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Steve Palmer's CJ Cup at Summit Club predictions & free golf betting tips

Ryder Cup star Xander Schauffele can end PGA Tour victory drought in Las Vegas

Xander Schauffele can get a trophy in his hands again on Sunday
1 of 1

Golf tips, best bets and player analysis for the CJ Cup at Summit Club on the PGA Tour.

Where to watch

Live on Sky Sports Golf red button from 3.15pm on Thursday

Best bets

Xander Schauffele
4pts each-way 12-1 general
Collin Morikawa
3pts each-way 16-1 general
Aaron Wise
1pt each-way 60-1 bet365
Jason Kokrak
1pt each-way 50-1 Betfred

The CJ Cup was created to broaden the PGA Tour's horizons and establish an event in Korea, but coronavirus and travel restrictions have halted that process, meaning the tournament is being staged in Las Vegas for a second consecutive year.

A Stateside mission is more attractive for the elite and a star-studded field will be on show at Summit Club. Justin Thomas, who has just announced Jim 'Bones' Mackay as his full-time caddie, started the week as market leader.

Steve Palmer's top tip

Xander Schauffele 12-1

Nine of the triumphant American Ryder Cup team are in attendance for the CJ Cup - and all have enjoyed a psychological boost from their Whistling Straits heroics. A convincing win was followed by a joyful party in Wisconsin.

There is a chance of many members of Steve Stricker's side switching off mentally, though, in the wake of the Cup success. With the Majors done and dusted, the FedEx Cup playoffs over, and the Ryder Cup regained, it would be easy for the elite to slip into holiday mode.

Xander Schauffele could be an exception. The Californian has some unfinished business - bringing an end to his PGA Tour victory drought. The 27-year-old has not won on the Tour since January, 2019. A gold medal at the Olympics in August was some welcome glory - he was thrilled to come out on top for his country - but it is fast approaching three years since his last Tour trophy.

The Ryder Cup went well for Schauffele - he earned three points from four matches in an excellent debut performance, before contentedly sucking a cigar throughout the post-match media conference. He returns to competition this week in an event where he finished runner-up at Shadow Creek 12 months ago.

Summit Club is a similar assignment to Shadow Creek, and Schauffele can do a similar job on it. Callaway have finally got his driver spot-on after months of fine-tuning - Schauffele is back hitting the slight draw he favours - and the four-time Tour champ could be set to butcher Summit Club from tee to green.

Next best bet

Collin Morikawa 16-1

Course experience was the key to the last CJ Cup - Jason Kokrak knew Shadow Creek better than anyone else in the field. While most were seeing Shadow Creek for the first time, Kokrak had more than 20 rounds under his belt there as an MGM Resorts ambassador with family in Las Vegas.

A similar scenario may unfold this time, given Collin Morikawa is a Summit Club member with a round of 62 under his belt there. He lives in Las Vegas and can hit the ground running while most others adjust to previously uncharted terrain.

Morikawa lost his form in the FedEx Cup playoffs, but a back injury was to blame. He played through the discomfort and his swing suffered. Full fitness returned just in time for Whistling Straits - his debut for America - and he excelled in Ryder Cup practice rounds before winning three and a half points from four matches.

Morikawa has got his game back and the Open champion may duel with Schauffele for the CJ Cup if he can match his pal for determination.

Other selections

Aaron Wise 60-1

Jason Kokrak 50-1

Another Las Vegas resident can join Morikawa on the leaderboard. Aaron Wise has lived in Vegas for five years - his coach is based there - and his swing was in mint condition in last week's Shriners Children's Open. He tied for eighth, carding three bogey-free rounds, finding 17 greens in regulation on Sunday.

Wise has switched back to the broomhandle putter he used so effectively in his college days - and he holed plenty of putts in the Shriners. The 2018 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year could go close to a second Tour victory on Sunday. He has a strong record at Quail Hollow - another Tom Fazio-designed layout.

Complete a four-pronged attack with the defending champion, Kokrak. This is a different course to the one he conquered, but it is designed by the same man and bears great similarities. Kokrak is ultra-comfortable in Vegas.

The one Vegas track Kokrak seems to dislike is TPC Summerlin, where he missed the cut by shot last week, but better can be expected at Summit Club. Kokrak was the 11th-best scorer in the Tour Championship and 15th in the BMW Championship prior to that. The two-time Tour champ is consistently impressive these days and has a putting stroke he can rely on.

Players to note

Dustin Johnson
The highest-ranked player in the field won five points from five matches in the Ryder Cup, having shown some form in the lead-up. He plays Shadow Creek with his father-in-law-to-be, Wayne Gretzky, and may have some knowledge of Summit Club.

Maverick McNealy
The Vegas-based starlet missed the cut by a shot in the Shriners last week, but could easily be a factor close to home this week. Like Morikawa, he is a Summit Club member.

Viktor Hovland
The Norwegian played much of his college golf on a Tom Fazio design and was third in the Wells Fargo Championship on another Fazio creation in May. He must be respected.

Rory McIlroy
The Northern Irishman has a magnificent record on Fazio-designed tracks. Like Hovland, he is looking to bounce back from a disappointing Ryder Cup.

Summit Club course guide

Course The Summit Club, Las Vegas, Nevada
Prize money $9.75m ($1.755m to the winner)
Length 7,431 yards
Par 72
Field 78

When to bet By 3.15pm on Thursday

When to watch Live on Sky Sports Golf red button from 3.15pm on Thursday

Time difference Las Vegas is eight hours behind the UK and Ireland

Last week - Shriners Children's Open 1 S Im (35-1), 2 M Wolff (45-1), T3 M Leishman (70-1), R Sabbatini (175-1), A Schenk (175-1), T6 L Griffin (175-1), A Hadwin (125-1), T8 H Buckley (150-1), A Wise (80-1), H Hall (300-1)

Course type Parkland

Course overview The CJ Cup, formerly based at Nine Bridges in South Korea, has become a Stateside event in the post-pandemic era. Shadow Creek - a Tom Fazio-designed course in Las Vegas - took over for the last edition. This time, another mega-bucks Fazio creation in Vegas - Summit Club - takes centre stage. Like Shadow Creek, Summit Club has a desert background but is essentially a lush, parkland track with heavy bunkering. Elevated tees and raised greens are a feature of Summit, and the first hole is a downhill par-four which is a soft starter. There are man-made lakes and creeks waiting to punish the seriously errant, but the fairways are generous. The 235-yard par-three 11th has a forced carry off the tee and is arguably the most dangerous hole on the course. The third, sixth, 14th and 18th are par-fives, while the 12th is a driveable par-four

Story of last year Jason Kokrak claimed his maiden PGA Tour title at Shadow Creek, seeing off Xander Schauffele in a Sunday duel

Weather forecast Chilly mornings followed by warm afternoons. Sunny throughout, with gentle breezes dropping to almost nothing for Sunday

Type of player suited to the challenge Shadow Creek should be a good guide for Summit Club - they are similar challenges both created by Tom Fazio. Expect the leaderboard to be filled by powerhouses in flat-stick form

Key attribute Power


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