Horses for Courses: THE CJ CUP AT SHADOW CREEK

Adjust accordingly as the current course record holder has withdrawn.

The second leg of the Las Vegas exacta takes the TOUR north of downtown to Shadow Creek Club in North Las Vegas. A select field of 78 will make the minutes journey across town this season instead of taking a flight to Jeju Island, South Korea. Usual host Club at Nine Bridges will pass the baton to Shadow Creek this season as the show must go on.

RELATED: | Five things to know about Shadow Creek

Shadow Creek Club was designed and redesigned by Tom Fazio (1989, 2008) and his group at the behest of casino owner Steve Wynn. The desert property was built from scratch. The desert land was transformed into a parkland oasis with water features, imported trees and lush, green conditions.

Over-seeded Bermuda will be lush and green for television and the rough will play around 3.5 inches and up. The bentgrass greens should roll perfectly around 12 feet on the Stimpmeter but will not be the large targets enjoyed last week. This week the greens only average 5,500 square feet so accuracy on approach will be awarded. Water will feature on nine holes and 74 pristine bunkers are scattered throughout the 7,527 yards (Par-72).

Dustin Johnson holds the course record, 66, after the 2008 renovation, so that suggests Par will be a decent score this week. The last time that most gamers saw the course was The Match: Tiger vs. Phil on Thanksgiving weekend 2018. Both are not entered this week. With a limited field, unknown (to most) track and no cut after 36 holes, the premium players will reinforce their class, again.

The last track on TOUR that was “new” to most of the players was Olympia Fields for the BMW Championship followed by Winged Foot for the U.S. Open. You’ll find some clues there as well. Remember Fazio has also been involved in the design upkeep at Augusta National, Quail Hollow Club and Eagle Point if you’re digging deeper.

Massive prize pool this week as the winner takes home $1.755 million and 500 FedExCup points for their efforts.

Event Winners at Nine Bridges Club, Jeju Island (runner up, if entered)

2020: Justin Thomas
Brooks Koepka (Gary Woodland)
Justin Thomas (Marc Leishman, playoff)

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week. Players in BOLD below deserve deeper inspection.

Strokes-Gained: Tee to Green

1  Justin Thomas
2  Hideki Matsuyama
3  Jon Rahm
4  Sergio Garcia
5  Collin Morikawa
6  Rory McIlroy
7  Xander Schauffele
9  Dustin Johnson
10 Scottie Scheffler
11 Tony Finau
12 Patrick Cantlay
13 Tyrrell Hatton

14 Russell Henley
15 Daniel Berger
18 Harris English
20 Viktor Hovland
21 Paul Casey
23 Joaquin Niemann

Strokes-Gained: Putting

2  Matthew Fitzpatrick
5  Kevin Na
6  Ian Poulter
6  Matt Kuchar
8  Mackenzie Hughes
15 Kevin Kisner
17 Daniel Berger
18 Harris English
20 Brendon Todd
22 Jon Rahm
26 Tommy Fleetwood

Bogey Avoidance

2  Jon Rahm
3  Harris English
4  Xander Schauffele
5  Russell Henley
8  Justin Thomas (Won PGA Quail Hollow)

10 Daniel Berger
12 Abraham Ancer
17 Brian Harman (Won Wells Fargo Eagle Point)

18 Paul Casey
19 Tyrrell Hatton
21 Hideki Matsuyama
23 Brendon Todd

Top 25 Shriners (entered this week)

2  Matthew Wolff
4  Abraham Ancer
8  Patrick Cantlay
8  Si Woo Kim
13 Sungjae Im
13 Joaquin Niemann
13 Brian Harman
19 Louis Oosthuizen
24 Cameron Smith

Top Finishers BMW Championship Wentworth (entered this week)

1  Tyrell Hatton
5  Ian Poulter
7  Matthew Fitzpatrick
13 Tommy Fleetwood
13 Shane Lowry
37 Justin Rose

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