Like last week’s tournament, the ZOZO Championship was supposed to be held overseas (Japan) but because of travel restrictions and such, the ZOZO Championship is being held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.
Sherwood CC is a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and has hosted some PGA TOUR-sanctioned events before such as: the Greg Norman Shark Shootout, the World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods and even a PGA TOUR Champions event. Tiger Woods also played in a head to head exhibition against David Duval in 1999 called the “Showdown at Sherwood”.
78 top golfers will be invited into this event including a number of Japanese players that would normally have been in the field if the tournament was held in Japan. It is a no cut event being played at a course that most golfers have only played casually if ever. Tiger Woods won last year’s first ever ZOZO Championship and will make his return to golf here this week.
In making betting plays this week I will look at guys that are playing well heading into the ZOZO Championship but there are a few other things to consider. This course has five par 5’s all between 520 and 560 yards but with elevation changes and strategic placement of trees and hazards driving the green in two may not always be an option. This course also favors golfers that can work the ball well from left to right. Guys with good par 5 stats and good approach shots will have a better day at Sherwood.
Favorites To Win The ZOZO Championship @Sherwood
Is a member of Sherwood CC and holds the course record there. He is obviously one of the best golfers in the world right now and will be a solid bet to look at to win this week. ****I write this with the caveat that DJ tested positive for the Covid virus and is still at this point unknown if he plays. If he does, he won’t have practiced much heading into the tournament but given his knowledge of the course that will matter a bit less than normally for bettors.
Simpson was one of the best golfers on the PGA Tour last year and was in the hunt in most of the events he entered. He finished in the Top 10 in 8 of the 12 cuts he made last year and so far in the 2020-2021 season he has an 8th (US Open) and a 13th place finish (Shriners). Simpson is just playing great right now and in a small field like this one he makes a lot of sense to pick as a winner.
Sleeper Picks For The 2020 ZOZO Championship
If this event was being held in Japan like originally planned Imahira would be a much better pick this week playing in his homeland. Regardless this tournament will have plenty of eyes on it from Japan and Imahira will have added incentive to win this week. Shugo relies on his short game a lot and if he can hit the ball off the tee well this week, he could put himself into contention.
Fowler had a pretty good week last week at the CJ Cup and has played at the Sherwood course before. In a small field no cut event it’s usually a guy that gets hot for four rounds that wins and Fowler could be that guy…at longer odds he’ll pay off nicely if he does.
Other Bets To Consider
Tiger Woods – Wood loves this course and has played at Sherwood before. I debated putting him as a favorite to win this week but have put him here instead. He will give you decent odds at Intertops given some of the other favorites in the field and still worth an outright bet to win given his history there.
Collin Morikawa – Sherwood is a course that favors good iron players and Morikawa is one of the best in the field this week. Given he won the PGA Championship this year he has shown that he can compete in big tournaments. He righted the ship last week at the CJ Cup after missing the cut the last two events he played. Good bet to make at decent odds this week.