2019 ZOZO Championship Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The PGA Tour Asian Swing picks back up with the ZOZO Championship in Japan. This is the first-ever PGA sponsored event in the country and is also co-sponsored by the Japan Golf Tour (JGT). Even though it’s the first, not much has changed when it comes to favorites. MyBookie's odds to win the ZOZO Championship are familiar as Justin Thomas comes in at +700.
This is the first-ever ZOZO Championship so the best way to look at the event is to cover recent stats and the course. The first leg of the PGA Tour Asian swing took place last week with the CJ Cup where Justin Thomas won the event for the second time. His first came two years ago with the inaugural tournament. Brooks Koepka won last year but withdrew from play this past week.
The ZOZO Championship takes place at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club which is a beautiful course just outside of Chiba, Japan. The course has all of the hallmarks of a classic Southern United States course with lush terrain, rolling hills, tree-lined fairways, and roaming fans. Now compact that look for a short 70 par course with tight fairways and small greens. The event has quickly become a ticket seller as Tiger Woods signed on to play and excited crowds during a pre-tournament skins game.
Like the CJ Cup last week, the ZOZO Championship is a 78-player field no-cut tournament. Justin Thomas won by two strokes over Danny Lee of New Zealand. Hideki Matsuyama, at +1600, carded a T3 along with Gary Woodland (+2800).s The odds, according to MyBookie Sportsbook, are lining up similar with complete odds are listed below.
Predicting the ZOZO Championship
Justin Thomas has a win on the season and looks strong following his CJ Cup victory. His other event so far this 2020 season was a T4 at the Safeway Open. Thomas seemingly has everything in his bag working this year so there’s a good reason that he’s the top-favored golfer to win the ZOZO Championship open outright.
Tony Finau has a top-ten finish this season and six top-ten cards last year. Finau has proven his game several times over the last few years and his style of play may be a perfect fit for Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. He may be a long shot at +2800 but when you look at the odds below, that’s only a few slots removed from the favored top-three. His scoring average has jumped to 69.95 and he has the ability to reign in his 309.5 average driving distance for a shorter course.
Brook Koepka withdrew last week at the CJ Cup and is not in the field this weekend. Several players can fill that void including Rory McIlroy at +800, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed and Viktor Hovland who all are at +2800. Then there’s Tiger Woods at +3300 according to some of the Greatest Rated Online Sportsbooks. Woods won the Masters last season, had several runs at other wins but still showed some rust. However, he’s still Tiger Woods!