PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: The CJ Cup in South Carolina (2023)
The PGA Tour will return stateside for the CJ Cup at South Carolina in another exclusive event that will not enforce a cut-line with its field of 78 players. It’s only the second time that Congaree Golf Club will host an event, as it previously served as the site for the 2021 Palmetto Championship. Expect lots of sand and minimal rough with long fairways and Champion bermuda greens. Cooler conditions should allow for ideal conditions navigating Congaree, especially when it comes to putting velocity. More to come on this course’s difficulties and conditions in the course overview.
The ZOZO Championship wrapped up with Keegan Bradley earning a one-stroke win over Rickie Fowler and Andrew Putnam to finish 15-under-par in Chiba, Japan. It was not a good outing for my recommended plays at all, as Tom Hoge was the only player that produced a T10 finish (T9/-10). Tom Kim managed a six-under-par final score to climb into a T25 finish, while Hideki Matsuyama (T40/-3), Tyrrell Hatton (T45/-2), Mito Pereira (T45/-2), and Tommy Fleetwood (T53/-1) all barely managed to finish under par.
Players will be treated to a much different course near the coastline of South Carolina this weekend. Whichever players conquer the sand bunkers and firm surfaces at Congaree will elevate their position on the leaderboard. Here are my favorite players to target to cash your PGA DFS lineups at the CJ Cup.
- 2022 – Rory McIlroy (-25)
- 2021 – Jason Kokrak (-20)
- 2020 – Justin Thomas (-20)
- 2019 – Brooks Koepka (-21)
- 2018 – Justin Thomas (-9)
Relevant Betting Stats
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
- Sand save percentage
- Driving Distance
- Greens in Regulation percentage
Tom Fazio designed Congaree back in 2017, so it’s a relatively new course in terms of players’ familiarity. It’s a par 71 that runs nearly 7,700 yards and features only three par 5s. The frequent amount of sand throughout the course mirrors other overseas locations, particularly Australia, emphasizing length and accuracy with approach shots. Fairways are flanked by sand and what can be considered rough, which has grown over four inches in certain spots. The Champion bermuda greens are transformed into narrow islands that will run quickly, measuring over 13 feet on the Stimpmeter.
The ball will move quickly on all surfaces, whether fairways or greens, while the minimal fescue means that a tee shot that initially lands in a good location could bounce and roll into unsavory bunker conditions. Many compare Congaree to a links-style course, meaning there is an emphasis on how the ball lands and where it rolls. Sand bunkers are frequent alongside inland beaches that overwhelm players with even more sand. This counters the lack of rough and water hazards, while the fast-paced greens will present the final challenge on most holes.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Matt Fitzpatrick ($9,800)
One of the game’s best young talents is 28-year-old Englishman, Matt Fitzpatrick. He is a wizard with his irons, which allowed him to finish 15th in the 2022 FedExCup postseason. Fitzpatrick ranked second in total strokes gained, including seventh in strokes gained tee-to-green and tenth off-the-tee, which is promising during his debut at Congaree. He’s a top-ten machine, so fire up Fitzpatrick with confidence.
Cameron Young ($8,600)
Cameron Young was one of the most exciting rookies to emerge on the PGA Tour last season, finishing 19th in the FedExCup rankings with seven T10 finishes. Young is equipped with a powerful driver, which will be an asset on Congaree’s lengthy fairways. His debut at the ZOZO Championship did not inspire confidence, but the course at Congaree is much more suited to Young’s talent. At $8,600, Young is a solid value with plenty of upside.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,900)
One of the stronger players on the PGA Tour this season has been Emiliano Grillo. The 30-year-old Argentinian is fresh off of a fourth-place finish at ZOZO, while he has recorded three T25 or higher finishes through four events. Grillo is ranked seventh with greens in regulation at 77 percent while utilizing a reliable putter ranked 42nd in strokes gained putting. The most enticing stat is Grillo’s 4.69 birdies per round average, which ranks among the top 25 this season. At under $8,000 on DraftKings, Grillo should be locked into lineups.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000
Rory McIlroy ($12,000)
I can’t skip Rory McIlroy, especially in his debut as the reigning FedExCup champion. Whether it’s his powerful driver, precise irons, or elite putting ability, McIlroy is worth every penny when it comes to DFS lineups. McIlroy grew up playing on links courses in Ireland, which Congaree mimics with its frequent sand bunkers and firm surfaces. Last season, McIlroy was 12th in sand save percentage, which will go a long way toward succeeding at Congaree this weekend.
Sam Burns ($10,900)
The 26-year-old native of Louisiana has only played in one solo event this season, which resulted in a T30 finish at Sanderson Farms. Sam Burns has a red-hot putter, ranked tenth in strokes gained last season while crushing the driver to the tune of 310 yards per attempt. Whether it’s his consistent greens in regulation ability or averaging 4.33 birdies per round, Burns is worth the price of admission at Congaree.
Taylor Montgomery ($9,600)
Quietly, Taylor Montgomery has strung together three T15 finishes or better, while averaging over five birdies per round. Can the 27-year-old Las Vegas native keep up this production? Congaree will present unique challenges with fast surfaces and plenty of sand, but Montgomery is equipped with an elite putting ability, as he’s ranked second in strokes gained putting. Not to mention, Montgomery’s sand save percentage is ranked 60th on the PGA Tour, which will go a long way towards helping him reach the bermuda greens, where he should continue cashing in. At $9,600, Montgomery is a smash value.
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.