The Zozo Championship is set to take place in Inzai City, Japan, and will see the return of Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Rickie Fowler after their disappointing performance at the Ryder Cup. The three golfers are hoping to put the loss behind them and focus on their individual games.
The tournament holds a special significance for all three players, as they have family ties to Japan. Schauffele, in particular, has fond memories of winning the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics two years ago. However, Morikawa did not have a successful outing in the Olympics, losing a playoff for the bronze medal. Despite this, Morikawa expresses that there is no lingering anger from the Ryder Cup and that the two events are completely different.
During the Ryder Cup, both Morikawa and Schauffele only managed to win a single point each from four matches, while Fowler lost both of the matches he played in. Schauffele admitted that his performance in Italy was not great, and he described it as “decent but not great.” However, he was less than pleased with comments made by his father, Stefan Schauffele, who suggested that players should be compensated. Schauffele stated that he was not happy that his father spoke to the media and expressed concerns about how his words might be misconstrued.
The issue of compensation for players in events like the Ryder Cup has been raised before, as the tournament generates millions of dollars and the players have no stake in the profits. Fowler, despite the disappointment of losing at the Ryder Cup, still treasures the memories and experiences he had with his teammates and captains. He believes that while the losing memories can be put behind them, the overall week is still something to look back on fondly.
Keegan Bradley, the defending Zozo champion, is looking forward to returning to Japan after jump-starting his career with the victory last year. The tournament holds a special place in Bradley’s heart as it marked a significant turning point in his career. The win last year, coupled with his victory at the Travelers Championship four months ago, has given him confidence and fond memories of his time in Japan.
As the Zozo Championship approaches, Schauffele, Morikawa, Fowler, and Bradley will all be looking to put their recent disappointments behind them and focus on their individual performances. Playing on familiar ground in Japan may provide a much-needed boost for these golfers as they strive for success in the tournament.