THE CJ CUP 2022 First Look: Bombers Cameron Young and Viktor Hovland Among Early Best Bets

THE CJ CUP 2022 First Look: Bombers Cameron Young and Viktor Hovland Among Early Best Bets article feature image

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Young.

Keegan Bradley captured his first win since the 2018 BMW Championship this past weekend in Japan. He put it all together to erase Rickie Fowler's 54-hole lead and tap in for the victory at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. We were right there with him at +3500, and we'll look to go back-to-back this week at THE CJ CUP as the TOUR returns stateside.

Congaree Golf Club, which hosted the Palmetto Championship back in 2021, hosts THE CJ CUP this week. That event was the maiden win on TOUR for Garrick Higgo and will be a good reference for what we can expect this week from the course in Ridgeland, SC. It sets up as bit of a bomber's paradise as the fairways are wide, and players can let rip off the tee to get into scoring position.

Higgo is a long hitter off the tee, Dustin Johnson was right there at the end last year, and so was bomber Jhonattan Vegas. While that is certainly helpful, there were also a number of players better known for their iron play, and long irons were certainly a big factor.

I'll use this course history, however limited, to help us dial in on some plays this week as the best field of the fall gathers in South Carolina.

Early Best Bets

Cameron Young

The weekend wasn't overly kind to Cameron Young at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP where he lost ground as he struggled in Round 3 and only posted an even par final round on Sunday. This was his first tournament of the new season after only appearing at the President's Cup before it, and I'm going to give him a pass as he got the rust off.

When I add in that this course seems tailor-made for his game and is on his preferred bermudagrass surfaces, he jumps to the top of my list going into the week. I'm hopeful his finish last week provides us with a bit of a discount, as I expect he may contend for his first win this week.

Viktor Hovland

This field is elite, and there are a bunch of ways I could go to start this week, but I'll first look to the hot hand. I wasn't sure what to expect out of Hovland in Japan, though I had him on my card due to his number putting him in the second tier of players.

I'm hopeful we see that again because I am really encouraged by his play last week at the ZOZO where he was sharp with is ball striking. His T5 finish is a nice start off of a long layoff, and he certainly has the combination of long iron play and distance off the tee that I think will be successful again this week at the CJ Cup.

Matthew NeSmith

It's hard for me to imagine Matthew NeSmith getting his first win in such an elite, no-cut field, but he's a longshot I'll be looking for on Monday morning. He also teed it up this past week in Japan and put together a T9 finish at the ZOZO Championship where he was the best player in the field hitting greens-in-regulation. He's on fire right now as this was his third straight top-10 finish in the last three weeks on TOUR.

He now brings that positive momentum back to play a course near his alma mater, South Carolina. NeSmith finished T35 on this course in 2021, but he closed with a 6-under round on Sunday to finish on a positive note. We have also seen him starting to flash some form this fall and at long odds. I'll have a sprinkle on him, with most of my focus on top-20 finishing position bets.

The must-have app for golf bettors

Custom scoreboard for your bets

Free picks from experts

Live odds for every golfer

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.