Breaking down our PGA Tour expert picks for this week at Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina with our CJ CUP picks, best bets and more.
And we’re back. It’s been too long since we’ve been here as I needed to take a breather during the fall swing to get a feel for the early PGA Tour goings on, deal with other projects, and take a little vacation. But we’re ready for THE CJ CUP which will be played at Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina this year.
This is the same venue that hosted the Palmetto Championship in 2021 that replaced the canceled RBC Canadian Open that year, a tournament that marked the first win for Garrick Higgo. But now we have a limited field of 78 players, which does depress some value on the odds with our PGA Tour expert picks, but also gives us a rich field overall.
So how do we dive back into this with our CJ CUP picks? Let’s take a look as we offer our Top 10, winner, One and Done selections before getting into our best bets to complete our PGA Tour expert picks for the week.
Note: All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportbook. For more betting picks and advice, check out BetSided.
PGA Tour expert picks for THE CJ CUP: Winner, Top 10, One and Done
Top 10 pick for THE CJ CUP: Viktor Hovland (+230)
From what we know about Congaree, this is a long course that will put an emphasis on good drives and long iron play with some around-the-green prowess. Now, that normally mean a ball-striker with a good short game but that would also often eliminate Viktor Hovland. But the Norwegian has succeeded recently with his short game and showed at St. Andrews that he can be deft when the rough is cut down and tight or nonexistent. At these odds and for a player who has been hot of late, I think Hovland is being overlooked in this spot and will take the +230 on him.
Pick to Win THE CJ CUP: Cameron Young (+2900)
Some people might be thinking that Cameron Young’s heater from last season is now cooling off as he hasn’t been totally contending and was outside of the Top 50 last week at the ZOZO. But I think Congaree will accentuate his strengths with his titanic drives and positive iron play. His short game does always make me a little squeamish, but he’s also shown he can get hot there. With some value back on him because of a slight drop in form, I’m taking Young to dominate a track that should suit him.
One and Done Pick for THE CJ CUP: Emiliano Grillo
Once again, I’m trying not to get over my skis and burn a One and Done pick this early in the season who I would want in the bigger events in the spring and summer. Grillo is a perfect spot for that, especially with his recent form. He’s finished in the Top 25 in five of his last seven starts with no missed cuts over that span and including three Top 5 finishes. His putting has been improved and when combined with recaptured ball striking, I love for him to finish well again in a limited field.
THE CJ CUP picks and best bets
Emiliano Grillo to finish Top 20 (+220)
Going back to the well with Grillo, everything said regarding him being my One and Done pick this week still applies. His recent form and upside are not properly being expressed on the odds board, so I’m going to take advantage of that by getting better than +200 for him to finish Top 20 when he’s been doing that more than 50% of the time in his last seven starts.
Rory McIlroy Top European (+280)
Because we’re at a Tom Fazio course, it only makes sense to try and find a way to play Rory McIlroy and I love going for Top European here so you don’t have to take a bad +650 for him to win outright. There is risk with Jon Rahm, Hovland, Shane Lowry, Matthew Fitzpatrick and more in the field, but McIlroy should be perfectly suited to succeed in this tournament at this course, so getting something that cuts his pool in more than half and still near +300 is a good bet in my book.
S.H. Kim to finish Top 30 (+145)
Kim is a Korn Ferry Tour graduate who has quietly been crushing the fall swing to this point. His last three finishes have been T4, T13 and T36. That’s solid work as he’s driven the ball well and putting the lights out of it. I think he’s hungry to gobble up good finishes early, especially in these limited field events. We’re being conservative with a Top 30 play but at plus money, it’s a great bet in my opinion.
Longshot pick to win THE CJ CUP: J.J. Spaun (+14000)
Is this my favorite longshot play? Probably not, but the odds are also way too long for him in this spot with how well he’s been playing as of late. He’s coming in off of two straight Top 25 finishes and has been gaining strokes across the board in his last 20 rounds. I love that for a guy who won last year and Spaun could be in for another good finish in his current form.