The ZOZO Championship returns to Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The field isn’t as strong as in 2019 when Tiger Woods took home the trophy, but four golfers from the top 30 are teeing it up in Japan, the second big tournament (2020 Summer Olympics) for a country that loves golf.
The only past winner here is Woods, who won at +3300. Patrick Cantlay took home the trophy in 2020 when the tournament was in Las Vegas, and he won at +2800, so there’s nothing really to glean from an average winning odds standpoint.
The course can be susceptible to soft conditions like we saw in 2019 when a tropical storm ripped through the area and suspended play on Friday. The conditions won’t be as wet this time around, but it’ll be colder than it was two years ago. When Tiger won, he ranked seventh in fairways in regulation and third greens in regulation — meaning the guys we back need to be elite ball-strikers this week if they want to win..
For a full course preview, key statistics breakdown and additional players to consider, refer to the DraftKings Preview on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the bets we should be considering this week on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Fowler looked great last week and should feel confident coming into this week after gaining the most strokes Tee-To-Green (+9.00) at the CJ Cup. He hit it well over the weekend, but Rory McIlroy just had a better Sunday. Still, Fowler has an excellent record in Asia, with a fifth at the 2010 CIMB, along with a third-place and a sixth at the HSBC. Coming into this week, Fowler ranks 34th in SG: Ball-Striking, 28th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 12th in putting over the previous 24 rounds.
I know Bradley never wins, so why bet him this week? Well, the field isn’t terribly strong and he’s got the ball-striking to do well here. Bradley comes into this week ranking 18th in opportunities gained over his previous 12 rounds and has a fantastic record in Asia. He’s got a sixth and a runner up at CIMB, a sixth at the HSBC and a 13th here in 2019. He’s only lost strokes with his irons once since the 2020 PGA Championship, which was in August.
Also, consider Maverick McNealy (+3500) and Branden Grace (+5000) in the same range. McNealy ranks eighth in SG: Total and 13th in SG: Tee-to-Green over the previous 24 rounds and is coming off a 2-MC-T38 in his last three events. Maverick lacks experience playing golf in Asia, but had two runner-up finishes last season, proving he can compete at the highest level. Like Fowler and Bradley, Grace has good finishes in Asia with a Top 15 at the 2017 HSBC and a top five in the same tournament two years previous. Grace also finished 17th at the 2017 CJ Cup in South Korea at Nine Bridges, so there’s something he likes about playing golf in this region. Grace is top 15 in proximity with his wedges over the last two dozen rounds (100-125 yards, 125-150 yards) and 30th in fairways gained over the previous 12 rounds. A solid putter, Grace will need to use that to his advantage this week the same way Tiger did en route to his 2019 win, when he ranked second in putts per GIR (1.64).
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