target? And which overlooked player can help you win your league this week? Visit SportsLine now to get Rick Gehman's Fantasy golf rankings, all from the data scientist who's called 12 outright winners in the past 18 months.