Betting Tips and how to watch as the PGA Tour heads to Korea for The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges
The PGA Tour heads to JeJu Island in Korea for the first event of the Asian Swing this week and the sixth tournament of the new season – The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.
It’s the third staging of this limited field event, having been won by Justin Thomas on its debut before Brooks Koepka earned the fifth PGA Tour victory of his career with a four stroke win last year. Both players return this week, while plenty of others – including Tommy Fleetwood, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia – making their debut at not only the event but on the new PGA Tour season.
In total there are 78 players in the field, including home favourite Sungjae Im, who won his first Korean Tour title at last week’s Genesis Championship and is searching for his maiden PGA Tour win.
Below, find out how to watch, and who we think is worth looking at putting your money on this week.
• Date: 17th-20th October
• Course: Nine Bridges Golf Club | Par 72 | 7,196 yards
• Prize Fund: $9,750,000
• FedEx Cup Points: 500
• Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka
The CJ Cup: TV Times
• Thursday: Sky Sports Golf (03:00), Sky Sports Main Event (03:00)
• Friday: Sky Sports Golf (03:00), Sky Sports Main Event (05:00)
• Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (03:00)
• Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (03:00), Sky Sports Main Event (03:00)
The CJ Cup: Betting Tips
Justin Thomas: 13/2
Thomas won this event in 2017 before a T36 last year, and comes in to this week having not finishing worse than T12 in his last seven starts worldwide (including victory at the BMW Championship and a T4 at the Safeway Open to start the new season). Ranked 1st for birdie average, 2nd for both SG: Tee to green and SG: Approach, 5th for scoring average, 6th for GIR and 8th for SG: Around the green on the PGA Tour last season.
Brooks Koepka: 8/1
After three victories last year and a fourth place finish at the Tour Championship, Koepka returned to the PGA Tour last week for the first time since having stem cell treatment on his knee and missed the cut. The World No.1 is back this week though to defend his title, having claimed a four shot victory over Gary Woodland last year. Ranked 4th scoring average, 8th birdie average, 11th for both GIR and SG: Approach and 12th for SG: Tee to green last season.
Hideki Mastuyama: 16/1
After following up his third place at the BMW Championship with a T12 at the Tour Championship, Matsuyama missed the cut at the Safeway Open but finished T16 at the Shriners a week later. He was T18 here in his debut last year, and last season ranked 3rd SG: Tee to green, 5th SG: Approach, 7th birdie average, and 12th for both SG: Around the green and scoring average on the PGA Tour.
Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1
Fleetwood who heads to Asia following a few events on the European Tour that included two top 10s in three starts – a T8 at the Omega European Masters and T5 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Prior to that he’d finished the PGA Tour season strongly, with a T13 at the BMW Championship and T11 at East Lake. Making his tournament debut this week. Ranked 8th for scoring average, 12th SG: Off the tee, 13th SG: Tee to green and 15th SG: Around the green.
Viktor Hovland: 20/1
Hasn’t finished worse than T16 anywhere in his last eight starts, which includes two top 10s on the PGA Tour, a runner-up finish at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Albertsons Boise Open to earn his tour card, and a T11 at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship. Making his first start here. Ranks 10th for Scoring average, 16th GIR, 17th SG: Approach, 21st Birdie average, 23rd SG: Putting and 25th SG: Tee to green.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: 22/1
Having recently finished second at the Open de Espana (his second top 10 in three European Tour starts), Cabrera Bello comes back to the PGA Tour in great form. In two starts here, he has finished T11 and T3.
Marc Leishman: 25/1
Leishman is another player who has a great record on JeJu Island, having been the runner-up to Justin Thomas two years ago and T18 last year. Started the new season with a third place finish at the Safeway Open, which was his second top 10 in his last five starts – that also includes back to back top 20s at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship. Ranked 28th SG: Approach and 32nd Scoring average last season.
Sergio Garcia: 25/1
After a mixed season of results in the summer Garcia comes to Korea after a successful time on the European Tour, with a T23 at the Omega European Masters, victory at the KLM (his 16th title on the European Tour), and a T7 at the Open de Espana. Making his debut this week. Ranked inside the top 30 on Tour last year for Scoring average, SG: Off the tee, SG: Approach the green and SG: Tee to green.
Sungjae Im: 25/1
After three consecutive top 20s and a playoff loss on the PGA Tour – the latter at the Sanderson Farms, Im finished T49 at the Safeway Open before playing in the Korean Tour’s Genesis Championship last week and earning a two-stroke victory. He made his debut here last year (T41), and will be targeting his first PGA Tour victory in front of home crowds this week. Ranks 4th Birdie avereage, 6th SG: Putting and 20th for Scoring average.
Cameron Smith: 33/1
In two starts here Smith has finished 3rd (’17) and T7 (’18), so he’s definitely one to watch around this course. Started the new season with a T24 at The Greenbrier before a MC at the Sanderson Farms, and a T13 in his last start at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Ranks 8th Driving accuracy, 19th SG: Putting, 25th Scoring average and 30th for birdie average.
Dylan Frittelli: 60/1
Making his first start in this tournament and missed the cut at the Shriners, but did start his season with back-to-back top 10s at both the Sanderson Farms and Safeway Open.
Brian Stuard: 100/1
After missing the first cut of the new season at The Greenbrier, Stuard’s game has been trending in the right direction, having gone T23 (Sanderson Farms), T17 (Safeway), and T4 at the Shriners. Was T52 here last year. Ranks 36th SG: Around the green.