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CJ Cup at Summit DraftKings Picks

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The PGA Tour stays in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week for the CJ Cup. This tournament was played for the first time in October 2017 at the Nine Bridges Golf Club in Jeju Island, South Korea. In 2020, the event was moved to Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

This year, the CJ Cup will remain in Las Vegas, albeit at a different venue, the Summit Club. The CJ Cup only features a field of 78 players, but what the event lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality, as 23 of the world’s top 30 players will be in attendance this week.

Sitting in the Summerlin suburb of Las Vegas, the Summit Club is a beautiful and lush parkland layout masquerading as a desert course. The club was designed in 2017 by Tom Fazio and commissioned by the Discovery Land Company. The Summit Club plays as a stock par 72, measuring 7,459 yards on the scorecard. It draws an obvious comparison to last year’s venue, Shadow Creek. A few weeks ago at the BMW Championship, we were in a similar position. Both Caves Valley and the Summit Club are Tom Fazio courses that had previously never seen PGA Tour competition.

With that being said, we can still develop an understanding of this course based on some images and what we already know about Tom Fazio as a designer. Fazio’s PGA Tour body of work also includes Congaree, Quail Hollow (re-design), Kasumigaseki, Conway Farms, and Shadow Creek. Fazio is known for intricate bunkering and large elevated greens.

His courses tend to favor long and accurate drivers of the ball, and it is no coincidence that players such as Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, and Jason Day have experienced success on his layouts. For this reason, I will be homing in on dominant off-the-tee players and those who are comfortable in easy scoring conditions.

Let’s dig into my DraftKings picks.

$10,000 range 

Dustin Johnson, $11,300 (16.32%)

I was hoping to bet Dustin Johnson outright, but 12/1 is far too hefty of a price to pay, even for the 24-time PGA Tour winner. I’ll gladly settle for exposure to him in DraftKings. At $11,300, Johnson is the most expensive golfer on the DraftKings slate as well, but this is clearly reflected in his ownership. I have no problem paying up for Johnson as a clear pivot from Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas, who are all garnering more ownership. Lastly, I find the $6K range to be abnormally strong this week, giving us some more wiggle room at the top.

$9,000 range

Brooks Koepka, $9,700 (7.36%)

I understand that Brooks Koepka is a risky play given that he has a tendency to mentally eject from tournaments if he is not in contention, but I am expecting a massive week from the four-time major champion. For cash games, I have no problem pivoting to Louis Oosthuizen, who provides a far more reliable floor, but I will gladly take my chances on a sub-eight percent Brooks Koepka in large-scale GPP contests.

$8,000 range

Adam Scott, $8,100 (5.63%)

Adam Scott and Paul Casey sit right next to each other on the DraftKings slate, yet Casey is garnering over three times the ownership of Scott. I have no issue with Paul Casey this week, in fact, I think he is a suitable play in cash games, but is he three times more likely to outscore Adam Scott this week? That’s where I have to draw the line. While the Australian has certainly experienced his fair share of ups and downs last season, it finally feels like his game is rounding into form. The 14-time PGA Tour winner has gained over 4.5 strokes on approach in two of his last three starts. The Summit Club is also extremely forgiving off the tee, which should mask some of his recent struggles with the driver.

$7,000 range 

Sergio Garcia, $7,500 (9.11%)

There are loads of excellent pivots in the $7,000 range. I could have easily written up a 4% Justin Rose, but let’s roll with Sergio Garcia this week. The Spaniard boasts an impressive resume on Fazio designs, with a fourth and a 16th at Quail Hollow, a sixth at Caves Valley, and a 21st at Shadow Creek. As one of the best drivers of the ball in the world who also pounds greens in regulation, Garcia possesses the prototypical Fazio skill-set.

$6,000 range 

Hudson Swafford, $6,000 (1.22%)

Hudson Swafford is one of the most appealing minimum-priced players in recent memory. Over his last 36 rounds, the two-time PGA Tour winner ranks above average in opportunities gained, greens in regulation gained, driving distance, birdies or better gained, strokes gained off the tee, and sand saves. While the University of Georgia product is most certainly a poor-man’s version of some of the players I have mentioned above (Johnson, Koepka, Garcia), he does the exact same things well. It does not come as a surprise that his last two Fazio appearances have resulted in a runner-up and 17th-place finish. Swafford is an excellent salary filler that will allow fantasy managers to splurge on elite talent at the top.

