Justin Thomas
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Culp's Corner

THE CJ CUP in South Carolina Preview

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 17, 2022, 3:54 pm ET

A long list of stars head to South Carolina this week as the PGA TOUR's fall schedule pushes on with the CJ CUP.

A no-cut event with a $10.5 million purse certainly catches the eyes of many pros and we see them lining up for a piece of the pie this week with headliners including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Justin Thomas

The field size is loaded at just 78 golfers with all of them guaranteed four rounds of action, barring any WDs. 


The Course

Congaree Golf Club stepped up to host this year with the event originally hosted at Nine Bridges in South Korea. 

This Tom Fazio design was laid out recently, in 2017, and was last seen on the PGA TOUR when he hosted the 2021 Palmetto Championship. 

Viewers are drawn to the 7,655-yard listing on the scorecard but the sandy soil was built to play firm and fast. Add in generous landing areas and even the shortest of hitters will be able to scoot their fair amount of drives over 300 yards this week. 

Missing the fairway will mean you've either found water or you'll be attacking from a sandy waste area, or bunker. There is no traditional rough to deal with. 

Even with softer conditions in 2021, the field landed just 73 percent of greens from the fairways. That means golfers should be expected to hit plenty of around-the-green shots this week at Congaree. When they do find themselves missing the greens, they'll be faced with plenty of options in terms of what shots to hit. Some will putt from off the greens while some will lean on bump-and-run shots while others will get more creative. 

For turf talk, they'll see bermudagrass fairways and greens this week. The greens are a bit smaller than TOUR average (6,150 square feet) and can be expected to run pretty speedy on the stimp. 

As for the overall scoring environment, the field averaged 73.03 (+2.03 RTP) on day two of the 2021 Palmetto but just 71.09 on the other three days. We should expect the latter, if not easy, this week due to a much friendlier weather forecast. The par-4 3rd and 15th were both eagle-friendly back in 2021 in addition to a couple of the par 5s yielded a good amount of eagles, as well. That's good to see because the rate of double bogeys is relatively high here so they'll need those eagles to erase some of the blemishes. 


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Correlated Courses

Using historical data we can look at overperformance and underperformance at this week's host course and compare that to all of the courses played out on TOUR. Here are the ones that shared a lot of overlap: 

Sedgefield CC
Harbour Town GL
Quail Hollow Club
Corales GC

While there is plenty of length on the scorecard, correlations with Sedgefield and Harbour Town let us know that shot-shaping and comfort on bermudagrass should not go overlooked. 

The Weather

Thursday: Sunny with a high of 69 degrees. Calm winds. 

Friday: Sunny with a high of 71 degrees. Winds at 5 to 10 MPH. 

This is some light rain in the Saturday forecast but otherwise looks like great weather this week. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.