The second stop on the PGA Tour’s Asian Swing gets underway on Thursday (Wednesday evening/early morning in the U.S.) with the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island in South Korea.
Justin Thomas returns to defend his 2017 title and will be part of the featured group in the opening rounds.
The Kentucky native will be paired alongside the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year in Brooks Koepka, and home favorite Sungjae Im – the Web.com’s 2018 money winner, who also happened to toil around the links at Nine Bridges as a junior.
Thomas has committed to play in all three of the Asian stops (last week’s CIMB – where he finished T5; this week in Korea; and next week’s WGC China event).
This will be Koepka’s first start of the 2018-19 season; he will also tee it up next week in Shanghai.
An interesting storyline to follow with this featured pairing is the battle for the world No. 1 ranking. With Dustin Johnson (No. 1) and Justin Rose (No. 2)both idle this week, a victory by either No. 3 Koepka or No. 4 Thomas – the two clear betting favorites – would vault the winner into the No. 1 spot in the world rankings.