15 of the top 20 golfers in the world descend on the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland this weekend for the CJ Cup. This is easily the strongest field so far on the fall leg of the 2022/23 Tour schedule, which makes it harder for underdogs to break through – but it also gives very solid odds on some very good golfers.
The CJ Cup really can be anybody’s to take. The favorite and defending champion Rory McIlroy (+700) is playing in his first Tour event of the season.
Jon Rahm (+900) was in action last weekend, winning the Spanish Open. Scottie Scheffler (+1200) was horrible, melting down on Sunday at the Tour Championship and then having an atrocious 0-3-1 showing at the Presidents Cup.
Another reason an underdog can come through in CJ Cup betting is that the Tour was in Japan last week for the ZOZO Championship. That’s a lot of jet lag for the likes of Cameron Young (+2500), Collin Morikawa (+2800), Tom Kim (+2800), and Hideki Matsuyama (+4000), among many others.
Here are some underdogs with a chance at contending this weekend.
Jordan Spieth +2500
Jordan Spieth has a huge upside with +2500 odds. He had an undefeated Presidents Cup and didn’t have any of the travel fatigue that the guys who played in Japan last weekend do.
Spieth was in the top 15 in three of his last five tournaments to wind down 2021/22, and on a course, that’s only hosted one other PGA event (2021 Palmetto Championship), he’s just as good a wild card as anybody.
Tyrrell Hatton +4000
The Congaree Golf Club has only hosted one other TOUR event, and Tyrrell Hatton is the best returning finisher at the 2021 Palmetto Championship, where his -10 was good enough for a T2.
Hatton finished 45th at the ZOZO Championship last week in Japan, so his odds really should be a lot higher here, but he is one of the few with course familiarity.
Tom Hoge +5000
Tom Hoge does have the jet lag from playing in Japan last week, but his ninth-place finish at the ZOZO Championship put him in the top 12 for all three tournaments he’s played this season (12th at Fortinet, 4th at Shriners Childrens Open). Hoge has some value in top-five and top-ten finish bets because he’s just been playing solid golf this year.
Kevin Kisner +15000
While not many people have played a TOUR event at the Congaree Golf Club, Kevin Kisner did grow up two hours away from Ridgeland in Aiken, South Carolina. Kisner is fresh, playing his first TOUR event of 2022/23, and had five finishes inside the top 10 last season.
CJ Cup Underdog Summary
While it may look like a big favorite, such as McIlroy or 2X champion Justin Thomas (+1400), take home this tournament, it really is a wild card event.
Many in the field are playing their first tournament on the fall leg, while another good portion are returning from competing in Japan last week. It’s a toss-up.