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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - The CJ Cup

By Keith Allison (Flickr: Jason Day) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lanto Griffin kept his spectacular momentum rolling at the Houston Open, capturing the first title of his career. The life of a journeyman on tour can be difficult, and it is perhaps explained no better than by Griffin's story. In 2017, the American had made just $4,800 through 10 events and told his agent that he could no longer go on with the grind of professional golf. Becoming more and more in debt because of travel expenses, Griffin decided to see a sports psychologist to try and get his mind back on track. Soon following his first meeting with Dr. Greg Cartin, Griffin shot a 65 to make it out of local U.S. Open qualifying, eventually losing in sectionals to Tom Hoge, who fired a shot to three-feet on the first playoff hole to defeat him. However, Griffin was able to ride that momentum into what eventually salvaged his career.

After making his first cut in five events, the now 108th-ranked player in the world headed to Nashville with a new drive and motivation. Going into that Sunday, Griffin started the day tied for second but slipped to a share of fifth with eight holes to go. A massive rain delay halted the tournament and threatened to cancel the fourth round entirely, which was something Griffin was desperately hoping to happen because his current placement would secure him enough money to qualify for the Tour. "Cartin and I are texting like mad," said Griffin. "With 23 guys within three shots of the lead, I'm worried about how many places I could drop." Cartin's message to him was simple but direct, "Thoughts aren't real. Dwelling on what could happen is futile." Listening to his doctor's orders, Griffin went back out after the rain delay ended with no added pressure applied to himself and won the event for $99,000, setting him back on track to continue his golf dream.

There is a fine line in sports between winning and losing, and sometimes perseverance and a little luck is all someone needs to break out of their current condition. With that mentality in mind, let's head over to the CJ Cup to try and get our season back on course.

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2020 CJ Cup

For an in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly Horse For The Course that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

The Club at Nine Bridges

7,241 Yards - Par 72 - Greens Bentgrass

A 2001 design by Golf Plan USA, The Club at Nine Bridges is a challenging, undulating track that requires scrambling to be successful. Measuring in as a 7,241-yard Par 72, the fairways feature decent width but can be challenging due to doglegs and nasty rough.

With the course being on a mountain and a small island, winds will be very INTENSE. Weather is always tricky to forecast because it can be ever-changing, but it is especially challenging to determine with all the uncertain factors of mountain/island golf.

Water comes into play on four holes, and the greens can be firm and fast when the wind dries out the facility. The course is heavily bunkered with 110 sand traps, making scrambling even more essential than it would have otherwise been under just windy conditions. Golfers will need to hit greens in regulation to find scoring opportunities and will need to salvage par when they do find trouble.

CJ Cup

#1 Jason Day 30/1

DK Price $9,500, FD Price $10,400

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 8.4%

I am not a believer in adding tons of people to my betting card just to try and hit a winner if the math doesn't add up to do so. Yes, I would provide myself with better chances to find success, but there has to be some accountability on the writers' part not to overexpose themselves or the readers' bankroll.

If we are viewing this tournament from a mathematical perspective, it is going to be difficult to find too much of an edge on the surface. The CJ Cups' no-cut nature does give a boost to the stars in the field because there are only 78 players that are currently slated to tee it up, but perhaps even a bigger key is the number of options that play primarily on the Asian Tours. That reduces the field down by about 13 percent, and if you add to that an additional 5-10 players that just frankly aren't in solid enough form to compete, you begin to narrow this field down substantially more.

All those deductions start putting us into a position where the cream should rise to the top, but bankroll susceptibility can add up quickly if too aggressive of an approach is exercised. I'm going to take several fliers who I believe have under-the-radar value, but I'm going to treat this event as more of a pass and avoid any aggressive betting routes this week.

It is an understatement to say that Jason Day has not been good as of late, only recording one top-10 finish in his previous 10 tournaments, but the Aussie has shown the ability to strike out of nowhere during his career -especially when he is fresh and rejuvenated. During his last two victories on the PGA Tour, the 27th-ranked player in the world has had at least three weeks off in both situations, which is where he finds himself this week.

Day's game should translate nicely to Nine Bridges Golf Club, evident by his two previous top-11 results at the venue, and tracks that require sand saves, quality putting and the propensity to create shots in the wind have always favored the 31-year-old over his counterparts. This is obviously a shot-in-the-dark wager with Day's form slightly uncertain, but the price is fair to take that chance.

