Sobel’s 2019 CJ Cup Betting Guide: Target the Favorites at Nine Bridges?

Put on an extra pot of coffee – and keep it going for the next three weeks.

The PGA Tour is about to embark on its annual Asia Swing, featuring events in South Korea, Japan and China. While the casual U.S. golf fan can lazily lounge through the broadcast of a Sunday afternoon back-nine, only the heartiest souls will set the alarms and, yes, pound a few cups of coffee to catch the proceedings from half-a-world away.

This three-week swing begins with the CJ Cup, which has already offered some big-name winners and big-time drama in just two years of existence.

The inaugural tournament saw Justin Thomas (+700 pre-tournament) survive a playoff with Marc Leishman, while last year’s event turned into a weekend coronation of Brooks Koepka (+1000 pre-tournament).


While it shouldn’t be shocking anytime elite players claim a title, the surprise here came in the overall discrepancies. Thomas and Leishman each finished at 9-under in tough conditions, while Koepka raced to a 21-under total, with 10 players posting scores of 65 or better in the final round alone.

This week’s weather calls for temperatures hovering around 70 degrees with a negligible light breeze throughout the four tournament rounds.

With that in mind, scores could be closer to what we saw last year than two years ago, so let’s give an extra bump to those who can make birdies in bunches.

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Outright Winner

One player to win the tournament.

Spieth returning from break, eyes end to drought

Jordan Spieth, who hasn’t won in 54 events since The Open in 2017, is hoping “to be more consistent this year” as he returns from an extended break at the CJ Cup in South Korea.

Perry’s 2019 CJ Cup Betting Guide: Will Another Big Name Take Down Nine Bridges?

The PGA Tour begins its Asian swing this week with the CJ Cup in Korea.

This will be the third time that The Club at Nine Bridges will play host to this event and the cream rose to the top on each of those previous two occasions with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas emerging with titles.

This will be a smaller field with just 78 golfers teeing it up in a no-cut event.


The Course

Nine Bridges is on the shorter side for a par 72, measuring 7,241 yards. The difficulty of the course varies depending on how windy it gets. Last year, Koepka was able to get to 21-under par. The year before, Thomas won in a playoff at 9-under.

If the wind picks up, it will be a grind this week. If not, 20-under may be the minimum score for the winner.

Scrambling seems to matter a little bit more than normal here due to some difficult rough and a lot of bunkers around the greens. Pat Perez and Cam Smith each own a pair of top-10 finishes here, and their short games are their biggest strengths.

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The Favorites

It’s not a super deep field this week. Only Thomas (+650) and Koepka (+900) are shorter than +1500. Hideki Matsuyama (+1600) is the only other golfer below +2000.

A not-so-surprising weak field in Houston and other big things in golf

It was bound to happen — a field without big names. It happened in Houston. But now, the big names head on the Asian swing, Tiger returns, Phil tries to avoid a big drop and more.

Stenson, Sorenstam to host mixed tournament

Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam will host a new tournament in Sweden next year with men and women facing off on the same course for a single trophy and prize fund, organisers announced on Monday.

Kelly rallies for 3rd Champions win of year

Jerry Kelly closed with a 7-under 65 and won the SAS Championship on Sunday, allowing him to close the gap in the Charles Schwab Cup as the PGA Tour Champions heads into its postseason.

Wiesberger wins Italian Open after strong finish

Bernd Wiesberger moved atop the Race to Dubai rankings by winning the Italian Open on Sunday for his second Rolex Series victory of the year.

Barron, Austin tied for lead on Champions Tour

Woody Austin birdied his last two holes Saturday for another 5-under 67 that moved him into a share of the lead with Doug Barron going into the final round of the SAS Championship on the PGA Tour Champions.

On call for first child, Malnati leads in Houston

Expectant father Peter Malnati started strong and shot 7-under 65 on Friday to lead at the Houston Open after morning rain and lightning prevented the second round from being completed.

Barron leads after first round of Champions Tour

Doug Barron held onto a one-shot lead over Woody Austin on Friday after ending the opening round with three bogeys over his last four holes.

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