The CJ Cup, normally held in South Korea, has made a temporary move to Shadow Creek Golf Course outside of Las Vegas. The Tom Fazio design is a first-time PGA Tour venue, but we’ve seen it on TV before. It was the site of the $9-million match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in 2018.
Shadow Creek is a par 72 stretching to 7,500 yards, and Fazio basically manufactured it from scratch in the middle of the desert. Many holes look more like North Carolina than Nevada, as the fairways are lined with evergreen trees and crisscrossed by babbling brooks. Since the course is at elevation, it will play closer to 7,200 than 7,500—fairly short by PGA Tour standards.
The players to keep an eye on this week are those capable of keeping the ball somewhat in play off the tee and attacking pins with their irons. As a 78-player no-cut event, the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek will also place a big emphasis on birdie rate and par-5 scoring.
Xander Schauffele $10,300
First in par-5 scoring, fourth in birdies, sixth off the tee, sixth in putting, and sixth around the green, Schauffele rates out similarly to Jon Rahm but can be had for $1,000 less. The X-man is in stellar form, having finished 25th or better in 18 of his past 20 events.
Alex Noren $7,400
In five of his past six starts, Noren has finished 22nd or better, and he came in 17th at the U.S. Open. He also notched a 22nd place at the PGA Championship and three top 10s in other PGA Tour events. At such a cheap price, Noren should more than earn his keep with another finish of 22nd or better.
Wolff has been runner-up in his past two events (the U.S. Open and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Championship), and in the CJ Cup field, he is third in birdies, sixth in approach, and seventh off the tee. The young gun has been knocking on victory’s door lately, and he has the perfect game to break through this week.
Hatton arrives at Shadow Creek in great form, having captured the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship on Sunday. In his past 13 events, he has quietly racked up three wins and ascended to 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Hatton is a great choice for this week, especially as I don’t foresee many other events where you would definitely use him, and you most likely still have him available.