The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week as the CJ Cup returns to the desert for the second year in a row. Typically held overseas in South Korea, it’s being held in the United States once again this season due to the pandemic.
Many of the heavy hitters are back in the field this week following a couple of weeks of rest after the 2021 season. I expect they’ll be wanting to put something on the board for what will be, for most, their first event of the new season.
Let’s take a closer look.
Colin Morikawa (+180 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
While it’s a widely known secret that Morikawa is a member of the course the Tour is at this weekend, this pick goes well beyond that. Following a relatively tumultuous end to the 2021 season, which included a rocky FedEx playoff following an appearance at the Olympics, Morikawa comes into this one rested and ready to turn the jets back on for the new season.
Showing what he’s capable of amongst the world’s very best, Morikawa was the most dominant player in the field at the Ryder Cup, the last time we saw him, and will likely challenge Rahm and Cantlay for world #1 before 2022 is over.
Taking a long at his metrics at Fazio designed courses specifically, he ranks inside the top 10 in this week’s field in Adjusted Off-The-Tee, Driving Accuracy, and Fairways Gained over his L36 rounds. One of the best ball-strikers in the world, I expect for him to tear this course up out of the gates and find himself in contention come Sunday in Vegas.
Cameron Smith (-110 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Despite being one of the streakier players on Tour down the back half of 2021, Cam Smith remained capable of going low seemingly every single week down the stretch. Losing in a playoff at The Northern Trust, the Australian finished T15 or lower in four of his five events to finish the 2021 season.
Finishing #14 in the FedEx rankings before it was all said and done, Smith is one of the best putters on Tour, which puts him in contention nearly every week. Currently ranking #1 on Tour in Putts Per Round, Smith should excel even further on the soft bentgrass this weekend. Also one of the best sand players on Tour (#3 in sand save %), Smith has all the tools to go low once again this week well-rested in what will be his first event of 2022.
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