Matthew Wolff

Matthew Wolff could have a massive week at the CJ Cup in Vegas. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

  • The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek tees off Thursday, October 15th
  • Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are favored to be the first round leader
  • See the best bets and odds to grab the first round lead plus tournament matchup picks in the article below 

This is the fourth iteration of the CJ Cup, with the previous three taking place during the Asian swing of the PGA Tour on Jeju Island, South Korea. COVID-19 concerns have shifed around the schedule to keep players stateside so the event has been moved to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, the course that hosted the first “Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in 2018.

With Dustin Johnson withdrawing following a positive COVID-19 result, there are four of the top six players in the world teeing it up this week.

In this article, we’ll explore which players have the best chance of being the leader after day one at a course that’s never hosted an official PGA Tour event, plus head-to-head tournament matchups.

2020 CJ Cup at Shadow Creek First Round Leader Odds

Golfer Odds
Jon Rahm +1400
Justin Thomas +1400
Rory McIlroy +1600
Xander Schauffele +1600
Matthew Wolff +2200
Collin Morikawa +2200
Tommy Fleetwood +2200
Hideki Matsuyama +2700
Patrick Cantlay +2700
Daniel Berger +2700
Tyrrell Hatton +2900
Viktor Hovland +3100
Scottie Scheffler +3100
Brooks Koepka +3400
Louis Oosthuizen +3400

All odds taken October 14th at FanDuel

The forecast looks beautiful with very little difference in wind between the morning and afternoon tee times with temperatures reaching 90 degrees later in the afternoon.

A benefit for those playing in the morning is the exact same as it is every week – less bumpy greens with fewer players chewing them up. However, with a limited no-cut field competing, there won’t be as many golfers, so the tee times will be closer together.

Matthew Wolff Has Been Stellar

After nearly becoming the youngest US Open winner in nearly 100 years, where he finished runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau, what did Matthew Wolff do for an encore?

Shoot 61 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to get himself into contention on Saturday, and losing in a playoff to Martin Laird on Sunday.

He’s tied with PGA Champion Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood for the fifth shortest odds to grab the first round lead.

In his last seven tournaments, Wolff has been in the 60’s six times on day one. In addition, his total strokes gained from the last two events has been absolutely insane.

Matthew Wolff’s Total Combined Strokes Gained In Last Two Events

Total T2G OTT APP ARG Putting
29.3 22.8 4.4 13.2 5.1 6.6

Given the fact that this course is such an unknown among all the players, I like a guy who’s been playing red-hot to keep the good times rolling, and the stud in the making Wolff personifies that.

Pick: Matthew Wolff (+2200)

Brendon Todd a Solid Sleeper

When considering someone who has higher odds to be the first round leader, look no further than Brendon Todd.

He was the first round co-leader at the PGA Championship in August, and ranked fifth in first round scoring average for the 2019-20 season, shooting in the 60’s in ten of his last 13 opening rounds.

Twice a winner this calendar year, Todd’s calling card is his accuracy off the tee (fourth last season), and putting, where he’s gained shots on the field in nine of his last ten events, which will give him plenty of chances for birdies.

Todd has been someone impossible to ignore over the last twelve months as he continues to put himself in contention seemingly every week.

Pick: Brendon Todd (+7000)

Schauffele vs Wolff CJ Cup Tournament Matchup Odds

Golfer Moneyline
Xander Schauffele -148
Matthew Wolff +118

We believe in Matthew Wolff to grab the first round lead so why not double down and ride the hot golfer some more? In the last four tournaments that he and Xander Schauffele have both competed in, Wolff has clipped him in three of them.

Xander Schauffele and Matthew Wolff’s Last Four Common Tournaments

5th US Open 2nd
T-25th BMW Championship T-16th
T-25th The Northern Trust T-44th
T-10th PGA Championship T-4th

It’s not as if Schauffele has been a slouch, however, as he has nine straight top 25 finishes – so expect this matchup to go all the way down to the wire between two golfers who are on form.

There is considerably more juice to wager on Wolff than Schauffele in this tournament matchup, so why not take the guy who has finished runner-up in his last two starts and has got the better of the X-Man in three of the last four head-to-head tournaments?

Pick: Matthew Wolff (+118)

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