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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Myrtle Beach Classic (2024)

For the first time in its history, the PGA Tour heads to the ‘golf capital of the world’ for the inaugural playing of the Myrtle Beach Classic.

If you’ve ever taken a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, there is a good chance at least one member of your family packed their golf clubs. Myrtle Beach is littered with high-end golf courses and for the time, the PGA Tour professionals will be joining in on the action.

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club will play host to the first staging of this event.

The Myrtle Beach Classic serves as the third-of-five opposite-field events on the PGA Tour schedule for this season.

Despite being an opposite-field event, the field is still filled with talent as the Wells Fargo Championship features just a 68-man field.

The Field

Since the completion of last week’s THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson, many of the more notable names have withdrawn from this event.

It is now headlined by fan favorite Erik van Rooyen who opens alongside Daniel Berger as the odds on favorite to win.

Other notable names in this week’s field include Davis Thompson, Ben Griffin, Beau Hossler, Victor Perez, Ryo Hisatsune and Ryan Fox.

Korn Ferry Tour veteran Matt Atkins will also be teeing it up this week.

In all, there are over 30 former PGA Tour winners in this week’s field.

The Course

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina plays host this week.

It plays as a par-71 at 7,347 yards and annually ranks highly in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in the USA.

It is one of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s earliest designs and was opened in 1948.

Although appearing on the PGA Tour for the first time, the course has hosted many high-end golf tournaments including the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the Champions Tour between 1994 and 1999 and the USGA Women's Open in 1962.

The Dunes & Beach Club is best known for this three-hole stretch nicknamed “Alligator Alley” which includes holes 11, 12 and 13.

In that stretch of holes is the course’s most famous hole, the 590-yard par-five 13th named “Boomerang.” Just as the name suggests, the hole sweeps right around Dunes Lake.

The course underwent extensive renovations over the last 20 years spearheaded by Trent Jones’ youngest son, Rees Jones.

In those renovations there was refinement of some green sites, addition of fairway bunkers, course lengthening, a new irrigation system and practice tee enhancement.

The biggest change came as the greens were converted to Champion ultradrawf bermudagrass to better perform in warm weather.

The greens were also expanded to an average size of 6,000 square feet. 

Extensive drainage work was also performed and due to that, combined with the fact that the venue sits on a naturally sandy site, the course is expected to play very firm.

The fairways featured this week are also rather narrow, averaging 20-to-25 yards across and are heavily tree-lined.

The rough consists of a two-inch over seeded ryegrass that adds to the importance of finding the fairways.

Holding the greens firing out of the rough, along with the expected firm and fast conditions, will be extremely difficult.

As many as 16-of-the-18 greens are also bunkered on the left and the right. The other two holes are only bunkered on the front right.

The Weather

As of the time of writing this, Friday looks to be the worst of the four days as it currently calls for a 60-percent chance of precipitation with thunderstorms. Thursday also calls for a 40-percent chance of precipitation with scattered thunderstorms. Saturday and Sunday look to be clear at this point. Temperatures will be at their highest on Thursday at 87-degrees before falling to 80-degrees on Friday and then to 73-degrees on Saturday before bouncing back to 77-degrees on Sunday. Winds will be at the highest on Thursday at 18 miles-per-hour before falling to 14 miles-per-hour on Friday and steading out at 11-or-12 miles-per-hour across the weekend.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Driving Accuracy Percentage

  • Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda (SG: PUTT Bermuda)

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Scrambling

  • Proximity to the Hole From 150-200 Yards

  • Birdie or Better Percentage

  • Par 4 Average Scoring

Betting Card

Victor Perez (+5000)

Per my model this week, Perez is my overall favorite to win. He is currently seventh on Tour in GIR%, 16th in SG: APP, 64th in proximity to the hole from 150-200 yards, 75th in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 77th in par-four average scoring, 96th in driving accuracy, 105th in scrambling and 139th in birdie or better percentage. Perez has made the cut in six-of-his-last-seven events. In that run he placed T3rd at the Puerto Rico Open, T16th at the Cognizant Classic and T17th at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. 

Kevin Yu (+5000)

Once again, when I get the chance to play Kevin Yu, I’m simply going to go ahead and do just that. Yu has had some stellar performances this season such as a T3rd at The American Express, T6th at the Farmers Insurance Open and T9th at the Cognizant Classic. Now, his form as of late has not been great including a missed cut last week at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson but we know that Yu has the opportunity to spike on any given week. He’s currently fourth on Tour in GIR%, 36th in SG: APP, 103rd in driving accuracy, 114th in par four average scoring, 134th in scrambling and 149th in proximity to the hole from 150-200 yards. We know the putter is what holds him back as he ranks 180th in SG: PUTT Bermuda. I know it’s been awhile but if we look back at the Farmers Insurance Open, Yu gained 2.893 strokes putting.

Justin Lower (+5500)

In the last opposite-field event, Lower placed T4th at the Corales Puntacana Championship. He also placed T3rd at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. Dating back to the Texas Children’s Houston Open, Lower has placed at worst, T28th. He is fresh off a T24th at last week’s THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson as well. Lower is currently fifth on Tour in proximity to the hole from 150-200 yards, 20th in par four average scoring, 30th in GIR%, 46th in SG: APP, 101st in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 123rd in driving accuracy and 130th in scrambling.

Patton Kizzire (+8000)

Kizzire has arguably been one of the worst golfers on Tour this season. He had a stretch of six consecutive missed cuts between The American Express and the Texas Children’s Houston Open. However, since then, he has placed T23rd at the Corales Puntacana Championship and T24th at last week’s THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson. He is currently 11th on Tour in par four average scoring, 19th in GIR%, 25th in SG: APP, 46th in birdie or better percentage, 63rd in proximity to the hole from 150-200 yards, 90th in scrambling, 94th in SG: PUTT Bermuda and 115th in driving accuracy.

Henrik Norlander (+11000)

Norlander models extremely well to how we believe this course will play this week. He is currently second on Tour in scrambling, 15th in SG: APP, 17th in GIR%, 37th in driving accuracy, 45th in par four average scoring, 104th in SG: PUTT Bermuda, 109th in proximity to the hole from 150-200 yards and 113th in birdie or better percentage. Norlander hasn’t played a ton this season, appearing in just six events but has made the cut in five of them. On top of that he has placed T13th at the Mexico Open at Vidanta and T15th at the Puerto Rico Open. He also made the cut last week at TPC Craig Ranch.

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