For the second consecutive week, the PGA Tour is in Las Vegas. For the second consecutive week, we expect a winning score of -20 or better. That is largely where the similarities between tournaments ends. While last week’s Shriners Children’s Open has undergone several name changes over the years, it is always played at TPC Sumerlin with what could uncharitably be referred to as a glorified Korn Ferry Tour field. That stands in stark contrast to this week’s CJ Cup.
For the second consecutive year, the CJ Cup will move from South Korea to a new golf course in Las Vegas. Last year at Shadow Creek, a Tom Fazio design, Jason Kokrak took home the title with a winning score of -20. We have seen similarly low scores at several first-time PGA Tour venues in recent seasons and with The Summit Club, another Tom Fazio course, set to host this week, I am expecting more of the same.
Perhaps the biggest difference from last week is that this is a limited-field, no-cut event. The top 60 in last year’s FedExCup points is invited to play, along with a handful of sponsor’s exemptions. The strength of the field, along with the expected ease of the course, means that we need to fill our DFS lineups with players who can rack up birdies. That is easy when it comes to the most expensive players, but is more of a challenge with our cheaper picks. In addition to Birdie or Better Percentage, I am putting a premium on players who score well in SG: Approach as well as Holes per Eagle. I usually like to fill my lineup with more consistent players but with the nature of the field, tournament and course, I think we have to chase after some players who are capable of going low if everything goes right. Since there is no cut to worry about, there is less value in someone who racks up top-40s every week.