Usually played on South Korea’s Jeju Island, The CJ Cup will make a one-year move to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas before returning to Asia in 2021.
2018 winner Dustin Johnson was scheduled to make his return after a two-month layoff due to injury but has since had to pull-out having tested positive for Covid-19.
Course: Shadow Creek GC
Length: 7560 yards (Par 72)
Architect: Tom Fazio and Andy Banfield
The tournament that usually gets played at the spectacular Nine Bridges in South Korea will this year be played in the outskirts of Las Vegas due to covid.
The last time we saw this Tom Fazio course was the inaugural “The Match” between Tiger and Phil, this week we will see by far the strongest field since The U.S Open with seven of the top 10 in the world teeing it up in this no-cut event in the Nevada desert.
The course is a somewhat long par-72 with generous fairways but if you miss them you can end up in penalty areas or scruffy areas with a lot of trees and brutal rough.
The greens are average size, fast and undulating bent grass that mostly slopes from back to front so hitting greens and missing in the right areas will be key to producing a good score this week.
Without any stroke-play history at the course, it is hard to pinpoint a winning score but with four par 5s I would be surprised if the winner doesn’t at least get to -15.
In terms of comp courses, I see some similarities with Augusta National with a par 72 with reachable par 5s, wide fairways and heavily contoured bentgrass greens.
Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:
- Strokes gained off the tee
- Strokes gained approach
- Strokes gained around the green
- Par 5 scoring
- Birdies or better
- Bentgrass putting
We haven’t seen JT since the U.S Open but with a form line of 25 – 2 – 8, in addition to his win at the WGC earlier in the summer, he has looked good if a little hit or miss since the restart.
It has been his putter that has been a little unstable losing strokes in half of the last eight events, but the rest of his game has been fire gaining strokes on approach in eight straight events, off the tee in 6/8 and around the green in 7/8.
A no-cut birdie fest should set up perfectly for Thomas whose last five wins have come at tournaments with limited fields and no cuts.
His last three wins have come after 2, 4 and 3 weeks off so the break since the U.S Open should not be an issue ether.
With the Augusta competition, it should not be a surprise that I am going with the two-time Masters champion especially when he is coming into this week in good form.
He has been lights out tee to green gaining strokes off the tee, on approach and around the green three weeks in a row but giving back a lot on the greens.
Over the past two months, he ranks 3rd in greens in regulation, 6th off the tee, 7th on par 5s and 12th on approach so if he can get just an average week putting he should have a good chance of being in it this weekend.
Wagered +/-: +35.61 units
Wagered: 25.5 units
Won: 0 units
Result: -25.5 units
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