THE CJ CUP in South Carolina Preview

Congaree Golf Club returns to the PGATOUR schedule to host this edition. The Club last filled in the week before the 2021 US Open hosting the Palmetto Championship.

via @PGATOUR

THE CJ CUP in South Carolina

Congaree Golf Club

Ridgeland, South Carolina

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Congaree Golf Club

Yards (per official scorecard):7,665
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:6,150 square feet; Champion Bermuda
Stimpmeter:13 feet plus.
Rough:There is no rough on the course.
Bunkers/Water Hazards130 acres of sandy waste areas; 6 water hazards in play on 10 holes.
Architects:Tom Fazio (2017).
Course Record (TOUR):64; Wes Roach, Ryan Armour and Will Gordon (all not entered 2022).
Course Tournament Scoring Record:270; Garrick Higgo (-11, 2021).
Facts of the Week:Served as the replacement tournament host for RBC Canadian Open in 2021. Serving as the tournament host for CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES 2022.
Purse:$10.5 million; $1.89 million winner.

Notes:

  • Players for the 78-player field are: the top 60 available players from the 2021–22 final FedExCup Playoffs & Eligibility Points List up to 125th position, five players designated by the KPGA, top three available players of Korean nationality from the Official World Golf Ranking and 10 sponsor exemptions
  • 72 hole stroke play, no cut.
  • Congaree has hosted just one professional event.
  • 2021 edition was played in Las Vegas at The Summit Club, another Fazio design.
  • 2020 edition was played in Las Vegas at Shadow Creek, another Fazio design.

Recent Winners

Italics – not entered this week

YearWinnerCourse
2021Garrick Higgo (-11)Posted all four rounds in the 60s to win in just his second attempt on TOUR.

Congaree Golf Club is wide open off the tee so finding guys who can eat up 7,665 yards this week is a must.

Greens are slightly above average size-wise but will not hold marginal approach shots without the proper spin.

Run off areas will test the patience and decision making so marginal short gamers need not apply.

Big boy field should give us plenty to look at this week!

For those of you beautiful bastards and bastardettes playing OAD this fall, I commend you.

I am not.

MENTAL HEALTH BREAK.

Here’s how it works for all of you newbies:

I’ll evaluate the top players identified by my book.

Anybody worse than 25-1 will be DEALER’S CHOICE.

If you don’t see a review of a player you might need, please read the accompanying material. I’m not going to write everything twice.

I will also point out LAWNG SHOTS and FUNNY MUNNY choices for you sickos who need a lottery ticket.

Who doesn’t?

This Week – THE CJ CUP  in South Carolina

Rory McIlroy (+700): Nothing outside the top five since winning The TOUR Championship. Working the golf ball is his strength and won’t have any problem with the big ball park. A shootout isn’t going to break out so he won’t need a white hot putter. But 7-1 in THIS field?

Jon Rahm (+900): Won in his native Spain last time out after T2 with a 62 at Wentworth. Guess all he needed was a European vacation to figure it out! Should factor, as per usual!

Scottie Scheffler (+1100): Plenty of cream rising this week! Knows McIlroy is coming for his No. 1 ranking so that should sharpen the focus. First event since The TOUR Championship.

Justin Thomas (+1400): Feasted in this event on Jeju Island but also eats on Bermuda. Irons have been dialed in all season! I’ll start nibbling here.

Sam Burns (+2200): Another who prefers Bermuda has my attention this week. Wins on tough Innisbrook and Colonial have him seasoned and ready.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+2200): Remember when distance was an issue here? Super scrambler/putter on top of the new distance should push him up. T10 here last time.

Sungjae Im (+2200): Jet lag in the bag? I wouldn’t expect it from a guy who plays as much as he does. Got his T29 out of the way last week. Should bounce.

Viktor Hovland (+2200): T5 in two of his last three worldwide including last week. He’ll be licking his chops as he’ll be able to putt from ERRYWURR at the roughless Congaree.

Jordan Spieth (+2500): His biggest struggle recently has been finding fairways. That shouldn’t be an issue this week! Superior scrambling skills won’t hurt either.

Eyes On

Shane Lowry (+3000): Winner at Wentworth and absolute class on and around the greens.

Tyrrell Hatton (+4000): Loves this time of year and a bit of Fazio courses. T2 here in 2021.

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000): Rebound after a dud in his homeland.

Tom Hoge (+5000): Quietly going about his business and racking up top 15 paydays, four straight.

Keith Mitchell (+7500): Popped out of a slump at this event last year. No top 25 in his last six but was T3 at The Summit Club.

Longer Shots/Funny Money

Denny McCarthy (+10000): Should slide nicely under the radar but don’t forget his calendar 2022 has been nothing short of solid. Bermuda liker.

