CJ Cup 2021 DFS picks: The Vegas resident not named Collin Morikawa to play this week
This week offers a brand new course to analyze: The Summit Club, out in the Red Rocks section west of the Vegas Strip. This week marks the second, and final, leg of the Las Vegas Swing. A limited field of 78 golfers—including 24 of the top 30 in the world and seven of the top 10—will take on this new Tom Fazio venue that opened in 2017.
This upscale, private course is pure desert golf, with generous layouts off-the-tee. There will be a few hazards to avoid, with water coming into play on seven holes. Remember, there is no cut this week, so your golfers will be guaranteed four rounds, barring a WD or DQ.
Here are my favorite plays (and fades) in each price range.
Price range: $10,000 and above
High Upside: Dustin Johnson ($11,300 DraftKings | $12,000 FanDuel)
Last time we saw Johnson, he piled up five points for the United States at the Ryder Cup. He was in complete control of his game, and we know that Johnson is a momentum player. No matter the direction, when he gets going—he’s very difficult to stop. Most people don’t realize how good his putter has been, gaining strokes in eight of his past nine measured events, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. If he brings that putter to Summit Club, he’s going to be a force.
Safest Option: Collin Morikawa ($10,800 DraftKings | $11,500 FanDuel)
Morikawa will be one of the most popular golfers on the slate—and for good reason. He looked excellent at the Ryder Cup and now he gets to compete at home … literally. Morikawa plays out of the Summit Club and can be found there on a near-daily basis. He’ll be able to tap into a wealth of knowledge on these large greens with subtle undulation.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Rory McIlroy ($10,100 DraftKings | $11,400 FanDuel)
McIlroy struggled at the Ryder Cup to put it mildly. He seemed to struggle with every facet of his game and has likely spent the last few weeks trying to plug multiple leaks. Summit Club is generous off-the-tee, which means McIlroy’s best weapon is minimized, even if he enters in peak form.
Pick To Win: Xander Schauffele ($10,600 DraftKings | $11,800 FanDuel)
Many will opt for Morikawa and use the home course narrative—but don’t forget about the other elite Las Vegas resident in this field. In no-cut events, Schauffele is averaging 1.33 strokes gained per round, the second-best mark of any golfer with at least 120 rounds since 2010 (second only to Justin Thomas). If all that wasn’t enough, bentgrass is his best putting surface, gaining 0.47 strokes with the putter per round.
$8,000 to $9,900
High Upside: Jason Kokrak ($8,500 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)
Despite losing 1.5 strokes putting last week, Kokrak was still able to reach 4-under par and narrowly missed out on making the weekend. Kokrak was one of the best putters on tour last season, so it’s easy to imagine a bounce-back week.
Safest Option: Webb Simpson ($8,700 DraftKings | $10,200 FanDuel)
Simpson missed the cut last week, but that result looks much worse than his actual performance. Simpson was 4-under for two rounds and gained strokes from tee-to-green. There’s not many red flags and now he gets four guaranteed rounds.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Marc Leishman ($8,600 DraftKings | $9,100 FanDuel)
Leishman is coming off a stellar T-3 last week, but I have major concerns with how he achieved that result. The Aussie gained 7.51 strokes putting last week, the second-most in the field. Per the RickRunGood.com golf database, it’s one of the best putting weeks of his career—and it’s unlikely to happen again.
Pick To Win: Louis Oosthuizen ($9,300 DraftKings | $10,300 FanDuel)
Oosthuizen quietly finished T-14 last week but gained 8.9 strokes from tee-to-green, the third-best mark in the field. It was his putter that let him down, losing 1.88 strokes with the flatstick. Oosthuizen was the best putter on tour last season, so it’s unlikely that his struggles will continue.
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Talor Gooch ($7,200 DraftKings | $8,800 FanDuel)
This is a course that should set up beautifully for Gooch since it’s not penal off-the-tee. Gooch will be able to rely on his second-shot prowess that has helped him notch two straight top-11 finishes.
Safest Option: Russell Henley ($7,100 DraftKings | $8,700 FanDuel)
Last week was a glimpse of vintage Russell Henley, gaining 7.29 strokes on approach—the best mark in the field. That alone provides Henley with a high floor and with four guaranteed rounds, he should be able to make small gains on nearly every hole for all 72 holes.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Jason Day ($7,000 DraftKings |$8,500 FanDuel)
I have more questions than answers when it comes to Jason Day. We haven’t seen him tee it up since the Northern Trust and only twice since the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July. He’s missed five of his past eight cuts worldwide, and so I have little expectation for him this week.
Pick To Win: Aaron Wise ($7,400 DraftKings | $8,900 FanDuel)
It appears Wise has figured out the flatstick, which is dangerous for the rest of the field. In his past five events, he’s gained 5.42 strokes putting—one of the better stretches of his career. The rest of his game is top-notch, finishing 25th in SG/tee to green last season. This could be a breakthrough moment for Wise.
Subscribe to "Be Right," Golf Digest's weekly betting and DFS podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. This week we were joined by Mr. Vegas himself, Tommy Armour III, who plays out of The Summit Club.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Jhonattan Vegas ($6,300 DraftKings | $7,800 FanDuel)
Vegas is another long but inaccurate driver of the golf ball—something that should be just fine at Summit Club. He’s missed the cut only once in his past 12 starts, and though he doesn’t have to worry about that this week, he can look to add to his recent run of top-20 finishes—now with six such finishes in his past 10 starts.
Safest Option: Kevin Streelman ($6,800 DraftKings | $8,200 FanDuel)
Streelman rarely disappoints, relying on his tee-to-green play and veteran course management. He’s made the cut in both of his starts this season and offers plenty of salary cap relief to allow you to roster some of the bigger names in the field.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Ian Poulter ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel)
There were lots of red flags coming out of Poulter’s missed cut last week at TPC Summerlin. Not only did he lose 2.32 strokes on approach in just two rounds, but he also lost 3.37 with the putter. The latter is usually Poulter’s weapon and to see him struggle that much with it raises more questions than answers.
Pick To Win: Cam Davis ($6,400 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel)
The Summit Club is generous off-the-tee, with very little path to finding trouble. That’s a great sign for Davis who will be able to bomb it without regard for accuracy. We know Davis has legitimate winning upside and he fired a 66 on Sunday at TPC Summerlin, his best round of the week.
Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.