After the Shriners Open last week, the PGA remains in Las Vegas for the CJ Cup. This event will be played at the Summit Club (par 72, 7,431 yards, bentgrass greens), marking the first time the track has hosted a PGA tournament. Like last year’s host course Shadow Creek, the Summit Club was designed by the great Tom Fazio. This week’s field consists of 78 players, and there will be no cut. Every week I use Alex Baker’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings to identify mispriced options in both the PGA DFS and golf betting market. Below are three expert PGA picks this week and Vegas betting odds for the CJ Cup.
Expert PGA Picks This Week: CJ Cup
Much like the standard rankings in golf, Awesemo has produced the Unofficial World Golf Rankings. We can use these in PGA DFS lineups or to find an edge on our golf betting picks. At Awesemo, the metric is the number of strokes above or below how an average field in a PGA tournament performed. How to weigh these data points is essential, as people love to talk about short form versus long form. Only PGA tournaments are considered right now, and golfers need a minimum of 20 rounds played.
Collin Morikawa (+1600, Caesars Sportsbook)
Morikawa needs to be included on betting cards this week. While most of this field has never played a round at the Summit Club, Morikawa is a member and considers this track his home course, giving him a huge advantage over the field. On top of knowing the ins and outs of the Summit Club, Morikawa returns home fresh off his tremendous Ryder Cup debut where he won three matches and halved a match, including a clutch birdie on the final day to seal the victory for the United States. Morikawa also carded a 12th-place finish at the Fazio-designed Shadow Creek for last year’s CJ Cup, and four of his five PGA wins have come at courses with bentgrass greens.
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Rory McIlroy (+2000, BetRivers)
McIlroy and Fazio-designed courses are a match made in heaven. In seven appearances at Quail Hollow, McIlroy owns five top-10 finishes, most notably with wins in 2015 and just earlier this year in May. Furthermore, McIlroy has finished inside the top 10 three times at Firestone Country Club, including a victory in 2014, and he just finished fourth at Caves Valley Golf Club for the BMW Championship in August. In addition to his stellar resume on Fazio designs, McIlroy ranks second in the field in total strokes gained over the last 100 rounds at no-cut events. He is the No. 11 player in Awesemo’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings and a must-bet at this price.
Justin Rose (+6000, PointsBet)
Rose is an interesting flier this week. After shining at the Wyndham Championship, gaining strokes in every major category en route to a 10th-place finish, he placed sixth at the BMW PGA Championship. During these two starts, Rose was brilliant with his irons, hitting 77.8% of greens in regulation. Also, given that the Summit Club is a par 72, par-5 scoring is going to be imperative this week, and over the last 12 rounds no player in the field has gained more strokes on par 5’s than Rose. He has thrived at Fazio creations in the past, including three top-five finishes at Quail Hollow, and Rose’s last three PGA victories have been at venues with bentgrass greens.