PGA Preview: 2020 CJ Cup Predictions

Things are a bit different for the CJ Cup this year. The event, now in its fourth year, moves from the “PGA Asian Swing” due to COVID-19 to Las Vegas. Now joking called the “Vegas Swing” since this will be the second PGA Tour event in the city in two weeks.

The 2020 CJ Cup does have one thing similar to last year – some big-name players are in the field including eight of the top-ten players ranked in the Official World Golf Rankings. Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm come in at +1000 with a few tightly bunched players trailing slightly behind on the betting odds list.

One of those players is Justin Thomas who comes in at +1100. Thomas won the CJ Cup two of the three times the event has taken place. But those wins came at Nine Bridges GC in South Korea. The other winner of the CJ Cup is Brooks Koepka who comes in at +2500.

One note, the CJ Cup is a no-cut limited-field event. Value picks are everywhere! Here are the favorites to win the Las Vegas version of the 2020 CJ Cup outright according to Intertops.


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Dustin Johnson +1000

Jon Rahm +1000

Justin Thomas +1100

Rory McIlroy +1100

Xander Schauffele +1400

2020 CJ Cup Preview

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

Course: Shadow Creek Golf Course

Par: 72

Length: 7,527 (PGA)

When: October 15-18, 2020

Purse: $9.5 million

TV Coverage: Golf Channel


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Shadow Creek Golf Course is a green mecca located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is owned by MGM Resorts International. The Tom Fazio designed course features gently rolling terrain, plenty of Bermuda grass, tree-lined fairways, well-placed bunkers, and even water features… in the desert.

The only “pro” event the course has hosted was the Tiger vs Mickelson event a couple years ago. This will be the first PGA Tour event held at the facility. The course is Bermuda with Bentgrass greens. 74 sand bunkers dot the course and water (eight water features in all) comes into play on half of the holes.

2020 CJ Cup PGA Picks

Dustin Johnson +1000

Dustin Johnson leads the PGA in these stats; Overall strokes gained, Birdies or Better gained, Strokes gained on Par-fives, Strokes gained on course over 7400 yards. That’s some heavy stats to have in your pocket. Johnson comes in as the No. 1 ranked player in the world and should exit the CJ Cup still holding that title.

Rory McIlroy +1100

Rory McIlroy has taken some time off since the U.S. Open – probably spent changing diapers as he became a father in September. But he does have a record to lean on. Rory seems to fare well in no-cut tournaments which the CJ Cup is. He’s also No. 4 on the OWGR with the ability to trim strokes on par-fives.

Patrick Cantlay +1200

Patrick Cantlay finished T8 last week at the Shriners and seems to have improved his fairway accuracy over the last few events. That will be key at Shadow Creek. While not the longest hitter on the PGA Tour, his second shot accuracy should help him reach several of the par-fives opening up chances for trimming strokes.


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Others I Like

Tommy Fleetwood – Viktor Hovland: I’m looking at Tommy Fleetwood (+2800) as my value pick this week. Fleetwood needs one of his tight and concise games this week to be in the running on Sunday. Viktor Hovland (+3000) has shown that he can play at this level and carries an air of confidence not normally seen in a younger player. Coming to a new course shouldn’t make him blink.

2020 CJ Cup Odds (Outright Winner)

Here are the outright winner odds, but you can also bet on PGA head-to-head betting markets at most bookies.

Dustin Johnson +1000

Jon Rahm +1000

Justin Thomas +1100

Rory McIlroy +1100

Xander Schauffele +1400

Matthew Wolff +2000

Tyrrell Hatton +2000

Patrick Cantlay +2000

Brooks Koepka +2500

Collin Morikawa +2500

Tony Finau +2500

Hideki Matsuyama +2800

Daniel Berger +2800

Tommy Fleetwood +2800

Viktor Hovland +3000

Matthew Fitzpatrick +3300

Sungjae Im +4000

Louis Oosthuizen +4000

Scottie Scheffler +4000

Harris English +4000

Sergio Garcia +5000

Abraham Ancer +5000

Paul Casey +5000

Jason Day +5000

Justin Rose +5000

Rickie Fowler +5000

Gary Woodland +6600

Ian Poulter +6600

Joaquin Niemann +6600

Brendon Todd +6600

Shane Lowry +6600

Billy Horschel +6600

Kevin Kisner +6600

Bubba Watson +6600

Alex Noren +8000

Russell Henley +8000

Jordan Spieth +8000

Brian Harman +8000

Si-Woo Kim +8000

Cameron Smith +10000

Matt Kuchar +10000

Jason Kokrak +10000

Mackenzie Hughes +10000

Corey Conners +10000

Kevin Na +10000

Sebastian Munoz +12500

Adam Hadwin +12500

Byeong-Hun An +12500

Marc Leishman +12500

Ryan Palmer +12500

Cameron Champ +15000

Kevin Streelman +15000

Brendan Steele +15000

Adam Long +15000

Joel Dahmen +15000

Dylan Frittelli +15000

Keegan Bradley +15000

Lanto Griffin +15000

Harry Higgs +20000

Carlos Ortiz +25000

Talor Gooch +25000

Danny Lee +25000

Tom Hoge +25000

Andrew Landry +25000

Mark Hubbard +25000

Joohyung Kim +25000

Michael Thompson +25000

Tyler Duncan +30000

Nick Taylor +30000

Jim Herman +30000

Richy Werenski +30000

Sunghoon Kang +35000

Kyoung-Hoon Lee +35000

Jeongwoo Ham +40000

Jaekyeong Lee +40000

Taehee Lee +40000

Seonghyeon Kim +50000

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.