The PGA TOUR heads back to the states this week for the CJ CUP. Congaree Golf Club is the host course and is a 7,655-yard par 71 that features Bermuda grass greens. This will be a 78-man no-cut event with a big boy field, as 19 of the World’s top 30 will be in attendance.
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Only two golfers in this field have been better in SG: Tee-to-Green over the past 48 rounds than Justin Thomas, and that’s Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler, the two guys who were vying it out for the TOUR Championship this past August. JT also sits third in Total Strokes Gained in this field in that time frame as well. We are getting arguably a top-five player in the world at a pretty nice discount when you factor in the price tags attached to Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Albeit on different courses, Thomas has won this event two times in his career — 2017 and 2019. The Palmetto Championship was played at Congaree in 2021 and won by Garrick Higgo, and during that week he gained 4.6 strokes on approach. I bring this up because that is JT’s bread and butter, especially hitting long irons, which is very much a paramount skill needed to contend at this 7,600 yard bear of a course.
Hatton is one of the few golfers in this field that has experience at Congaree, having finished T2 at the Palmetto Championship. He didn’t play his best last week at the ZOZO, however, he did close strong with a final round 68. Prior to that he had been playing great, finishing T7 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and T8 at the Italian Open. Overall, he’s the 11th best Bermuda putter in this field, averaging .41 strokes gained per round on the surface, .21 strokes better than any other surface. Hatton usually plays well on courses he has good history at, and Congaree fits that bill. We are getting a a nice number here due to the strength of the field.
Reavie played extremely well at the Palmetto Championship, finishing in a tie for 14th place. However, it was his tee-to-green game that week that was incredibly impressive, as he gained over 2.17 strokes per round. His putter kept him from truly contending, though. He also looked really strong over his final three rounds at the ZOZO, finishing 69, 68, 67 over the weekend en route to a T45. Getting 5/1 in a no-cut event on a guy to finish inside the top 20 after we recently saw him win a PGA TOUR event just a few months ago feels like serious value. His course history here is simply the icing on the cake.
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