Power Rankings: THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT
4 Min Read
The desert-encircled, neon-charged cityscape of Las Vegas is instantly recognizable, and while images of the stark definition from the air are attention-grabbing, views from elevated spots on the ground perhaps are the most intriguing. Because you can see for miles and miles, the scope of The Strip against the distant backdrop of the Spring Mountains is more compelling.
This is true approaching from the northeast on I-15 and especially just past dusk when the entire width of the city is visible, lit up and fronting the silhouette of the mountains under an orange sky. The daytime perspective from the opposite angle will be on display from the perch of this week’s host of the fourth PGA TOUR event of the 2021-22 season.
Contested at The Summit Club, THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT features a limited field of 78 and no cut. For details of the tournament, the new venue, the specific history that defending Jason Kokrak is chasing and more, continue reading beneath the projected contenders.
Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider will include reviews of defending champion Jason Kokrak, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia and other notables.
For the second consecutive year, THE CJ CUP is being staged in the United States due to the pandemic. Last year’s edition was held at Shadow Creek Golf Course north of downtown Las Vegas. The Summit Club is due west of The Strip and only six miles south of TPC Summerlin, site of last week’s Shriners Children’s Open.
As of Monday, 46 of the 78 in the field at THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT competed at the Shriners, including champion Sungjae Im. Because the tournament originally was scheduled to be in South Korea, eight exemptions into the tournament still were reserved specifically for golfers from the country. Five qualified via the money list on the KPGA, while the other three were selected using the Official World Golf Ranking on Oct. 4.
Sixty exemptions are reserved for golfers in order of the final standings of the 2020-21 FedExCup. Only eight of the top 60 have elected not to play.
The Summit Club opened in the spring of 2017. The stock par 72 is a Tom Fazio design tipping at 7,431 yards. The viewpoints on the tee boxes at the 614-yard, par-5 sixth hole and 508-yard par-4 10th face The Strip about 10 miles to the east, but elevated sightlines with scenic vistas in all directions are experienced throughout the walk. The jackpot probably won’t be settled until the finishing hole. Measuring 580 yards, it’s also is par 5.
Bentgrass greens are average in size and are prepped to touch a typical 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. The rest of the property is blanketed with overseeded bermudagrass and the primary rough stands at four inches. Despite the relative youth of the course, all 62 bunkers recently have been replaced with fresh sand.
The exclusive club claims two-time major champion Collin Morikawa among its members. The scary thing about that fact is that ball-strikers already have an edge on unfamiliar tracks because it takes a round or two to get the feel for the greens, their undulations, where to miss, etc. Morikawa already is a proven, world-class tee-to-green technician, but now he’s equipped with perhaps more first-hand knowledge than everyone else in the field.
Kokrak capitalized on the formula at Shadow Creek last year. Arguably most familiar with it, he broke through for his first PGA TOUR title in what was his 10th season as a member. Now he’s faced with defending on a different test. If he converts, he’ll be the first to do so in a non-major on a different course since Jim Furyk successfully defended at the RBC Canadian Open at Angus Glen Golf Club’s North Course in 2007. (He connected for the 2006 Canadian Open title at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.)
Conditions as spectacular as the views will be the norm throughout the tournament. Just about nothing but sunshine is expected for all four rounds. Daytime highs will climb from the upper 60s into the mid-70s for the finale. Winds will be light.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers; Fantasy Insider
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday