The Land of the Morning Calm welcomes the PGA Tour for the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.
This weekend will mark year #3 for the CJ Cup.
Justin Thomas won here in 2017 under mostly windy conditions, which affected play considerably. The flight of the ball was, of course, altered but also the downhill greens were nearly impossible to navigate successfully.
Last year, Brooks Koepka took home the trophy. We only had about 1 day of bad weather out of the 4 rounds. Koepka was 21 under for the day. This was quite an improvement from Thomas’s winning score of (-9).
This year, the weather forecast at the Golf Club @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, South Korea looks picturesque.
It clearly plays rather different depending on the conditions similar to somewhere like Pebble Beach, California.
Could we see a member of the home team win it this year?
Sungjae Im is the popular pick since he’s actually from Jeju Island. The man has been busy, though, winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year spending plenty of time away from his homeland.
It’s difficult not to fill up our betting sheet with guys who can drive the heck out of the ball.
The course layout and forecasted clear and calm conditions only point to a bomber with average or just above putting skills shooting some celebratory Soju on Sunday.
BetOnline has the lines for us this week.
Let’s get to our betting preview with odds and picks for the CJ Cup.
One golfer, whose performance has admittedly been hard to predict, played Pebble Beach very well earlier in the year and could be primed for a solid performance this week in the ROK.
Australia’s Jason Day was 11th here in 2017 and improved upon that with a top-five finish last year.
His putting ability has always been outstanding but people sleep on his driving ability. He was 38th last year in yards off the tee.
It’s around the green where he struggled.
This course has some reachable par 4’s and short par 5s as well. He will need to be aggressive to win and if he’s off, then he is playing to his weakness but if he can get on the greens early and often with efficiency, look out.
I like the fact that he took an extended break, though.
The end of the season was busy and frustrating for Jason.
Even though he didn’t come close to winning the FedEx Cup Championship, he was consistent.
During the 101 dangerous days of the Summer, Jason Day had 6 top twenty finishes and a 24th at the BMW playoff event in a total of 8 starts.
Pundits for Day will point out that this is his first tournament of the season and he may be a little rusty but this has been his first test for two years in a row and his 11th and 5th place finishes don’t lie.
The good weather, friendly fairways, and short 4s and 5s play to Ryan’s strengths as well as any other golfer in the world.
He is the man off the tee and at the age of 43 and completely across the world, what does he have to lose?
I imagine his aggressive play will continue at Nine Bridges this weekend.
It’s not his first tournament of the season, which I like, and it’s not his 4th either, which I also like.
He last competed in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and snagged a 37th place finish which isn’t terrible considering he was dusting off after nearly two months off.
He was only 1 stroke gained per round away from finishing inside the top ten.
He drove the ball an average of 326 yards and amassed 24 birdies in 72 holes.
Did I mention he was aggressive?
You can do the math. He definitely had his share of bogeys but we are looking for hard-chargers this week and even at 43 years of age, Palmer is that dude.
He holds the course record for a round of 10 under at Nine Bridges and guess what, that was the last round played here.
It was his first time playing this course and his score got progressively better each round.
I think Palmer is a super sleeper!
I love this guy’s swagger.
Yes, I said swagger, not swag. I’m 37 and would like to consider myself just outside of millennial status.
I do sometimes take pictures of my food and wouldn’t mind living in a sprinter van so I guess I’m a tweener for Gen X and the Mil’s.
Gary is up there with me, though, at 35.
You can see the soul in his step. He definitely doesn’t move around like your stereotypical golfer.
I noticed this and then after some research, it all made sense.
He was a basketball player that grew up during the heydey of hip hop.
Normally, for almost any professional golfer, the gentleman’s game has been their #1 for nearly their entire lives.
This game takes that much dedication.
Woodland first went to college on a hoops scholarship but soon transferred to a bigger school, the University of Kansas, to play golf.
He has 4 professional wins but really came into his own last season working his way up to a top 20 Official World Golf Ranking and even won the US Open holding off Big Poppa Brooks Koepka for his first Major victory.
Gary is a top ten driver of the golf ball and top five in birdies. Just like Palmer, he goes for it.
Woodland has struggled with his putting before but it didn’t slow him down last year at the CJ Cup when, if it weren’t for Brooks Koepka, he would have won.
That was his first appearance of the year too and he already dusted off in Vegas last week.
Hold off on the Soju for just a minute, guys.
We are almost done.
Have some kimchi. That’ll cure your inkling for some spice as well as improve the health of your gut twofold.
It is your second brain, after all. 80% of your baseline happiness emotion, serotonin, is made down there.
It’s the food, man…
Americans could definitely use more fermented foods in their life.
The Koreans have that one figured out and soon, it appears, they will have golf figured out.
The PGA Women’s Tour is already being dominated by South Koreans and the PGA Tour is beginning to fill up as well.
He may also feel a ton of pressure as a 21-year-old playing not only in his home country but his hometown.
I’ll take Jason Day, Gary Woodland, and the hard-charging middle-aged maniac Ryan Palmer.
Tune in, turn up, and cash out!