#2 Marc Leishman 30/1

DK Price $9,200, FD Price $9,900

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 11.7%

From one quality Aussie in the wind to another, Marc Leishman will fly into South Korea overlooked after a bumpy 2019 campaign. However, if we look at just his most recent form, it appears as if the 25th-ranked player in the world has gotten his game flowing in the right direction.

Three straight top-20 results if you exclude his withdrawal at the Greenbrier, including a third-place finish the last time he teed it up at the Safeway Open, has the 35-year-old ready to pounce towards the winner's circle. Leishman is a quality ball striker that can handle the wind, making him an intriguing value in a condensed field at odds of 30/1.

#3 Sergio Garcia 30/1

DK Price $9,100, FD Price $9,800

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 13%

Welcome to the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to Sergio Garcia. If he isn't destroying golf courses or imploding in other ways during his round, we tend to get pretty good golf from the Spaniard that goes overlooked because of his capacity for explosions.

Since retaining his PGA Tour card at the Northern Trust in August by making his required 15th start of the year, Garcia has quietly put together a share of 23rd, a victory and a share of seventh in his three starts this season over in Europe. As is evident by my selections this weekend, I am content in peppering a few choices in this 30/1 range and hoping to strike gold on a player that is marginally overpriced in the market. Garcia fits that narrative perfectly, so let's hope he can keep his positive momentum rolling at Nine Bridges.

#4 Kevin Tway 125/1

DK Price $6,800, FD Price $7,900

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 6.0%

One of the ways I tend to pinpoint longshots is to run a statistical model over at where I incorporate a unique set of traits that will be important for the week. Most of these combinations result in very unusual pairings, so I don't necessarily try to place too much emphasis on it for all wagers - although I must admit it has been a dependable way to find value down the board.

For the CJ Cup this week, I ran a model that consolidated only rounds on Bentgrass greens with moderate/severe wind to see if I could locate something that everyone else might be missing. I'm not so sure if it necessarily resulted in a completely unusual outlook, but it did spit out something that could be worthwhile about Kevin Tway.

In Tway's previous 50 rounds under those parameters mentioned above, he graded out as the second-best golfer in the field for me, ranking inside the top 20 in strokes gained around the green, sand saves, three-putt avoidance, strokes gained on par-fives, bogey avoidance and scrambling. The American hasn't been great at this event in the past, but 125/1 does place him as a bet that is yielding long-term profitability with my numbers.

*** For what it is worth, Kevin Tway and Jason Day were the only two players to place inside the top 20 for all the statistics I placed emphasis on.

Key Stats: Scrambling 25%, Three-Putt Avoidance 20%, Strokes Gained Around The Green 15%, Sand Saves 15%, Strokes Gained: Par-Five 15% and Bogey Avoidance 10%

50% Stats/30% Form/20% Course History

Head-to-Head Play of the Week

No head-to-head wager this week. Will resume at the Zozo Championship

2020 Head-to-Head Record (2-1-1)

+0.85 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets


Head-to-Head Bet


My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish



Sanderson Farms

Denny McCarthy -110 over Martin Laird

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T18 (-11)

MC (+4)



Safeway Open

Cameron Percy -110 over Danny Lee

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T7 (-12)

MC (+2)



Shriners Open

Bud Cauley -115 over Phil Mickelson

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

MC (-1)

61 (-9)



Houston Open

Jhonattan Vegas +100 over Aaron Baddeley

1.12 Units to Win 1.12

MC (+3)

MC (+3)



2020 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

None through three events.


Career Record: 

2017 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets (10-2-2) +8.175 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Dustin Johnson Genesis Open (10/1)
Sergio Garcia Masters (50/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open (45/1)
Justin Thomas PGA Championship (35/1)
Dustin Johnson Northern Trust (14/1)

2018 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(46-24-2) +24.49 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Phil Mickelson WGC-Mexico (22/1)
Bubba Watson WGC- Match Play (45/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open In-Play Wager (14/1)
Dustin Johnson RBC Canadian Open (7/1)
Justin Thomas WGC-Bridgestone (30/1)

2019 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(16-9-2) +8.33 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Matt Kuchar Mayakoba Golf Classic (66/1)
Corey Conners Valero Texas Open (200/1)
Rory McIlroy RBC Canadian Open  (10/1)
Brooks Koepka WGC- St. Jude Classic (12/1)
Rory McIlroy Tour Championship (8/1)

Career Record (Excluding 2020 Season Results):

Head to Head Bets (72-35-6) +40.995 Units
Outright Winners (15)
Top 5s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 16
2019 - 26
Top 10s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 31
2019 - 41


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