By Walker Polivka
The PGA Tour season continues this week as it visits Congaree Golf Club for the 2022 THE CJ CUP in South Carolina. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the tournament, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and player to fade predictions.
Player to Fade: Chanmin Jung- Ranked 1011th in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jung is playing in THE CJ CUP this week on a sponsor’s exemption. Playing on the KPGA Tour, Jung has had little of note in 2022, with just 2 top 10 finishes this year and is coming off of 2 missed cuts in his last 3 starts. THE CJ CUP is another no-cut event, which means Jung will play all 4 days, but we predict that he will struggle mightily and finish in the bottom quarter of the field.
Dark Horse: Tom Hoge- Hoge is off to a fast start in the new season, with 2 top 10’s and 3 top 15’s in 3 starts. Although he isn’t considered one of the A-Listers, with 15 of the top 20 players in the OWGR playing this week, Hoge has a game that suits well for Congaree Golf Club, ranking 9th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and 46th in Sand Save Percentage. Congaree is a course that will play firm and fast this week and having control of your ball flight is key to success when playing here. A win isn’t out of the realm, but a top 20 is certainly within reach for Hoge this week.
Top 10: Rory McIlroy- The reigning FedEx Cup Champion and the defending CJ CUP Champion, McIlroy had an excellent PGA Tour season this past go-around, with 3 wins, 10 top 10’s, and 13 top 25’s in 16 starts. Since the season wrapped, McIlroy has continued to light it up on the DP World Tour, with 3 top 5 finishes in his last 3 starts. There are very few holes in McIlroy’s game, as he ranked 1st in Strokes Gained: Total, 2nd in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, 3rd in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, and 12th in Sand Save Percentage on the PGA Tour last season. McIlroy is always in the mix for the win anytime he tees it up, but a top 10 finish is a lock this week.
Winner: Viktor Hovland- Fresh off of a top 5 finish at the ZOZO Championship, Hovland is coming off of an up and down PGA Tour campaign, where he had 1 win, 5 top 10’s, and 10 top 25’s in 21 starts. Hovland is a risky pick this week due to his short game struggles, ranking 191st on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Around-The-Green. His recent form is excellent though, ranking 1st in Scoring Average and 28th in Sand Save Percentage in the early stages of this PGA Tour season. Hovland last won worldwide back in January at the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour and is long overdue for a victory, which is why we predict he will find himself hoisting the trophy on Sunday!