After a fun and successful week on Jeju Island in South Korea, the PGA Tour makes its way to Japan for surprisingly their first appearance ever.
Boy, are the stars coming out for this one too!
Last week’s winner Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Japanese native Hideki Matsuyama will all be in attendance as well as Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey, and Jordan Spieth. We, of course, don’t have the luxury of looking at course history here but neither do the sportsbooks so I think we can find some value and advantages in there.
Last week was a fairly successful one for us.
We were dead on about most of our picks, I just wish we would have picked them to finish a little bit higher instead of just inside the top twenty.
Gary Woodland and Cameron Smith each finished tied for 3rd place. Ryan Palmer was 12th and his top twenty odds of (+260) were our biggest win of the weekend. Course history was a large predictor for us last week.
We will have to use current form and the ability to adapt to the course for our picks this week.
The online sportsbook BetOnline has the lines for us this week.
Let’s take a look at the betting odds and make some picks for the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.
Gary came through for us in a big way last week, so big actually that we wished we had taken him top ten or even top five.
Woodland has played very well on the Asian courses over the years having several top 5 finishes in Kuala Lumpur and now another last week in South Korea.
He’s a young healthy guy who appears to take very good care of himself so I’m not as concerned with fatigue with him as I would be with, oh I don’t know, John Daly.
Woodland, who is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career in 2018-2019, seems like he is not at all satisfied.
He had a bit of a hangover following his US Open victory but those days are behind us and the former hoops star is ready to keep on ballin’.
Gary’s ball-striking is his forte and he is normally very consistent with it. It’s the putter that can be his undoing but it warmed up considerably over this past weekend at the CJ Cup.
Woodland will also likely be motivated by the fact that the Captain for the President’s Cup Team USA will be playing this week.
Gary is definitely deserving of the Captain’s pick and a solid top twenty performance this week in front of the legendary Tiger Woods would all but solidify his position on the team.
Fitzy, as I will now call him, has moved up to a ranking of 26th in the world after finishing up 2018 at 39th. He has a lot of success on the European Tour and his success in Asia is worth noting.
Matthew has a 4th place finish in Singapore and two top 3s in Hong Kong. On mainland China, has 6th, 7th, and 9th place finishes including a WGC event in Shanghai.
Even though he may appear to only be 15 years old, Fitzy is actually 25 and coming into his own as a top 30 golfer in the world. He doesn’t have the power to keep up on a bomber’s course but is very accurate off the tee and if his putter gets hot, can keep up with anybody.
It is going to be a very windy week in Chiba, Japan and the British star who went to college at Northwestern in the Windy City of Chicago has always thrived in these types of conditions.
He is coming off of a couple of weeks of rest and in great form having been overtaken in the final round at the Italian Open eventually having to settle for second place.
This bitter taste in his mouth as well along with some confidence from playing well should carry him to a top twenty finish among some of the world’s best.
This week is going to be a difficult one to call with zero course history to go by and the season just getting underway for some players.
Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are in the field and Tiger Woods is making his first appearance on the PGA Tour this season.
Will the Presidents Cup Team USA Captain be scouting for the team or focused on his own game?
Woods has shown to take a few weeks to get back into his form at this point in his career and I wouldn’t expect a high finish from Tiger.
I really like players who are in great form with successful recent attempts in Asia.
With Matthew Fitzpatrick and Gary Woodland both fitting that bill, let’s just go with these two guys.
If you want to throw a few bucks on Xander Schauffele to win, I don’t think it would be a terrible idea but I would think he may need to knock a little rust off before he goes for it.
This is considered to be a mini-major tournament, though, so we may see the best of the X-man this week as he normally only gets excited for star-studded tournaments with a bit of prestige.
With this being the inaugural playing of the Zozo Championship, I imagine he will be as focused as the next guy.
Get your bets in now and remember the time difference, guys!