The PGA Tour stays in Las Vegas this week for the CJ Cup, which will be held at the Summit Club (par 72, 7,431 yards, bentgrass greens). Last season, this event took place about a half hour away from the Summit Club at Shadow Creek. In addition to both being located in Sin City, these two tracks were both designed by Tom Fazio. The Summit Club is a brand new venue, just opening its doors in 2017, and this week will be the first time a PGA event has ever been held at this private club. This beautiful desert venue that is located about 18 miles off the Vegas strip presents wide and generous fairways, and also large greens. There are only four water hazards, but 62 sand bunkers on the grounds, and the elevation of the Summit Club is naturally going to make this course play shorter than expected, similar to last week at TPC Summerlin. All in all, it’s safe to expect another birdie fest in Vegas this week, and we should primarily be targeting strong ball strikers and par five players, who have had success at Fazio designs in the past, if possible. Some notable Fazio courses we have seen at the PGA level include:
Shadow Creek – 2021 CJ Cup
Caves Valley – 2021 BMW Championship
PGA National - Honda Classic
Firestone Country Club - WGC-Bridgestone 1991-2001 and 2003-2018
Congaree Golf Club – 2021 Palmetto Championship
Quail Hollow – Wells Fargo Championship 2003-2016 and 2018-2021, and 2017 PGA Championship
78 players will be competing in Vegas this week and there will not be a cut. The top 60 golfers in FedEx Cup points from last season gained an invite to this tournament, along with golfers who are playing under a sponsor exemption. Without question, this is a stack field, on the same tier as a WGC event, and there are a plethora of appealing cheap plays to consider on DraftKings this week. Below I have featured four of my favorite options that are priced below 7.5K.
Aaron Wise, $7,400
Last week at the Shriners Open, Wise gained strokes in every major category, most notably ranking seventh in SGT2G en route to a T8 finish. This marked the third time in his previous four starts that Wise has generated over six strokes from T2G, and is also his eighth top-30 finish in his last 15. One of those finishes was a T17 at Caves Valley, and that isn’t the only notable performance Wise has had on a Fazio design.
He owns a spotless 3/3 record at the difficult PGA National, including a T13 last season, and has been brilliant at Quail Hollow, finishing T2, T18 and T9 at the track the past three seasons. Wise should thrive at the Summit Club and is a legitimate threat for a top 10.
Harold Varner III, $7,300
Varner is playing some of the best golf of his career right now. He travels to Vegas on the heels of five finishes inside the top 16 in his past seven starts, including a T12 at Caves Valley in August. Furthermore, when we compare this star studded field’s last 12 rounds, no player in this field has gained more total strokes than Varner. Also over this span, the 31-year-old ranks 11th in SGT2G, fifth in BOB%, fifth in SGP, fifth in SG on par fives and second in DKFP.
To top it all off, Varner is by far at his best on bentgrass, and ranks 15th in total strokes gained across his last 50 rounds on courses with this specific type of putting surface. HV3 checks every box this week and is a tough value to ignore at this price.
Russell Henley, $7,100
Henley put on a ball striking clinic during his T21 at the Shriners Open, ranking sixth in SGT2G and leading the field in SG APP. A little luck with his flat stick would have put him in contention, and we have to roll the dice on Henley this week at this soft salary.
Four of his last eight finishes on TOUR have been inside the top 20. Plus, when we analyze this field’s last 50 rounds at no-cut events, the 32-year-old ranks ninth in total strokes gained, including a T3 at last year’s CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. Most notably with a win in 2014, Henley also has finished in the top 10 three times at the Honda Classic, showing you the upside he has on Fazio creations.
Jhonattan Vegas, $6,300
Vegas shined at Congaree Golf Club last season with a runner-up finish and comes into this week with five finishes inside the top 15 in his previous 10 starts, thanks to some stellar ball striking. In his last 24 rounds, Vegas ranks 10th in SGT2G, ninth in SG APP and first in GIR. Additionally, the 37-year-old has been a birdie making machine during this time, ranking sixth in BOB%.
Since the start of last season, Vegas moved up a whopping 83 spots in the official world golf rankings, and this is the cheapest he has been in 18 events. To put in perspective how underpriced he truly is, Vegas carries +8000 on the DraftKings Sportsbook to win the CJ Cup this weekend, which are the same odds as Maverick McNealy, who costs $1,000 more for DFS.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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