Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA Tour - CJ Cup

PGA Tour - CJ Cup

Damien Kayat looks ahead to the CJ Cup which is set to take place at the shadow Creek Golf Course, North Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The US PGA Tour 2020/2021
CJ Cup
Shadow Creek Golf Course, North Las Vegas, Nevada
15th-18th October 

The lack of fans has done little to denude the excitement that the PGA Tour always seems to generate.  Last week’s Shriners event ended in a scintillating three-man playoff, with grizzled veteran Martin Laird holding off the advances of both Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff. Now the PGA Tour has wisely opted to eschew the trip to South Korea, with Coronavirus concerns taking number one priority. The Tour has wisely chosen to relocate the event in Vegas- the site of last week’s Shriners. Justin Thomas will be hoping that what happens in Vegas is similar to what happens in South Korea: he won two of the three CJ Cup’s thus far. 2018 champ Brooks Koepka returns after his knee issues in an absolutely stacked field. One notable exclusion this week is Bryson DeChambeau, who has chosen to hulk out some more ahead of next month’s Masters. Also, Tiger Woods has unsurprisingly chosen to sit this one out ahead of his unconventional Masters defence.  

Shadow Creek Golf Club was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1989. It underwent wholesale changes in 2008. This isn’t a typical exposed desert track, with a large number of trees making it a rather unique desert hybrid.  The average sized bentgrass greens complement an otherwsie Bermuda layout.  A collection of ponds and creeks add to the picturesque quality of Shadow Creek, with water in play on eight holes.  The only thing we have to go on from a historical perspective is a glorified exhibition event: 2018’s The Match between Mickelson and Woods.  The little evidence we do have seems to suggest that avoiding the Bermuda rough could be key to success around Shadow Creek.   

Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm shared favourites status after the tremendous crescendo to last season’s FedEx Cup.  But the laconic Johnson has subsequently tested positive for Covid, joining Tony Finau on the Covid list. Rory has been looking to tweak his driver, hoping to get some more leverage ahead of the Masters (obviously players are being forced to react to the DeChambeau revolution).  Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka will always be contenders while Tyrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood will lead the English charge. The likes of Rose, Fowler and Day will look to build some momentum as we approach this pivotal part of the season. This will be a limited field event with 78 participants. As such, there will be no halfway cut.  

Past Winners (At Nine Bridges Golf Club in South Korea)
2019: Justin Thomas (-20)
2018: Brooks Koepka (-21)
2017: Justin Thomas (-9)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
Jon Rahm (10/1)
Justin Thomas (12/1)
Rory McIlroy (14/1)
Xander Schauffele (14/1)

Value Bets

Daniel Berger - To Win (33/1), To Place (7/1)
Daniel Berger is one of those guys that gets consistently overlooked in the betting markets. He is coming off a T34 at the US Open and a T15 at the Tour Championship. But prior to those results he was in absolutely electric form. He has one victory and six other top 10’s in 14 events in 2020.  Berger was 8th on tour last season in both Strokes Gained: Total per Round and Birdie or Better Percentage.  He has two career runner-up finishes in WGC events, highlighting his capacity to compete in elite fields.

Mark Leishmann - To Win (140/1), To Place (30/1)
This one is a bit of a risk. The Aussie had struggled since the tour returned, especially in comparison with many of the other top 30 players. One possible reason could be his wife’s past health concerns- which would be a nagging concern in the time of Covid. But Leishmann may be able to take some solace from the recent spat of winners on tour. The likes of Sergio Garcia and Martin Laird are classy former champions who have reset their fortunes. Six of his seven career wins have followed a quiet preparation while three of those victories have come in these elite, limited-field events. I just have a feeling that the popular Aussie could mount a strong comeback this week.  

The Man to Beat

Xander Schauffele - To Win (14/1), To Place (3/1)
I’m opting for the ultra-consistent Schauffele towards the top end of the market. This will be the first time he has teed it up since a solo 5th at Winged Foot.  Prior to that he had an excellent run at the FedEx Cup Playoffs, resulting in a T2 at his beloved East Lake.  He seems to love limited field, no-cut events.  He closed out last season 3rd in SG: Tee-To-Green.  He also finished 10th for Greens in Regulation. I think that Schauffele is ready to emerge from the shadows of the likes of Rahm and Johnson. His solid tee-to-green game should make him an ideal candidate to compete at Shadow Creek.  

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