2022 CJ CUP Odds & Expert Picks: Sungjae Im, Maverick McNealy & Mito Pereira Highlight Top Plays
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images. Pictured: Sungjae Im.
Click arrow to expand 2022 THE CJ CUP odds via BetMGM
|Si Woo Kim||+8000|
|Byeong Hun An||+15000|
The PGA TOUR's trek to Japan ended with a Keegan Bradley win at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. He seemed like a popular pick and fit for that place. He's not Tiger Woods or Hideki Matsuyama, but we know his iron game can be among the world's best, and that's been the focus there so far.
Now, we head to South Carolina and back to Congaree for a second event, this time at THE CJ CUP.
The Tom Fazio design can stretch out to over 7,700 yards for a par 71. The course has basically no rough. It’s mostly sand, marshland or trees waiting if players get wild off the tee.
Fazio has a couple of designs we’ve seen in the past, including Quail Hollow, Corales and Shadow Creek, but none of those courses really seem like what we’ll encounter this week. Garrick Higgo won the Palmetto here last year at 11-under par, so it can play fairly difficult.
If the bombers can keep it in play, they’ll definitely have the edge this week. But they won’t be able to just spray it widely, or they could find tree or water troubles. Higgo is fairly long and a good putter, but behind him was a mix of skill sets, making this a tough place to project.
I’ll instead keep my focus on guys who are more likely to stay out of trouble and tend to catch hot putters on Bermuda.
This may end up being our strongest field of the fall, headlined by Rory McIlroy at +650 and Jon Rahm at +900. Most of the top players skipped this course ahead of the U.S. Open in 2021, so it will be a new stop for many of the elites. McIlroy and Rahm are coming off productive trips in Europe and enter this week with their games dialed in, so I'm a little more nervous than normal diving in against them this week.
Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler are next in line at +1400. The Presidents Cup has been their only action since the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, so I'm not really too interested in them given those lack of reps recently and the trip to a new course.
We see a large group make up the +2000s including Jordan Spieth, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Max Homa, Sungjae Im, Sam Burns and Viktor Hovland. Of the group, Hovland has probably been on the best run of late with two top 5s in the last three starts. Fitzpatrick is one of the few who played here last year, finishing 10th.
My card will start here with Sungjae Im, though, at +2600 on FanDuel. Im is well rounded from tee to green and usually putts his best on Bermuda. He made the cut on this course a year ago and hit the irons pretty well that week. His struggles came off the tee, but he entered that event in a bad run of form. His tee ball is in better shape at the moment as is his game overall.
I'm going to go with Maverick McNealy at +6600 on BetRivers. McNealy has finished 12th and 10th the past two weeks so the game is in good shape. He's long off the tee and is an elite putter so this could be a good fit for him. With many of the big names here, this is a larger number than we've been seeing on him lately. But I'll take the shot with the course being unknown to many of those players ahead of him.
I'll also go back to Mito Pereira at +7000 on DraftKings. Pereira started well in Japan but had a disastrous second round that ended his chances. Tee to green, he should fit at Congaree. He's long, and the irons have been solid for awhile now. I'm going to take another chance on him here on a course that should fit his game.
The CJ Cup Card
- Sungjae Im +2600 (1.27 units)
- Maverick McNealy +6600 (.5 units)
- Mito Pereira +7000 (.47 units)
Total Stake 2.24 units