Before heading into the CJ Cup betting preview, last week was a slight profit as CAMERON CHAMP placed at 100/1 EW. Following my wedding and honeymoon, it’s great to be back to some normality and golf writing. I have also just finished with a client conducting some product reviews and I am available for any further golf content work. If you need any support with tournament previews, course or product reviews, or any golf content/ media project, please let me know.
The CJ Cup boasts a strong field as the PGA Tour flies home. The non-stop nature of The Tour has arrived in Vegas, Japan and now South Carolina for a historically played tournament of Korea. I am sure some of the players may have a thing or two to say about the schedule.
THE COURSE – CONGAREE GC
The course this week is Congaree GC, situated amongst 2000 acres of pine forest that has been embedded into its environment by Tom Fazio. 7,655 yards await the players and I believe you will find punters typically favouring the bombers.
However, the conditions of the track are usually firm and fast, like we saw when Garrick Higgo won here last summer when the Palmetto Championship was played on this course.
Higgo won with -11 last summer. I suspect with slightly softer conditions and an exceptionally stronger field. We will find that the winning score is in excess of -15.
The length of the course is certainly still a factor, that and the tight lies and run-offs you will find around the green. Inventive players like JORDAN SPIETH and TYRRELL HATTON have caught my eye when researching the player pool for this very reason.
Players that do struggle around the greens, particularly striking such tight chip shots will struggle. Perhaps SCHEFFLER can return to the party, I recall his chipping around Augusta being immense, his little hat popping up from those large swales as the ball checks up to the pin. A similar challenge faces the players this week.
6 of the top 10 arrive in town for a field size of 78, there is no cut like the ZOZO last week. It is a mouthwatering field, Rory looks more like Rory every time I watch him, Thomas is due and typically wins this time of year, Scheffler is world number 1 and Rahm has just come off a win in Spain. As an Englishman, when I see the east coast and a field like this, I think, what a lovely Sunday evening I have to come.
CJ CUP BETTING PREVIEW – PICKS THIS WEEK
SPIETH CHIPS AND PUTTS TO VICTORY
Looking into the course and some of the lies the players will face around the course, I like Jordan Speith, and he is my first pick in this CJ Cup betting preview. At 25/1, I think we find good value on the nose. My worry this week, is simply a winner will come from all those below 25/1. Simply put, even players like WEBB SIMPSON, CHRIS KIRK and last week’s winner KEEGAN BRADLEY who can all win, are playing the elites this week.
SPIETH looked superb at the Presidents Cup and despite being a different format, showed that the fighting spirit is very much there. He also is a player in that 25/1 – 40/1 range that can go toe to toe with the rest of the field.
JUSTIN THOMAS WINS AGAIN IN THE OFF-SEASON
Another potential headline is JUSTIN THOMAS 12/1 getting yet another win during the off-season, 9 of his 15 PGA Tour wins have come between September – February, and JT has been playing well of late. 2 of those wins do include the CJ CUP, when the competition was played at Nine Bridges in Korea.
I like this course and this moment for JT. My golfing gut says he will go well and the winner will come from the top of the pack. Our job is to simply shuffle them. What I don’t like as I write this CJ Cup betting preview, is the price at 12s. It’s again, on the nose.
TYRRELL KEEPS HIS COOL TO FINALLY CLOSE
Last year TYRRELL HATTON 40/1 ripped it around Congatree and will be confident that this course will suit his game. We know from his win at the flagship DP World Tour event, the PGA BMW at Wentworth that this treelined style of course suits his eye.
The usually reliable putter of HATTON’S left him that weekend, but he is putting well of late, gaining 0.7 shots in the last 50 rounds on the field. He also is another player that I believe has the attitude to compete with the very best. If you find HATTON in the mix come Sunday you know he will relish the chance to do battle, whoever it is.
Back this side of the pond, Tyrrell once more impressed on the links courses while playing the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am on the DP World Tour. I did laugh as his father was caught swearing at a wayward drive (I wonder where he got that from). The course correlation is minimal in this example, but again those firm tight lies around the green will test the players and I like HATTON in this spot.
TRUST YOUR CJ CUP MODEL…. RIGHT?
As I built my model, certain players kept popping up. That was SCOTT STALLING 66/1 & KURT KITAYAMA 80/1 10 places EW.
Anyone who has followed my work for some time knows I love KITTY and we go way back. I have backed KITAYAMA since his European Tour days. He is a sneaky long player whose short game trended deliciously this summer. Something he will need to rely on this week as I suspect difficult pitches and chips will find all the players.
In his last 16 rounds, spread over some time, KITAYAMA has gained 1.8 shots T2G and 1.09 ATG. If we can find his putter, he has a chance to keep up with the pace. I would consider him for the T20 market or an EW at 10/1
A final pick is SCOTT STALLINGS, I have been surprised when I do play with rickrungood or look on the PGA Tour website, to find STALLINGS continuing to pop up on the models. But then I remembered, he has been playing very well! 2nd place at THE BMW and 3 top 10s in 3 weeks during July shows that STALLINGS finished 2022 in fantastic form.
Finally, my 0.5u on Fowler will continue until the job is complete.
I hope you enjoy the golf this week, it should be a proper cracker. If you haven’t submitted your Waggle Duff team, you can by tweeting @WaggleDuff or by filling out the form on this link.
Good luck with your plays.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Tizzard is a “former” +1 Golfer, currently drifting between 0 and 4! Usually found behind the laptop as a specialist Golf Writer and founder of Waggle Duff. Matt is an expert in tournament previews, player interviewing and equipment reviews across the golf industry. Not a tipster, but a golf data fanatic who shares his thoughts! Matt has featured on Golf Podcasts, YouTube Channels and written hundreds of articles for many golf publishers. You can find out more about Matt’s work here.