THE CJ CUP 2022 Odds, Picks & Preview: Sam Burns & Jordan Spieth Should Thrive at Congaree Golf Club
Pictured: Sam Burns. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
- The PGA TOUR returns to Congaree Golf Club for THE CJ CUP this week.
- Our analyst has put together a model for this Tom Fazio course and has found four players with value.
- Check out Matt Vincenzi's picks and analysis below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 THE CJ CUP odds via BetMGM
|Si Woo Kim||+8000|
|Byeong Hun An||+15000|
The PGA TOUR will head to Congaree Golf Club to play THE CJ CUP this week. The first three editions of the event were originally played in South Korea at Nine Bridges, but the event moved to Las Vegas for 2020 (Shadow Creek) and 2021 (The Summit Club) after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congaree hosted the inaugural edition of the Palmetto Championship in the summer of 2021. The course is a 7,655-yard par 71 and features Bermudagrass greens.
THE CJ CUP is a no-cut event with 78 players. The field is very strong this week, with 15 of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking making the trip South. Those golfers include Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Sungjae Im and Tom Kim.
Past Winners at Congaree Golf Club
- 2021: Garrick Higgo (-11)
Let's take a look at several key metrics for Congaree Golf Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.
1. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee will be a major factor this week. While the fairways are wide, missing them could be costly for golfers. With sandy areas lining the fairways on many holes, it will be important to hit the ball straight with distance being an added benefit.
SG: OTT Over Past 24 Rounds
- Sungjae Im (+20.4) (+1800)
- Cameron Young (19.8) (+2800)
- Scottie Scheffler (+17.4) (+1100)
- Rory McIlroy (+16.9) (+650)
- Brendan Steele (+16.9) (+20000)
2. Strokes Gained: Approach
The green complexes at Congaree Golf Club are going to be quite challenging. I actually expect this event to be pretty difficult once again, and the tricky greens will put an emphasis on precise approach play.
Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds
- Tom Kim (+28.8) (+2800)
- Rory McIlroy (+22.0) (+650)
- Mito Pereira (+18.3)(+7000)
- Corey Conners (+18.2) (+6500)
- Russell Henley (+18.1) (+7000)
3. Strokes Gained Total: Tom Fazio Designs
Tom Fazio designs are fairly unique, and often times we see the same players on the leaderboard at his courses.
Strokes Gained Total: Tom Fazio Designs Over Past 24 Rounds:
- Justin Thomas (+50.1) (+1400)
- Jason Day (+43.2) (+8000)
- Rory McIlroy (+40.7) (+650)
- Aaron Wise (+40.4) (+4500)
- Keith Mitchell (+39.9) (+11000)
4. Strokes Gained: Around the Green
With little rough around the green locations, the golf course's best defense will be tightly mowed run-off areas and bunkers. A strong around the green game is a must at Congaree.
Strokes Gained: Around the Green Over Past 24 Rounds
- Justin Thomas (+12.6) (+1400)
- Scott Stallings (+12.1) (+8000)
- Danny Willett (+11.5) (+30000)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+10.8) (+6500)
- Seamus Power (+9.9) (+10000)
5. Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass) (Fast)
While I don't think these greens will be as fast in October as they were in June, I still think they'll be on the fast side.
Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass) (Fast) Over Past 24 Rounds
- Kevin Kisner (+24.4) (+15000)
- Sam Burns (+19.3) (+2800)
- Denny McCarthy (+15.9) (+10000)
- Scott Stallings (+15.8) (+8000)
- Alex Noren (+15.6) (+8000)
THE CJ CUP in South Carolina Model Rankings
Below, I've compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: OTT (24%), SG: App (24%), Fazio designs (17%), ARG: (17%), and SG: Putting Bermudagrass (17%).
- Rory McIlroy (+650)
- Sungjae Im (+1800)
- Russell Henley (+7000)
- Justin Thomas (+1400)
- Cameron Davis (+8000)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1100)
- Hideki Matsuyama (+4000)
- Keith Mitchell (+1100)
- Tom Kim (+2500)
- Shane Lowry (+2200)
Best Bets for the THE CJ CUP in South Carolina
Sam Burns +2800 (BetRivers)
With Congaree Golf Club not likely to play quite as firm and fast as it did last season when it hosted the Palmetto Championship, distance off the tee should be more of a factor. It's also expected to get pretty cold over the weekend, which will make the course play even longer. Hitting it long off the tee shouldn't be a problem for Sam Burns, who averaged about 310 yards on his drives last season.
Burns is one of the best putters in the world on Bermudagrass greens. He ranks second in the field when the green surfaces are Bermuda and fast and is the type of player who can win a golf tournament with a hot putter. He's played some great golf in the South, which is not surprising considering he is a former LSU Tiger. All four of Burns' victories have come on Bermudagrass.
The 26-year-old has accomplished a lot in the past few years, but a win in a field this strong would help put him in the conversation of being an elite player on TOUR.
Jordan Spieth +3300 (BetRivers)
With tight run-off areas sloping off of difficult green complexes, it's extremely important to have a strong short game at Congaree Golf Club. When thinking of players who chip well off of tight lies, Jordan Spieth is always one of the first players who comes to mind.
We haven't seen much of Spieth on the course lately, but the last time he played he was the top scorer for the United States Presidents Cup team. He was great with the putter that week, which had been a major concern for him for much of last season. However, the 29-year-old had an excellent year in terms of ball striking.
We've seen a handful of Presidents Cup stars play well in the month following the event both this season and in year's past. Spieth looks poised to carry some momentum into his first start since being arguably the best player for Davis Love's squad.
Jason Day (+8000) (DraftKings)
Last week at the ZOZO, we saw a former superstar in Rickie Fowler thrust into spotlight after claiming the 54-hole lead in Japan. This week, I envision a similar scenario potentially unfolding with Jason Day.
It's been a tough stretch for the former PGA Championship winner both on and off the golf course the past few years. However, things seem to finally be settling down for the Australian. He seems healthy for the first time in a while, and his on-course results are encouraging.
In his most recent start at the Shriners Children's Open, Day finished in eighth place and gained 9.4 strokes ball striking, which led the field. He also shot a 63 on his closing round, which was the best round of the day on Sunday.
If he's right, Congaree Golf Club should be an incredible fit for Day. He's been one of the best players on TOUR on Tom Fazio designs throughout his career and ranks second in the field in his past 24 rounds on those courses. A Jason Day resurgence would be a welcome site at THE CJ CUP.
Russell Henley (+10000) (BetRivers)
Russell Henley has plenty of experience playing in the South as he grew up in the region and was a former Georgia Bulldog. While he isn't extremely long off of the tee, he's contended at plenty of long courses throughout his career and was even the 54-hole co-leader at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Henley has a strong track record on Tom Fazio designs and ranks eighth in Strokes Gained: Total on Fazio tracks in his past 24 rounds. He finished in a tie for third at the 2020 CJ CUP at Shadow Creek. Although that isn't the course hosting the event this week, it's a long Tom Fazio design at the same time of year. He's also played extremely well at PGA National, which was designed by Fazio as well.
Henley has had a tough time closing tournaments throughout his career, but this is the right price to give him another shot to get it done.