LEISHMAN

With the PGA Tour remaining in Las Vegas for one more week, the focus switches to The CJ Cup which takes place at the stunningly-crafted Summit Club.

This week’s venue is barely 10 miles south of TPC Summerlin where Sung Jae Im was crowned champion on Sunday.

It is clearly the shortest journey the PGA Tour will have to make all season.

For the second year in a row, The CJ Cup is being staged in the United States, but there are plans to return the tournament to South Korea for 2022, if travel restrictions caused by Covid-19 are eased.

Once again, the field is limited to 78 players, with a handful of spots set aside for leading Korean golfers.

As for the venue, it is laid out across 550 spacious acres of typical desert landscape, with every hole appearing to be an island of lush green fairway surrounded by harsh, arid vegetation.

The Summit Club, which was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2017, sits between Red Rock Canyon and the famous Las Vegas Strip.

There are plenty of large, dangerous bunkers, although water should not be a major issue when The Summit Club makes it PGA Tour debut on Thursday.

On the tee

Nine members of America’s victorious Ryder Cup team are out in force this week, along with eight players from the losing European side.

In what is a high-quality field, 20 of the world’s top 25 pros will be taking part, with many of these making a first tournament appearance since the Tour Championship.

Latest betting for The CJ Cup

Among this group are the world No 5 and 6 respectively, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas, who have great records in tournaments where there is no cut and a small field.

And in a field packed with in-form, high-ranking pros, it’s hard to see this week’s winner coming from outside the top group.

Improving Englishman

As for those who may offer better value further down the list is former world No 9 Tommy Fleetwood.

The Englishman is certainly no outsider, although his form has definitely dipped throughout much of 2021.

But his confidence must have improved following three recent top-12 finishes on the European Tour.

Maybe the 30-year-old is moving closer to challenging the world’s elite once again.

Aussie Marc Leishman is also on the rise thanks to top-four finishes in each of his last two outings.

These include a podium spot on Sunday when he closed with a 63 at nearby TPC Summerlin.

Meanwhile Kevin Na, who missed last week’s event with a rib injury, certainly didn’t mince his words after being ignored for a Ryder Cup wildcard.

The 38-year-old, who has a decent history in the desert conditions of TPC Summerlin (two wins) and TPC Scottsdale (four T5s), will be out to prove a point in Las Vegas.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves





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