The PGA TOUR heads to Japan this week for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club is a 7,079-yard par-70 that features bentgrass greens. This will be a 78-man no-cut event with a pretty strong field, headlined by World No. 6 Xander Schauffele and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama.
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Fleetwood is still looking for that elusive maiden PGA TOUR victory. If you would have asked this question a few years ago, almost everyone would have said that it’s only a matter of when, not if, Fleetwood would win on the PGA TOUR. Yet here we are, in 2022 and he still has nothing to show for it. He played some very poor golf (at least for his standards) for the better part of a year, before finding his game again this past season.
Even while in this slump, he still consistently posted strong finishes on the DP World Tour, and this event feels very much like one of those events, albeit with a stronger field. This will be Fleetwood’s third time teeing it up at Accordia, and he went T7, T22 in the two years prior, so he clearly likes the layout here. Over his past 24 rounds in this field, Fleetwood sits 10th in Total Strokes Gained and 19th in SG: Tee-to-Green. This field is pretty top heavy with Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama and Collin Morikawa all making the trip, but Fleetwood could absolutely contend this week, and I like the number we’re getting here.
After have a really rough stretch from the end of Spring into early Summer, Hoge has really picked up game. He’s now posted two top-10 finishes across his past four starts, which includes last week at the Shriners Children’s Open, where he shot a final round 64 to propel him up the leaderboard and into a tie for fourth place. The T4 also marked his third consecutive top-12 finish. This run started at the TOUR Championship where he shot four straight rounds in the 60s and came from the bottom to finish T10 at a really tough East Lake course.
Over this stretch, or about 12 rounds or so, Hoge ranks No. 1 in this field in Total Strokes Gained, No. 2 in SG: Approach and sixth in SG: Putting. His game is clicking on all cylinders right now, and just as a capper, he finished T17 at this event last year. We know he can find the winner’s circle after taking down the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am last February, and getting 40/1 in this spot is real nice.
I cannot quit Luke List. He finally made a cut in his last start at the Sanderson Farms Championship, but settled for a T73 after a poor Friday and Saturday. The ZOZO is a no cut event, thankfully, so barring a withdrawal we will be getting four full rounds from List, and that is quite intriguing.
Despite the recent results not being there, List still ranks fourth in this field in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 16 rounds. The only part of his game holding him back is his putting. He played this event last year and finished T7, so there’s absolutely no reason to think that with his ball-striking prowess, he cant top-20 for us this week. Getting +250 in this spot is great.
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