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PGA DFS Primer: The CJ CUP @ SUMMIT (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Oct 13, 2021
Hideki Matsuyama

The fifth tournament of the 2021-22 PGA season is set to begin on Thursday. Las Vegas will once again serve as the site, with players migrating from TPC Summerlin over to The Summit Club to compete in the fifth annual CJ Cup. Originally played overseas in South Korea, the pandemic has shifted the site to the United States, where it was played at Shadow Creek Golf Course last year, ironically just a few miles away from The Summit Club and TPC Summerlin. This makes Las Vegas a frequent destination for many golfers across the past couple of weeks.

Max Homa was the first champion of the new season at the Fortinet Championship, followed by Sam Burns and Sungjae Im, the latter of which just mastered the course at TPC Summerlin to win the Shriners Children’s Open this past weekend. Jason Kokrak returns to defend his 2020 CJ Cup title but will need to adapt quickly to The Summit Club, as it’s a different course than last season. There hasn’t been a golfer to defend a non-major title on a different course since 2007, so Kokrak will have his work cut out in a tournament that does not feature cuts, meaning consistent low scores in all four rounds will be necessary to climb to the top of the leaderboards.

Let’s get into it and analyze a few players who possess the skillset and confidence needed to conquer the 2022 CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.

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Previous Winners

  • 2020: Jason Kokrak (-20)
  • 2019: Justin Thomas (-20)
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (-21)
  • 2017: Justin Thomas (-9)

Course Overview

The Summit Club is fairly new, opened in 2017, and is a par 72 that stretches 7,431 yards. Four par-5 holes and four par-3 holes offer a nice balance with incredible views of the Las Vegas strip and the surrounding Red Rock Canyon mountainside. Water hazards present themselves on a few holes but it’s really the length of the fairways and the difficulty of the bentgrass greens, which are a bit smaller and tend to reward players that can nail their approach shot on a specific area of the green.

Sand traps are seemingly everywhere on the Tom Fazio-designed course, which comes out to a total of 62 bunkers, all freshly filled with sand. Players with poor sand save percentage will have a rough outing, while those that are able to navigate out of an errant shot will enjoy a sizable advantage over the rest of the field. The hilly environment that The Summit Club is built on adds an extra layer of strategy, as there aren’t as many trees or lakes to obfuscate the view of the greens.

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Driving Distance
  • Greens in Regulation (GIR) percentage
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Sand save percentage

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,400)
The 29-year old native of Japan had a tough outing at the Shriners Children’s Open during the first weekend in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin. Yet, Matsuyama did finish T6 (-13) at the Fortinet Championship and is among the best in strokes gained from tee-to-green (1.042) through two tournaments this season. At The Summit Club, Matsuyama will have several lengthy holes that mesh well with his powerful driver, which is averaging 313.4 yards per attempt, ranking 60th on Tour. A strong start at TPC Summerlin yielded three rounds at even-par, which is something Matsuyama will actively work to avoid during his second four-day stint in the Nevada desert this weekend. Matsuyama is a high-floor play and carries additional top-ten upside, depending on whether or not he can close out under-par as he did during his first event at Fortinet a couple of weeks ago.

Collin Morikawa ($10,800)
Morikawa emerged as one of the sport’s brightest young stars last season, earning two victories outright and placing inside the top ten in eight different events. He slipped a bit during the postseason but did manage to finish 26th in the 2021 FedExCup standings and will look forward to a fresh start for the 2022 season. He is precise and lethal with his greens in regulation percentage and has a driver that ranked 10th-best in regards to accuracy last season. He even has solid sand save percentage of 53.93 percent. Perhaps the biggest factor to consider is Morikawa’s membership at The Summit Club, as familiarity with a course often creates a massive advantage over the rest of the field. Morikawa is expensive but worth every bit of the high-priced salary, as he should be situated atop the leaderboards during his first appearance on the 2022 PGA Tour.

Sam Burns ($9,800)
Despite entering only his fifth year on the PGA Tour, 25-year old Sam Burns has been playing elite golf. He won his first event at the Sanderson Farms Championship two weeks ago after finishing a ridiculous 22-under-par and followed up that performance with a T14 (-15) finish, as he plateaued with a 72 in the final round at the Shriners Children’s Open. The American carries the best greens in regulation percentage (83.3%) and is averaging a ridiculous six birdies per round. He is inside of the top ten in several strokes gained categories, which bodes well for his outlook at The Summit Club this weekend. With eight players priced higher, it feels like a steal to secure Burns under a  $10,000 salary. Make him a top priority add amongst the 78 golfers competing in the CJ Cup this weekend.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Sungjae Im ($10,700)
Another young professional who experienced quite a bit of success in 2021 has transferred his momentum into the young 2022 PGA season, as 23-year old South Korean Sungjae Im is coming off of a 24-under-par finish to claim the purse at the Shriners Children’s Open last weekend. Equipped with a hot putter and seemingly lacking any significant flaw in the top statistical categories, Im is another expensive lineup addition that is worth the price. Averaging 5.63 birdies and possessing the 11th-best sand save percentage this season, rostering Im will keep lineups in the green for the duration of the CJ Cup.

Tony Finau ($11,000)
Tony Finau fared extremely well in 2021, seldom producing a poor outing and finishing strong in the FedExCup playoffs, winning the Northern Trust and finishing inside of the top fifteen in the final two playoff rounds to finish 11th in the FedExCup standings. Finau will make his 2022 PGA Tour debut at The Summit Club this weekend, not far from his residence in neighboring Utah. He’s got a strong driver and is able to navigate out of sand bunkers, meaning that an errant shot or two won’t derail his progress. His putter was the only notable mark on his resumé last season, otherwise, Finau consistently knocked in birdies (4.16/round) to flood lineups with points. Expect more of the same at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas this weekend, making Finau a desirable prospect to target when constructing lineups.

Rory McIlroy ($11,400)
2021 was an up-and-down year for McIlroy but the 32-year old Irishman returned to form in the final two rounds of the FedExCup playoffs, finishing fourth and T14 respectively, placing him inside the top-fifteen of the FedExCup standings to end the 2021 season. Strokes gained from tee-to-green and off-the-tee were both exceptional areas for McIlroy, as well as producing the highest birdie average (4.51/round) and the second-longest driving distance at 319.3 yards per attempt. The Summit Club plays right into McIlroy’s strengths as he returns in his 2022 season debut, making him a solid, albeit pricey, prospect to target in lineups at the CJ Cup this weekend.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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