Perry’s 2019 CJ Cup Betting Guide: Will Another Big Name Take Down Nine Bridges?
Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Brooks Koepka
The PGA Tour begins its Asian swing this week with the CJ Cup in Korea.
This will be the third time that The Club at Nine Bridges will play host to this event and the cream rose to the top on each of those previous two occasions with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas emerging with titles.
This will be a smaller field with just 78 golfers teeing it up in a no-cut event.
Nine Bridges is on the shorter side for a par 72, measuring 7,241 yards. The difficulty of the course varies depending on how windy it gets. Last year, Koepka was able to get to 21-under par. The year before, Thomas won in a playoff at 9-under.
If the wind picks up, it will be a grind this week. If not, 20-under may be the minimum score for the winner.
Scrambling seems to matter a little bit more than normal here due to some difficult rough and a lot of bunkers around the greens. Pat Perez and Cam Smith each own a pair of top-10 finishes here, and their short games are their biggest strengths.
It’s not a super deep field this week. Only Thomas (+650) and Koepka (+900) are shorter than +1500. Hideki Matsuyama (+1600) is the only other golfer below +2000.
We’ll start the card at the bottom of this range with Marc Leishman at +3000. After a month layoff, Leishman is coming off a third-place finish at the Safeway. He was a little rusty, but the Aussie closed with rounds of 67 and 65 to vault up the leaderboard. Leishman finished second here two years ago, losing to Thomas in a playoff, and we’ve seen him play well during this part of the schedule. Leishmn is the type of golfer that, when he finds some decent form, he’ll string together some good performances.
We’ll take a shot with Tyrrell Hatton in this range at +4500. Hatton hasn’t had too many top finishes this season, but he’s finished inside the top-20 twice in the last three weeks in Europe. Hatton has some history at Nine Bridges thanks to a top-15 finish a year ago. He currently ranks third in strokes gained: approach in Europe, so if that type of iron play can carry over this week, he should be able to steer clear of the trouble around these greens.
Guys from the bottom of the board haven’t had much of chance to pop up at this tournament yet.
But we’ll take one chance with Soomin Lee at 275-1. Lee won two weeks ago on the Korean Tour and has three straight top-10 finishes there. He’s also got three top-3 finishes in European Tour events, all of which came during their trips to Asia, including a win in China. He’s in good form and will be comfortable playing in his home country. I’ll tack on a top 20 at +700 for him as well.
The CJ Cup Card
- Marc Leishman +3000 (1.1 units)
- Tyrrell Hatton +4500 (.73 units)
- Soomin Lee +27500/+700 Top 20 (.12/1 units)
Total Stake: 2.95 units