It was a great week in PGA Golf bets last week at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. Veteran Martin Laird won his first event in seven years and Before You Bet fans collected on our two best bets of the tournament with Bryson DeChambeau to finish in the top 10 ($2.20) at Patrick Cantlay to finish in the top 20 ($2.10).
This weekend was supposed to mark the start of the Asian swing, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic still holding a stranglehold over the PGA Tour, both the CJ Cup and the ZOZO Championship have been relocated to the West Coast. As a result, Shadow Creek in Las Vegas will host the CJ Cup starting Thursday, and as usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the event below!
Keen followers will be aware that we have recently made one high profile trip to Shadow Creek. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson battled it out in ‘The Match’ from Shadow Creek back in 2008, and while neither will be in action this week, the $9,750,000 purse has attracted a high quality field to the City of Sin.
Many of the top players in the world who have not competed since the U.S. Open back at Winged Foot four weeks ago will be back in action this week, led by the No.1 player in the world, Dustin Johnson. Johnson has been in scintillating form since golf returned from the COVID-19 break and will be looking to get his 2021 PGA Tour season off to a winning start.
Some of the other top ranked players in the world who will be making a start this week include Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Matthew Wolff, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama.
The CJ Cup has only been played for the last three years running, and each event has been held in South Korea at the Nine Bridges GC. Justin Thomas has won the event twice in 2017 and 2019, sandwiching Brooks Koepka’s win in 2018. Previous form at the event won’t come into play with the changed venue, however.
Owned by MGM Resorts and designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1989, Shadow Creek is one of the most exclusive and secretive golf courses in the world. It has a green fee of $500 and is rarely open to the general public outside of high rolling MGM customers.
Golf fans got a rare glimpse of the course when Tiger and Phil duelled in ‘The Match’, and they’ll be able to see even more of it across four jam-packed days of CJ Cup action this week. The championship layout will play as a Par 72 at just over 7,500 yards, making it a fairly lengthy course that the long drivers should have an advantage on.
The course features rolling mounds, creeks, waterfalls, peaks and valleys but at the centre of it all, it still has a desert course vibe, especially with the views of the Nevadan rock mountains.
It seems as though Matthew Wolff ($21) can do no wrong at the moment. Even after a few average rounds on Thursday and Friday at the Shriners, Wolff bounced back to card a 10 under on Saturday and shoot up the leaderboard, including three eagles, two on Par 4’s. He ended up just missing out to Martin Laird in a playoff but his record of late has been sublime. 2nd at the recent U.S. Open after a T16 in his previous start. Back him to have another high finish at what is a pretty neutral course for everyone.
*** BETTING TIP COMING SOON ***
It’s hard to know what sort of form the world No.1 Dustin Johnson ($11) is going to bring into the tournament after a few weeks off. However, one thing we do know is that Johnson is one of the few players in the field with real experience at Shadow Creek, so much so that the gunslinger holds the course record of six under par 66, a record that could well be broken this week.
*** Dustin Johnson has been forced to withdraw from the event after a positive COVID-19 test***
Dark horse pick this week comes in the form of Englishman Ian Poulter ($67), who has been fantastic on the European Tour over the last few weeks. Poulter finished T6 at the Scottish Open two weeks ago before finishing T5 amongst a star-studded field at the BMW Championship. Comes into the tournament in a rich vein of form and has as much experience at Shadow Creek as nearly everyone in the field.
*** BETTING TIP COMING SOON ***
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