The PGA Tour will remain in Las Vegas this week with THE CJ CUP at Shadow Creek Golf Course.
We last saw Shadow Creek at "The Match: Tiger vs. Phil” in 2018. There is almost no historical data to go off of for Shadow Creek, so we'll have to trust some of the key stats to find an edge. The Tom Fazio designed course is LONG. At 7,560 yards, Shadow Creek falls just short of Torrey Pines for the longest course on tour, so the big hitters will have an advantage this week. The wide, generous fairways mean we don't have to focus too much on driving accuracy.
There is no cut in this event, so every player will get four rounds, making head-to-heads a little more difficult to project. With that said, most of the featured players are of the high-quality variety and we'd expect them to make the cut in most tournaments.
Below I've listed my four favourite bets, which you can play at SPREADS.CA
Patrick Cantlay (-110) over Tyrell Hatton (-125)
Cantlay was the 54-hole co-leader this past weekend and closed out Sunday with a disappointing 2-over (73) to finish t-8th. It was good to see Cantlay's putter bounce-back after an ugly performance at the U.S. Open--he gained 1.02 Strokes on the greens at TPC Summerlin.
Cantlay is one of the most consistent players on tour but has been unspectacular recently, finishing top-10 just once in his last seven tournaments. For Hatton, he's coming off of a win in Europe last week but missed the cut at the U.S. Open in his last start stateside.
They're both pretty even but with Hatton as the favourite, I like the price we're getting on Cantlay. He's the better driver of the golf ball and had had a lot more success at other Fazio designs, Firestone and Quail Hollow.
Sungjae Im (-115) over Louis Oosthuzien (-120)
Im has been playing solid golf as of late, finishing no worse than t-28th in his last four starts, placing in the top-15 in two of those events. Im was 20th on the PGA Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee and was considerably better Tee-to-Green than Oosthuzien during the 2020 season.
Oosthuzien is also playing great right now. He was 3rd in the U.S Open, t-19th last weekend and has finished in the top-25 in five of his last six tournaments. However, he doesn't have great length and Im has had more success at Fazio designs. Sungjae finished t-31st in the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
Xander Schauffele (-175) over Viktor Hovland (+125)
This one should be a slam dunk. Hovland is a great player with an extremely bright future but he's not on Schauffele's level quite yet. While Hovland has put together an impressive three top-20s in four starts, Schauffele has nine straight top-25s and has finished top-10 in four of his last six events.
Hovland is a terrific ball striker but Schauffele's all-around game should prevail at Shadow Creek. Even if Hovland has a top-10 in him this week, Schauffele likely has a top-5.
Bubba Watson (-125) over Jordan Spieth (-110)
Watson is one of the best drivers of the golf ball on tour and has gained strokes Off-the-Tee in seven straight tournaments. As for Spieth, he's lost strokes Off-the-Tee in seven straight, so Watson should have a big advantage all week.
His length (6th highest Driving Distance Avg. in the field) should provide him with plenty of scoring opportunities. With no cut, you don't have to worry about his putter letting him down as it did at Winged Foot and mediocrity may be all he needs to beat Spieth. Spieth has missed the cut in three straight starts and has just one top-20 in his last 10 starts.
-- by Timmy Bits