ZOZO Championship: Rickie Fowler is a great option in Japan.

ZOZO Championship: Rickie Fowler is a great option in Japan.
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I think a humble brag is in order. Last week, I hit Tom Kim to win the Shriners Children’s Open at +1200. That’s one win out of two events, but two for two in having a guy finish inside the top 20.

Now that we are done counting our 12 units from Kim, we get ready to tackle the ZOZO Championship –this year hosted at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. The par 70 course plays just 7,079 yards, and the field is just 78 players. Remember, this is a no-cut event, which means every player will play four rounds.

With limited iterations here, the data is limited. However, these are the key metrics I used to build my models:

Key Metrics:

  • Driving Distance
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • SG: Around the Green
  • Opportunities Gained
  • SG: Putting

ZOZO Championship Bets

Rickie Fowler to Win +1800 0.75 units

At this price, which I found on Pinnacle, Rickie Fowler becomes a golfer I don’t mind betting on. I have a rule: if a golfer is first on my model, I have to bet them at a reasonable price. With the limited data points for this course, I made a model that shows me guys who bomb drives, hit greens, and make birds. I also added a bit for golfers who can scramble, just in case they start to miss greens.

Last season, Fowler ended his drought and played some great golf. It makes sense why Fowler is the top-ranked golfer in my model. In the previous 36 rounds, he’s 16th in Driving Distance, 12th in Opportunities Gained, ninth in SG: APP, and second in SG: ARG.

While the tournament wasn’t at this course last season, Fowler played well in Japan at this event, finishing T2. If he continues to play at a high level this season, 18/1 might be an afterthought in smaller field events.

Min Woo Lee to Win +2200 0.5 units

I posted Min Woo Lee to win on my X.com page earlier in the week. The price has come down to around +1800 on most books. That price is fine; however, I would not play anything past +1800.

Lee is an exciting golfer to bet on at this course this week. He’s coming off an Asian Tour win last week, and he’s another golfer who is an excellent course fit. He’s long off the tee, second in the field. He’s a great putter and solid around the greens. After some strong performances last season, this could be the year where he gets scorching hot.

Adam Scott to Win +3300 0.5 units

I think I’ve only bet on Adam Scott once or maybe twice in the past two seasons. However, he’s third on my model and has a great price for taking a stab at a former World No.1.

Scott is another who is great off the tee and gives himself plenty of looks at birdie. He’s third in both Driving Distance and SG:P. He’s eighth in Opportunities Gained and is also solid around the greens.

He’s coming off a solid season and a good performance in his last event—a solid price for a guy who jumps off the page when modeling.

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Keegan Bradley to Win +2700 0.5 units

Kim saw a successful defense of his title last week. This probably makes it highly unlikely that Keegan Bradley will do the same at ZOZO. I don’t care. I’m backing one of the best ball strikers in golf with a massive chip on his shoulder after not being a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.

With two wins on the season last year, he should’ve probably been a shoo-in to represent the US. However, that’s an argument for another day. Bradley is a beast off the tee and on approach. His game is in a great place. He’s also in the top 10 on my model.

Cam Davis Top 20 (-135) 2 units

First and foremost, make sure you bet this on a book without dead heat rules. BetMGM Sportsbook is the book that pays ties in full. This is generally the book I primarily use unless I see a glaring difference between the pricing that makes me risk losing money on a guy finishing T20.

Let’s talk about Cam Davis for a second. Since the 3M Open last season, he’s been scorching hot. He’s finished inside the top 20 in his previous six events (taking out the staggered start BMW Championship). Of those top 20 finishes, each one was inside the top 10. His worst result was a T10 at the 3M Open.

Over the last 36 rounds, Davis is fourth in Strokes Gained. He’s been smoking hot off the tee and as good on approach. Even his putter is dialed in. Last week, I had him pegged as a possible Shriners Children’s Open winner. The only thing that kept me off him was his pricing. Don’t be shocked if you see his name toward the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.

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