Las Vegas hosts its second consecutive PGA Tour event this week as the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek Golf Club is set to start on Thursday. The tournament was moved from Nine Bridges Golf Club in JeJu Island, South Korea, for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dustin Johnson was the 10/1 favorite to win the CJ Cup, but had to withdraw because of a positive coronavirus test
- Brooks Koepka makes his return after a knee injury forced him to miss the Tour Championship and the US Open
- Justin Thomas won the CJ Cup twice in three years, but a new venue will put the 12/1 pick at a disadvantage
Two golfers who planned to play this week had to withdraw because they tested positive for coronavirus. Tony Finau actually tested positive last week and had to pull out of the Shriners Hospital for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
No Johnson, Finau at CJ Cup
PGA Tour policy states that a player who tests positive for coronavirus must quarantine for 10 days before they are allowed to enter another event. Finau tested positive last week, and his 10-day quarantine will expire this weekend.
The other player who tested positive is Dustin Johnson, who was the favorite to win the CJ Cup at 10/1. The game’s No. 1-ranked player tested negative on Sunday, but felt symptomatic on Tuesday and took another test. That one came back positive, and he was forced to withdraw.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed,” Johnson said in a statement. “I was really looking forward to competing this week, but will do everything I can to return as quickly as possible. I have already had a few calls with the Tour’s medical team and appreciate all the support and guidance they have given me.”
Koepka Returns to Scene of Crime (Sorta)
Brooks Koepka has been away from tournament golf since August after reaggravating his knee that he injured last year at the CJ Cup. He slipped on some wet cement at Nine Bridges and tried to play through the pain. For most of the year, however, Koepka said he was just trying to get back to form.
“When I slipped I guess last year, my knee was fine going into that because I had done the whole stem cell PRP thing,” Koepka said. “Then, obviously, slipped and then retore it kind of in a — the tear’s in the middle of the patellar tendon, so that’s pretty much caused all these issues.”
Odds to Win CJ Cup Shadow Creek
With Dustin Johnson out of the field, Jon Rahm is the new favorite to win at Shadow Creek this weekend.
Source: William Hill
Koepka then tore the labrum in his hip at the PGA Championship in August, and shut it down for the rest of the year. He told reporters on Tuesday he feels 100%.
“I feel good now, so I’m just pleased to finally feel good,” Koepka said. “Still got a couple events and then Augusta. You know, [the ] year’s not over.”
Thomas Defends Title on New Golf Course
Thomas won the CJ Cup twice in three years, including in 2019, but he’ll have to defend his title on a new golf course.
Thomas told reporters on Tuesday he welcomes the change of venue.
“Obviously wish we were able to be at Nine Bridges at Jeju Island, but obviously, Shadow Creek is a pretty unbelievable alternative,” Thomas said.