Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: US PGA Tour: The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges Preview

US PGA Tour: The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges Preview

Golfer lines up iron shot

With the amount of money being thrown around during this Asian Swing, it’s fairly easy to see why so many players decided to eschew last week’s Houston Open. The tour moves to South Korea this week for the 3rd edition of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges.

The US PGA Tour 2019/2020 | The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
Nine Bridges Golf Club, Jeju Island, South Korea
Thursday 17 October - Sunday 20 October

With the amount of money being thrown around during this Asian Swing, it’s fairly easy to see why so many players decided to eschew last week’s Houston Open. The three events are limited field and have no cuts. There are a huge amount of ranking points available and this little period is now a crucial window in the PGA Tour Schedule. The tour moves to South Korea this week for the 3rd edition of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Curiously enough, there are only eight bridges at this beautiful course on Jeju Island. The Ninth bridge is a metaphoric connection between the club and its patrons. With putting aside that piece of Disney-esque schmaltz, let’s take a look at this week’s course.

Located in the shadows of Mount Halla on Jeju Island, Nine Bridges is a resort course that is really comprised of two distinct nine-hole courses. The two halves are fairly distinct, as designed by Golf Plan designers Ronald Fream and David Pace. The course is apparently meant to illicit memories of a Scottish Highlands course.  The outward nine is known as the Creek Course and is coastal in nature.  The inward nine are inland and play at a higher altitude. The fairways are super generous while the greens are mammoth. The bentgrass greens have massive undulations and require the player to carefully utilize the intricate mounds in the green. The par 5’s here have proved relatively tough, which means that the big hitters should have a slight edge this week. You can also expect putting to prove vital on these gargantuan greens. 

Justin Thomas enters this event as an understandable favourite. He won comfortably at the BMW Championship two months ago and managed a top 5 at the Safeway Open despite a languid start. He also won the inaugural staging of this event in 2017. World Number One Brooks Koepka is the defending champion and looks to shake off the disappointment of being overlooked by Rory McIlroy for PGA Player of the Year. Elsewhere the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and Danny Willett will represent European Tour hopes this week. Sungjae Im will no doubt attract huge galleries in his home event while Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama add some pizazz to affairs. 

Past Winners
2018: Brooks Koepka (-21)
2017: Justin Thomas (-9)*playoff

Outright Betting (To Win)
Justin Thomas (13/2)
Brooks Koepka (8/1)
Tommy Fleetwood (18/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (18/1)
Viktor Hovland (20/1)


Value Bets

Gary Woodland
To Win (30/1), To Place (13/2)

Gary Woodland will be one of the most motivated men in this week’s field. He has two weeks to impress Tiger Woods enough to include him as one of his captain’s picks for this year’s President’s Cup team. Woodland has plenty on his hands at present, having just welcomed a pair of twin girls into the world. But he will be glad for this switch to Asia. He finished runner-up in this event to Koepka last week - a favour he gladly returned when winning his maiden Major title at Pebble Beach. But he has also twice finished runner-up at the CIMB Classic. He hasn’t had a top 10 finish since Pebble and this week will present the perfect opportunity for Woodland to shine. 

Pat Perez
To Win (80/1), To Place (17/1)

Pat Perez is surprisingly one of the few players in the field who can boast consecutive top 10 finishes in this event. Finishes of T5 and T7 reflect his suitability to this bombers paradise. Perez tends to shine on courses with generous fairways - just look at his solo 3rd at the Shriners Hospital for Kids Open. Perez looks in tremendous nick since recovering from injury issues. He was actually meant to play in Houston last week but decided to skip it when he received a late invitation to Korea. 17/1 in the place markets looks irresistible in a limited field such as this. 

The Man to Beat

Tommy Fleetwood
To Win (18/1), To Place (39/10)

If only Tommy could seal the deal more often. The metronomic Englishman is almost turning into the new Paul Casey - new in the sense that Casey has started to convert his consistency into victories. Last time out, Fleetwood shot a 64 at St Andrews to capture a back-door top 5 finish at the Alfred Dunhill Links: he also won the team event. He has been consistent of late, with four top 8 finishes in his last eight events. That included a runner-up finish at Portrush and a tie for 4th at the WGC St Jude. So he clearly has it in him to perform in quality fields. I also like his Asian form, which ominously reads 14-7-6-20-2-3. I fully expect the Southport swinger to be a contender this week and to give the American duo of Koepka and Thomas a real contest.  

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