CJ Cup Betting Guide: Is There Value in Favorites at This Tough Course?

Oct 16, 2018 12:42 PM EDT
  • Justin Thomas (+500) is the favorite to win the CJ Cup, which tees off Thursday at Nine Bridges Golf Club in South Korea.
  • See who I'm targeting for this weekend's small-field tournament, including a couple mid-tier guys, and which lines I'm watching.

The PGA Tour heads to South Korea this week to make a relatively unfamiliar stop at the Nine Bridges Golf Club, which will host the CJ Cup for the second time.

Justin Thomas knocked off Marc Leishman in a playoff last year in the inaugural event. Thomas went off as the +650 favorite while Leishman was in the +2000 range, so talent reigned supreme in the first go at this course.

YTD: -7.86 units

The Course

Nine Bridges was one of the more difficult courses on tour last season.

It wasn’t the longest — measuring at only 7,196 yards for a par-72 — but deep rough and windy conditions put a real emphasis on precision.

Even though Thomas is a bomber and won here, the course didn’t really favor the longer hitters much. Whee Kim, Brian Harman and Scott Brown all worked their way into contention last season despite not having overwhelming power.

The Favorites

Thomas is back to defend his title and opened as a +500 or +550 favorite depending on the book. He’s joined by Brooks Koepka in that range at +800.

Jason Day, Leishman and Hideki Matsuyama round out the sub +2000 group.

Coming off a win at the CIMB Classic coupled with a runner-up finish last season in this tournament, Leishman will get a lot of looks. But +1400 is too short of a number for me.

Day at +1200 would be the only one of the top five I would consider. He was playing fairly consistently to close out the 2018 season and should be a good fit here.

I’ll be staying away from the +2000 range altogether. We have a limited field of only 78 players, so we’re seeing a lot of lesser talent here as a result.

Instead, I’ll be starting with three guys in the +3000s.

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Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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