THE CJ CUP: Vegas links that could help us hit the jackpot this week

The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week and several players in the field have some home advantage which could prove significant.

What just happened in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Yes, one PGA Tournament in the gambling capital is followed immediately by another as a select field of 78 contests this week's CJ CUP.

Originally, this tournament took place in South Korea but the pandemic caused it to be moved to Las Vegas last year.

That event was hosted at Shadow Creek but this time it switches to another Vegas venue, The Summit Club.

We've not seen the 7,457-yard par 72 before so punters are somewhat in the dark as they try and pick out the best bets.

So a smart move is to look at players with Vegas links, whether it be a residency, a college connection or a record of playing well there or in other parts of Nevada.

Here are five names to ponder...

Collin Morikawa

The Open champion would be on the shortlist anyway after his superb display in the Ryder Cup where he secured three wins and a half from his four matches.

But, as well as the obvious credentials, Morikawa is a Las Vegas resident and, get this, is a member of The Summit.

Collin Morikawa will be very familiar with this week's course
Collin Morikawa will be very familiar with this week's course

Not only that, he once shot a 62 at the Tom Fazio design.

Morikawa was tied 12th in this event at Shadow Creek last year and also showed his ability to thrive in local conditions when winning the 2019 Barracuda Championship in Reno.

Adam Scott

The Aussie went to the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) so knows a thing or two about playing in the desert and handling the climate (it's around 670 yards above sea level).

However, he's played very little competitive golf in the area and last week's appearance at the Shriners Children's Open was just his third start in Nevada this century.

Scott managed tied 35th last week, an improvement on his tied 42nd in 2019 although he was tied eighth after 54 holes two years ago before his closing 74.

Charley Hoffman

Hoffman, like Scott, also attended UNLV and was a member of the Rebels golf team, helping them to the NCAA Championship in 1998.

As a pro, he's been a regular at the Shriners Children's Open and all its different titles down the years.

Charley Hoffman went to UNLV
Charley Hoffman went to UNLV

He's played that event 16 times and has a fourth, a fifth and a sixth although he's managed just one top 20 in the last seven visits.

Hoffman opened with a 63 at TPC Summerlin last week but had to settle for tied 44th. That followed tied 39th in the Sanderson Farms and tied 22nd in the Fortinet Championship.

Maverick McNealy

McNealy is a Las Vegas resident and, like Morikawa, is a member at The Summit.

The 25-year-old, who finished runner-up at the Fortinet Championship two starts ago, missed the cut at TPC Summerlin last week although he's not done well on that course previously: form there now reads MC-MC-37-MC.

Maverick McNealy is a member at The Summit Club
Maverick McNealy is a member at The Summit Club

He should enjoy The Summit more although McNealy may have also felt a level of comfort had the tournament still been hosted in Korea.

He told golf.com during lockdown last year: "I've been learning how to read and write in Korean and I'm trying to learn vocabulary words and how to speak now, which is fun."

Tom Hoge

As a big outsider, Hoge holds plenty of interest given his record in Nevada.

In eight starts in the state, he's posted five top 25s. That includes tied 14th at TPC Summerlin last week, seventh in that same event in 2017 as well as fourth (2017) and sixth (2019) in the Barracuda Championship.

Hoge was fourth in The Northern Trust in August so his game looks in good shape.

He grew up in Texas so is used to handling winds too.

READ MORE: Sungjae Im wins on 100th PGA Tour start with brilliant closing 62

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