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Tour Rundown: 63 and victory for Im | Kruising Ko | Spanish overtime

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Four events capped the first full week of October, as professional tours surged toward either a conclusion or a seasonal break. The European, LPGA, and Tour Champions all have playoffs and capstones in view, while the PGA Tour moves ever closer to its holiday recess for 2021-22. Still, there is something about fall golf that captivates the ardent fan. Visits to parts of the world not normally seen are cherished, and the winners are no less grateful for the laurels that come their way. With those thoughts in mind, as leaves begin to turn color across the northern hemisphere, let’s run down a four-pack of events and celebrate golf, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

PGA Tour: Im claims second title on heels of 63

Korea’s Sung-jae Im added a second tour title to his resume this week. He closed with 63 to edge past Matthew Wolff by four shots. Im began day four in fifth position but lit the scoreboard with four birdies through his first seven holes. He then etched birdie into five consecutive slots on his scorecard, from nine through 13, and surged to a four-shot victory.

Matthew Wolff, also in search of a second tour title, turned in minus 3 to keep pace with Im. Deflating bogeys found the Oklahoma State Cowboy on 10 and 13, and a pair of closing birdies at 15 and 16 served only to separate Wolff from Marc Leishman, Rory Sabbatini, and overnight leader Adam Schenk in the race for second position.

LPGA:  Founders Title is appropriate for Kruising Ko

An astonishing thing is taking place on the LPGA Tour these days. Jin Young Ko is playing golf at a level not seen in many a month. She is on a run of 14 consecutive rounds in the 60s, which ties her with Annika Sorenstam for best ever. Sorenstam wasn’t one of the LPGA Founders, it just seems that way. She was one of the best ever, and this places Ko in rare company. Ko opened with 63 in the hills of New Jersey this week, closed with 66, and secured a four-shot victory of her own, for her third win of the campaign and 10th of her career.

Feeling just a bit hijacked was Germany’s Caroline Masson. Masson closed with 64, posted three other rounds in the 60s, but was swept away by Ko’s brilliance. It wasn’t a large gap that separated the two stalwarts. It was one stroke per round, it seems, those brief yet vicious chess moves that make a close match seem not quite so. If Masson had any place to look, it would be to the three bogeys on her Saturday card. After two, one-bogey rounds to begin the week, Masson was poised to go low on Saturday. She had five birdies on her card, but without those bogey stumbles, might have positioned herself for a better run at Ko.

Despite the rain, the champion was solid on Sunday. If nearly eight minutes of highlights aren’t too many for you, settle in and have a ko, err, a go.

European Tour: Spanish overtime duel caps Spanish Open

Sometime Friday, I glanced at the leader board in Madrid, and saw Jon Rahm at 130 after two rounds. It appeared that the Basque would bring another home-Open title to his country, but I was wrong. It was a Spaniard who won, and he defeated another Spaniard on the first extra hole of the tournament, but neither goes by the surname Rahm. Confused? Not for long.

While Rahm fell away with 141 over his closing 36 holes, into a worn-out tie for 17th, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Adrián Arnaus surged. RCB hails from the Canary Islands, while Arnaus is a Barcelona boy by way of Texas A & M university. The pair reached 19-under par in different ways: Cabrera-Bello overcame an opening double to record four birdies, while Arnaus had a pair of eagles over his closing 18 holes. Their totals brought them two shots beyond a trio of third-place finishers, and set them on a course for overtime.

It was over quickly, as Cabrera-Bello made a swift birdie that Arnaus could not match. The victory was the fourth European Tour title for the Canarian, while Arnaus still seeks his debut championship on the big tour.

PGA Tour Champions: Mickelson gets off the bagel for 2021

Despite winning a minor event on the regular tour, back in May, Phil Mickelson had not followed up his two-win debut campaign on Tour Champions 2020 with a 2021 title. Something about Jacksonville and the Timiquana Country Club fit him like a glove, and Mickelson opened with 66 to take the lead. His Saturday 67 kept him at the front of the field, but Mickelson wasn’t pleased. A super-low round was lurking, and he wanted to be the fellow to grab it.

