After back-to-back events in Las Vegas, the PGA Tour travels to Chiba, Japan this week for the ZOZO Championship. This event was held in California last year but will return to its original home in Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club (par 70, 7,073 yards, bentgrass greens), which hosted the first ever ZOZO Championship two years ago. That year Tiger Woods won at 19 under. Similar to the CJ Cup last week, there will be no cut and this is a limited field of only 78 golfers.
Every week I use Alex Baker’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings to identify mispriced options in both the PGA DFS and golf betting market. Below are three expert PGA picks this week and Vegas betting odds for the ZOZO Championship.
Expert PGA Picks This Week: ZOZO Championship
Much like the standard rankings in golf, Awesemo has produced the Unofficial World Golf Rankings. We can use these in PGA DFS lineups or to find an edge on our golf betting picks. At Awesemo, the metric is the number of strokes above or below how an average field in a PGA tournament performed. How to weigh these data points is essential, as people love to talk about short form versus long form. Only PGA tournaments are considered right now, and golfers need a minimum of 20 rounds played.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1400, Caesars Sportsbook)
Last week at the CJ Cup Matsuyama continued to strike the ball at an elite level, ranking 11th in strokes gained tee to green and 15th in strokes gained on approach. However, his work on the greens was a complete disaster, losing a field-worst 9.6 strokes putting. Matsuyama can only improve from this performance, and there is some hope that his putter could come alive this week at Accordia. When the ZOZO Championship was played here two years ago, Matsuyama rolled it well on the bentgrass greens, with 27.8 putts per round that helped him card a runner-up finish. He also finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer, which took place at Kasumigaseki Country Club, a similar track to Accordia. It would be shocking to see Matsuyama disappoint on his home soil this week, and he is a sharp bet at this number.
Rickie Fowler (+2500, BetRivers)
After missing back-to-back cuts, Fowler took a massive step in the right direction last week at the CJ Cup. He had his best showing as a ball striker in over two years, gaining a tournament-high nine strokes from tee to green. Fowler also led the field in greens in regulation and ranked second in fairways found. In the end his putter led to his demise, losing 2.7 strokes on the greens in the final round and limiting him to a third-place finish. While this was a heartbreaker for Fowler, his performance was extremely encouraging, and if he can carry over this momentum as a ball striker to the ZOZO, all he will need is a little luck with his putter to get back in the winner’s circle.
Thankfully, Accordia is home to bentgrass greens, which is Fowler’s top putting surface of choice. He ranks third in total strikes gained over the last 100 rounds on bentgrass. Furthermore, he ranks second in total strokes gained over his last 100 rounds at no-cut events. Plain and simple, these odds are far too long for Fowler this week.
C.T. Pan (+4000, PointsBet)
The last time Pan competed in Japan he took home the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Now he returns to the country in outstanding form, fresh off a sixth-place finish at the Fortinet Championship and an 11th place at the Sanderson Farms Championship. These two high finishes can mostly be attributed to some tremendous ball striking, with him ranking fourth in strokes gained tee to green and third in strokes gained on approach across his last eight rounds.
Pan’s flat stick has also been hot, ranking fourth in strokes gained putting over the same timeframe, and he has statistically been at his best on bentgrass greens throughout his career. Pan currently ranks 91st in Awesemo’s Unofficial World Golf rankings, 41 spots higher than his standard ranking, and he is worth backing at this price.Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Check out the StokasticOdds home page for more sports betting content, including more picks and predictions.
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