Harris English (+10000): Made his case in HFC, gotta sneak him in.

Matt Kuchar (+14000): Super scrambler and can grind out pars with the best of them.

Wyndham Clark (+14000): See if we can chase that T16 from last week. Big hitter and should hole a few putts.

Last Week – ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

Xander Schauffele (+800): Wonderful record in limited field/no cut events including a gold medal at the Olympics in this country. Hot Presidents Cup after finishing T3 and fourth in the final two events of the FedExCup Playoffs suggests he’ll be rolling again this week. T9 as he saved his best (65) for last to kick down the back door. Continues being an ATM at limited field events to the surprise of absolutely nobody.

Sungjae Im (+1100): Last four events on his own ball have cashed three seconds and a T7. That any good? T3 here on debut in 2019 gives him an excellent starting point this week on top of his form. T29 as he didn’t fire until 66 in Round 4.

Hideki Matsuyama (+1100): Didn’t chase it in Vegas. Closed with 65 at Fortinet before the Presidents Cup. It’s his open and only Tiger has beaten him here. Easy choice. Thought his 66 in Round 3 would spark him on to sneak in the top 10.  His 71 on Sunday stunted that dream. T40. Ouch.

Collin Morikawa (+1400): We know it’s in there. Third visit should eliminate the course management homework. Monster iron player should be licking his chops. Wild swings in the FedExCup playoffs (65-79; 65-73) late was interesting to see. Another week, another wild swing. Round 2 procured 64. Round 3 followed with 73.  T45.

Tom Kim (+1400): Go read below what I wrote last week. And he won. Does anything effect this guy? Oh to be 20 again! All four rounds par or better for T25.

Cameron Young (+1600): Last time he had to get his passport stamped for golf he posted 19-under at the Old Course and was second in The Open. Not bad! Every course for him is a new course until it’s not. Tough fairways to hit here and he kills it off the tee. Interesting.T53 as his Ball-Striking let him down. Only three players hit LESS fairways and T50 GIR didn’t provide enough chances.

Viktor Hovland (+2000): T5 at a tough and tight Wentworth before T34 at Marco Simone suggests rust won’t be an issue. First time here in 2019 opened 75-65 before cashing T41. Posted 66-64 to sit just three shots off the lead entering the final round but 69 on Sunday wasn’t enough. Played the last five holes in 5-under to cash T5.

Tommy Fleetwood (+2200): Thought he was turning the corner after July on the links but has cooled since. Plenty of reps here and that will help in a non-major field this week. Nothing better than T22 in his last three worldwide. T53 as the streak continues.

Tyrrell Hatton (+2500): Lovely outsider for the favorites as he’s won big events before and rolls in on form with T7 and solo eighth in his last two worldwide. Classy putter will have to acclimate, and will have all four rounds to get it right. Posted 70 in three of the four rounds before closing with 68 for T45. Sat even par after 36 holes with a quad and a double on the card.

Eyes On

Keegan Bradley (+2800): Showing up for the third consecutive time in Tokyo tells me all I need to know. T5 last time out at SFC, T7 here closing with 65 last year. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FIVE YEARS. Heat paid off.

Mito Pereira (+3500): Flushes it everywhere. Looks like he’s finally put the disappointment of Southern Hills behind him. Solid Presidents Cup and 20-under at Shriners (T4) is my proof. T45 as he played three rounds nine under. The problem was the 77 in Round 2. He was one of the people who hit less fairways than Young (T76) and was T70 GIR. Out of sorts.

Sahith Theegala (+4000): No expectations this week so he can just go about his business. Tough course tee to green should have his attention and dial him in. T5 as he played his final 54 holes 13-under after opening with 71. Second in Putting and circled 21 birdies.

Maverick McNealy (+4000):  Hard to ignore 64 open and close last week (T10) on a track where he’s never cashed a big check. Took a while to figure it out here last year but closed with 65 for T25. Heat wave. Sat 10-under after 54 holes following 64 on Saturday before 71 saw him cash T12. Loves putting Bentgrass.

Longer Shots/Funny Money

Aaron Rai (+10000): Too much international experience and game tee to green. Uneven form across the tours recently (T20-T61-T5-MC) explains the number.  Posted 62 in Round 3 at TPC Summerlin last week for more evidence. T36

Joel Dahmen (+14000): Bentgrass. Washington state weather. Revenge after DFL in 2019. Sat 11th SG: TTG last season. T16 as he only made three bogeys and a double on the week.

Takumi Kanaya (+17500): Closed 68-66 in his first appearance last year. Stick him in Top 10, Top 20 easy. T53 but I gave you the winner, T5 and T12 above haha.

Dylan Frittelli (+14000): Late addition. T22 here in 2019. Hit or miss. T29

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