Miguel Angel Jiménez, the crafty Spaniard, must certainly have given a thought to his homeland’s Open championship, being played concurrently across the Atlantic. Jiménez followed a 70 with 65; perhaps he would be the caballero to post the round of which Mickelson spake. Others lurked as well, including tournament host Jim Furyk, In the end, Steve Flesch would drop one slot down the chart with 71 on Sunday, to claim third. Jiménez would submit a clean card of 68, with four birdies, and nearly tie Mickelson with a bomb at the last. Mickelson would not find his fountain of youth near St. Augustine, but he would find Champions victory number three with a 68 of his own.

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Interesting Photos, Weekend Edition: 16 more equipment photos from the Shriners Open

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The photos and associated stories GolfWRX captured this week at the 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas were terrific — and we had plenty of ingredients to offer a second course of our “interesting photos.”

That Las Vegas is one of the most photogenic cities in the world helped, too.

Below are some of our favorites we didn’t add to our Tuesday “Interesting Photos” article.

Links

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General galleries

Here are a few of the most interesting shots from the Shriners.

Danny Willett – WITB & Prototype Toulon Daytona putter – won Dunhill Links last week at St Andrews – (see photos here)

Anirban Lahiri – WITB – (see photos here)

James Hahn – WITB & Cameron H-19 CT putter (see more photos)

Garsen – Quad Tour 17 grip – (see photos here)

Bettinardi putters – (see photos here)

Jason Kokrak – PXG Gen 4 Blacked out irons- (see photos here)

Matt Kuchar back to old faithful irons – (see photos here)

Rickie Fowler – WITB – (see photos here)

Pat Perez a testing SIK putter – (see photos here)

Spotted: 2022 Callaway Apex UW- (see photos here)

Check out all the galleries and discussion in the forums

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Morning 9: Brooks with high praise for Bryson | Rahm’s new reality | Rose on Ryder Cup snub

