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Zozo Championship: PGA Tour Expert Picks

Satoshi Kodaira is a sneaky pick at Narashino.

Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing and Finance - Round Two Photo by James Gilbert/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Tournament Information

Zozo Championship
Date: October 20th – 24th
Course: Narashino Country Club
Purse: $10mm ($1.8MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Patrick Cantlay (-23)

Course: Narashino Country Club

Opened in 1965 and located in Chiba Japan, this course has hosted the Zozo Championship since its inception in 2019. It is a par 72 stretching 7,224 yards with a 70 course rating a slope rating of 110. The course has a number of mature trees running along most fairways. It runs fairly flat with a fair amount of bunkers and lakes layered on the sides. The conditions run favorable for some low scores as long as players avoid the bunkers which can mask most of the greens. This course has hosted a handful of notable tournaments in history including a PGA Championship, the Japan Airlines Open, and the Japan Open Golf Championships.

ZOZO Championship - Round Two Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

My Starting 4

Hideki Matsuyama (first selection this year) – He’s hit a bit of a rough stretch lately, finishing outside the top 50 in each tournament to start this year. Back in 2019 he finished 2nd here behind Tiger, and I think he can rally and really turn some heads.

Xander Schauffele (first selection this year) He finished 10th here in 2019 with a solid effort. He finished 18th last week at CJ Cup, and he’s 21stin strokes gained approaching the green.

Rickie Fowler (second selection this year) I’m doubling down on Rickie, who looked amazing at CJ Cup last week. He was 57th here last year but he was also struggling a bit to start last season. His driver is amazing (12th in strokes gained off the tee) and he’s 15th in strokes gained tee to green.

Satoshi Kodaira (first selection this year) Satashi finished 37th here two years ago. He comes into this tournament after finishing 11th at the Japan Open Golf Championship in his last tournament.

My Bench 2

Joaquin Niemann (first selection this year) He finished 33rd here two years ago. He finished 40th and 45th in the two tournaments to start this year but in each situation he was at least -10 or better.

Ryan Palmer (first selection this year) Ryan finished 10th here two years ago and 4th here last year. He’s been in one tournament to start this season and it was a missed cut at Shriners. There is some concern as historically he does well at Shriners but I think he can still do well at Narashino.

Fun Fact: Despite this tournament being in it’s third year of existence, last year, the winner here won the FedEx Cup (Patrick Cantlay).

2021-2022 Stats

Start: Average Finish 45th (40th percent)
Bench: Average Finish 61st (55th percent)