The tournament sponsor, the CJ Group, is a South Korean conglomerate holding company headquartered in Seoul. It comprises numerous businesses in various industries of food and food service, pharmaceutics and biotechnology, entertainment and media, home shopping and logistics.
The venue for the inaugural The CJ Cup is the The Club at Nine Bridges. The course is located on Jeju Island, a volcanic island south of South Korea’s mainland. The club was developed by the CJ Group and offers only limited access to non-members.
The course was designed by Golf Plan and opened for play in 2001. The Par 72 can stretch to 7,309 yards from the back sticks. Since 2005, The Club at Nine Bridges has been named as a “Top 100 in the World” course by Golf Magazine.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has this to say about the tournament;
“The addition of The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges to our schedule gives us three strong tournaments in consecutive weeks in Asia and they will play a significant role in shaping the early part of the FedEx Cup season and the FedEx Cup chase overall”
The field for the CJ Cup will feature 78 players;
- Top 60 available players from the previous season’s final FedEx Cup standings
- Winners of the KPGA Championship and Genesis Championship on the Korean Tour
- Top 3 available players from the Korean Tour order of merit as of October 2
- Top available player from the Asian Tour order of merit as of October 9
- Top available Korean player from the Asian Tour order of merit as of October 9
- Top next 3 available Korean players from the Official World Golf Ranking as of October 9
- 8 sponsor exemptions
Nine Bridges is located 600 yards up Mount Halla and is surrounded by National Park. There are eight bridges built on the course, the ninth (as in the club’s name) is metaphorical and represents the club’s connection to its members and guests.
The layout begins with the lower-lying outward nine called the Creek holes. These holes are heavily treed and a volcanic rock-walled creek weaves through this section of the course. The inward half known as the Highlands leads to higher ground where patches of heather and bracken have been incorporated into the design.
The course has plenty dog-legs and there is a good mix of both short and long holes. Landing zones are generous by Tour standards, however the penalty for missing them can be severe. Water can come into play on half of the holes and there are over a hundred bunkers.
No two successive holes are played in the same direction. The wind on Jeju Island will be a factor and will ultimately dictate the scoring. In this regard the tournament will be very similar to the Sony Open in Hawaii which is played at Waialae Country Club. As it is a debut event, PGAgolfbets has used the past results in the Sony Open as a guide in this week’s Event Form analysis.
As with all new courses entering the PGA Tour rotation it is hard to find an angle in. The course has been designed to be a championship course on a large scale and on the face of it looks to be a solid all-round test.
The ‘unfamiliarity-factor’ will put a premium on good course management this week. Accuracy off the tee will be a plus and the ability to capitalise with good scoring on the Par 5s will be important. As always, expect players in the mix this week to have a healthy percentage of greens in regulation with first class putting.
Justin Thomas 15/2, Jason Day 12/1 and Paul Casey 12/1 are the Bookmakers favourites for this week’s inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
CJ Cup Betting Tips 2017