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By Ben Alberstadt
For comments—or if you’re looking for a fourth—email me at [email protected].
October 7, 2021
Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Brooks with high praise for Bryson
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”Asked at the Shriners Hospitals for Childrens Open how the event came together, Koepka said, “You’ll have to ask Bryson.”
  • “He did, however, have some complimentary words for the man he has feuded with for much of this year, marveling at DeChambeau’s ability to hit the ball great lengths and also be competitive in last week’s Long Drive Championship.”
  • “I think it’s going to change the game of golf forever, personally,” Koepka said. “But if you’re going to hit it that far and you find a couple fairways, it’s tough to beat. It does get very difficult when you got wedge into hole where guys got 6-iron. Your odds are going to be in your favor. That’s what he’s done”
  • “…So the fact he’s able to do that, the fact he did at the Long Drive, I don’t think anybody really thought he was going to get that far, but the fact he did was quite impressive,” Koepka said. “I think you’re just going to continually see that type of distance come from the kids that are in college or high school now that will be out here in five, six years.”
2. Emulating Seve 
Reuters report…”World No. 1 Jon Rahm is hopeful that he can emulate compatriot Seve Ballesteros by becoming only the second three-time winner of the Spanish Open when he tees off on home soil on Thursday.”
  • “Rahm, 26, is aiming for a hat trick of titles at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, having previously won in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “It would be very unique. I know names like Ollie (Jose Maria Olazabal), he couldn’t win it… I would hope to be able to get to a third not only to tie Seve but to win it three times in a row,” Rahm said.”
3. Things have changed for Jon Rahm 
AP report…“His U.S. Open triumph and rise to No. 1 golfer in the world has turned him into a star transcending sports in the country, on the same level as the likes of Rafael Nadal, Pau Gasol and Fernando Alonso.”
  • “…It took 30 seconds from the time I arrived at the hotel and went for a walk before someone recognized me,” said Rahm, who this weekend will try to defend his Spanish Open title.
  • “He is making his first visit to Spain in nearly two years, and finally seeing up close the impact of his sporting deeds.”
  • “It’s hard to realize it when you are not living here,” he said on Tuesday. “My parents tell me about it, my friends tell me about it, but you don’t really get it until you can see it for yourself.”
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4. Mickelson on RC assistant experience
Golf Channel’s Max Schreiber…”The 51-year-old, who this week will become the first-ever reigning major champion to make a PGA Tour Champions start, said on Wednesday at the Constellation Furyk & Friends that he was happy contributing in a new way.”
  • “I had a blast not having the pressure and the anxiety that you have as a player,” Mickelson said. “I really enjoyed the week. Obviously, we had a really strong team and the guys played really well and it was fun to be a part of that and see it from a different view than what I’ve been used to. I would have obviously loved to have been a player, but conversely, the experience of not having that kind of pressure was also very enjoyable.”
5. Kevin Nat playing in the Shriners, unfortunately 
Golfweek’s Riley Hamel…”Kevin Na’s first PGA Tour win came back in 2011 at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He then went on a seven year winless drought before breaking through in 2018. He’s now won a golf tournament in three of the last four years, including the 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.”
  • “On Tuesday, the two-time champion announced on Twitter he had withdrawn from this week’s field at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Although he was seen practicing throughout the day, his absence this week is due to a rib injury.”
6. Long, slow goodbye of the Dinah Shore
Larry Bohannon for the Desert Sun…”Make no mistake, the tournament most recently known as the ANA Inspiration had its problems, not the least of which was the looming loss of All Nippon Airways as a sponsor after 2022. As an international airline, ANA was hemorrhaging money like all airlines in the pandemic era, and no fans at Mission Hills the last two years because of COVID-19 didn’t help the event or its sponsor.”
  • “The conflict with the Augusta National Women’s Amateur was a bigger problem than the LPGA or tournament officials first believed. Augusta National, home of the Masters, is the 800-pouind gorilla of golf, and the minute the Georgia club announced the ANWA for dates that conflicted with the LPGA major, smart people in golf knew a date change for the LPGA would be necessary. Augusta National could hold a cornhole tournament and people would watch.”
  • “Crowds that seemed smaller and smaller each year also were a problem. After the LPGA brought ANA to the event, saving the tournament for 2015, a high-ranking LPGA official looked at the sparse crowds during the third round of the tournament and wondered if desert fans understood how hard then-commissioner Mike Whan had worked to keep the tournament in the desert.”
7. Rose on Ryder Cup snub
Our Andy Lack…??”For the first time in over a decade, British professional golfer Justin Rose was not a part of this year’s European Ryder Cup team.”
“In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph‘s James Corrigan, the 24-time world-wide winner reflected upon European captain Padraig Harrington’s decision to go in another direction.”
  • “In the final tournament before the selections were made, Rose finished sixth at the BMW PGA Championship, and closed on Sunday with an eagle on the par-five 18th hole. “When I walked off that last hole I felt good about things, but I quickly got the vibe it wasn’t so good. There was a weird atmosphere on that Sunday afternoon. In the players’ lounge, all the vice captains were around Padraig and yeah, I got a bit of a strange feeling,” Rose remarked.”
  • “The Englishman continued, “I was discovering I’d dug myself a hole deeper than I realized and I’m not going to lie, I was gutted. It was interesting, maybe I could have done more in that final run of tournaments, but it was a slightly awkward time for me as well in terms of not playing [the European Masters] and in Italy.”
8. Eyes on the prize for Nelly Korda
Golf Channel’s Amy Rogers…”Nelly Korda has a chance to make history with four events remaining in the LPGA Tour season.”
  • “Korda, the No. 1 ranked player in the world, leads nearly every points race and statistical category as the season winds towards its finale at the CME Group Tour Championship. Should she maintain the form that earned her three wins, a major championship and an Olympic gold medal over the first half of the year, she could add her name to the record books.”
  • “Ahead of the Cognizant Founders Cup, Korda sits atop the money list, the Rolex Player of the Year standings and the Race to the CME Globe points list. Korda has an opportunity to become the first American since Stacy Lewis, in 2014, to win multiple season-ending awards. That year, Lewis won the Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average), Rolex Player of the Year and the money title.”
9. Shriners photos
GolfWRX has an assortment of photos from the 2021 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, including in-hand photos of equipment, shots from the range, exclusive looks at new shafts, 17 WITBs, and more.
  • With the meat of the 2022 season far off on the horizon and the equipment launches for the year ahead still months away, the antsy and searching of the PGA Tour are keen to experiment.
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