The PGA Tour has an event in Japan for the very first time. Our tipster has an eye on some seasoned pros, as well as course details and TV times
Now the Japan Skins out of the way, it’s time for the main event. The event has attracted an impressively strong field with the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy among the star names. Let’s take a look at some of the details before we get to my Zozo Championship betting tips…
Venue: Narashino Country Club, Chiba, Japan
Date: October 24-27, 2019
Course stats: Par 70; 7,041 yards
Course summary: Undulating tree-lined fairways make accuracy off the tee hugely important here, tree trouble awaits for those who are wayward. The greens are well protected and not overly largely so those that regularly have a high percentage in the GIR stats could thrive.
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event, 4am (live)
Friday: Sky Sports Golf, 4am (live), Main Event, 5am (live)
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 3.30am (live)
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf & Main Event, 3,30am (live)
Zozo Championship betting tips: Players to follow
US Open champion Gary Woodland (25/1 with bet365) has grabbed my attention for the outright and each-way backers.
The big-hitting American comes into the week on the back of yet another good finish at the CJ Cup where he finished in a tie for 3rd.
His form around this time last year read T5-2-T10-T41-T8-T3 and his performance in Korea last week proved it was was no fluke, so I’m confident we’ll see him up there again this week.
Encouragingly his game seems to suit some of the demands this layout may pose. He currently sits 16th on tour in strokes gained off-the-tee and is tied 19th in greens in regulation percentage.
Justin Thomas (7/1) heads the market for the second week in a row and it’s hard to argue with that given he’s the most in-form golfer on the planet.
Fresh off the back of winning his second CJ Cup title, it is not hard to envisage Thomas with his hands on a trophy once more on Sunday.
It seems the American has returned to the form of a couple of years ago where he regularly took apart PGA Tour fields claiming title after title.
The last time Thomas finished a tournament week outside of the top 12 is back in June and since then he has two victories to his name and a cumulative score of 98-under par.
He is tied 15th in strokes gained on approach to the green and inside the top 10 in strokes gained around the green statistics so I expect him to be right in the mix.
We’ve seen Ryan Moore (66/1) hit some good form over the last month and I think he is good value to continue that and finish in the places.
He’s made three starts so far this season and despite opening with a missed cut at the Safeway Open he’s improved massively.
The American finished tied for 13th at the Shriners and went five places better for a tied 8th finish at the CJ Cup.
At last year’s CJ Cup he finished outside the top 60, so with the confidence gained from putting those demons to bed I expect he will be in a good place to contend this week.
Sitting 10th in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour, he should leave himself with plenty of suitable approaches into the greens which aren’t the largest.
Finally, Shugo Imahira (66/1) could play an interesting role in this one thanks to his stunning form on the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour.
The Japanese native has recently recorded a streak of six top-10 finishes across the tours including a victory in his home country.
He may well find the class of this field just too much but he will be familiar with the course type and surroundings so if he is able to find even some of his recent scoring form he could provide some each-way value. A small stake will be plenty for me.