In the previous three editions of the Zozo Championship, held at Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, we have seen Tiger Woods, Hideki Matsuyama, and Keegan Bradley emerge as winners. These victories offer some insight into what we can expect from this year’s tournament.
Interestingly, Woods was listed at 40/1 odds before the tournament, while Matsuyama was at 10/1, and Bradley was at 30/1. In retrospect, these odds seem longer than they should have been, considering the smaller field that is often backloaded with players who aren’t world-class. This suggests that there may be some value in betting on players who are not necessarily the favorites.
Another common thread among the previous winners is their performance from tee-to-green. All three players were among the best in the world in this aspect of the game at the time of their victories. They made enough birdies to finish in the 15-to-19-under range, which proved to be enough to win on this course.
Taking these factors into account, one player who stands out as a strong pick for this year’s Zozo Championship is Min Woo Lee. Lee has shown great form in recent months, with several top-five finishes in non-PGA Tour starts. He also just secured a victory at the SJM Macao Open on the Asian Tour. With his excellent performance off the tee and on the greens, Lee has a good chance of contending for the title this week.
For those looking for a longshot pick, Ryo Ishikawa could be worth considering. While he may not be as well-known as he once was, Ishikawa has been consistently performing well on the Japan Golf Tour. He has a runner-up finish in his most recent start and top-20 results in five of his last seven tournaments. At odds of 40,000/1, Ishikawa offers a potentially lucrative payoff if he manages to outperform expectations.
In terms of one-and-done pools, Adam Schenk and Tom Hoge are both good options to consider. Despite missing the cut last week, Schenk’s ball-striking numbers were excellent. He has the potential to bounce back and perform well in this tournament, as he did with a T16 finish last year. Hoge, on the other hand, was trending nicely before missing the cut last week. He has a solid track record at this event, finishing T9 last year.
For placement bets, Sungjae Im is a strong contender for a top-five finish. He has had previous success on this course, finishing T3 four years ago, and his recent gold medal win at the Asian Games should boost his confidence. Cameron Champ is another player to watch for a top-10 finish. Although he didn’t perform as well as expected last week, his positive mindset and immense talent make him a good bet for a strong result. Finally, Hayden Buckley offers good value for a top-20 finish, considering his consistent performance and favorable odds.
As always, it’s important to remember that betting on golf can be unpredictable, and anything can happen in a tournament. These picks are based on current form and past performances, but it’s essential to rely on your own judgment and analysis when making bets.