The PGA Tour makes its annual trip to Japan this week with the 2023 Zozo Championship. It has been on the circuit since 2019, when the first tournament was won by Tiger Woods. The event tends to attract a strong field and this year is no exception. Sixteen of the world’s top 50 golfers are scheduled to take part and we will get the first sighting of American Ryder Cup players since they performed in Italy.
Last week at the Shriners Children’s Open, we gained some returns in the top 10 finish markets. J.T. Poston tied for third, while Cam Davis finished in a tie for seventh. It has been a solid start to the new season with our picks. So let’s see if we can keep the run going in Japan with our Zozo Championship predictions and betting picks for this preview.
At the head of the outright winner betting market with the most trusted offshore bookmakers for USA players, Xander Schauffele leads us off at best industry odds of 15/2. Schauffele started as the favorite for the Zozo Championship last year, before finishing in a tie for ninth, five shots off the winner. Xander has a pair of top 10 finishes in this tournament and has shortened from 9/1 earlier in the week, so there is significant interest in the defending champion.
Collin Morikawa is next, listed at 9/1 in places with the sportsbooks, but can be claimed at a top price of 12/1. His overall form is patchy, but he is delivering good stats in certain areas, and he tied for seventh here in 2021.
Behind the favorites, Rickie Fowler, Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama can all be claimed at 14/1. Fowler was a joint runner-up in 2022, while Matsuyama went one better by winning the Zozo Championship a year earlier. Sungjaie Im also has a good record in this event, tying for third in the inaugural edition in 2019.
Min Woo Lee and Sahith Theegala are next with both men available at best odds of 20/1. Theegala won the first event of the new season with victory at the Fortinet Championship, and he tied for fifth here on debut last year.
Keegan Bradley is back to defend the title that he won by one stroke 12 months ago. Prior to that win, he has also tied for 13th in 2019 and for seventh in 2021, so he clearly likes this event. Bradley is quoted at a top price of 22/1 this year, alongside Australia’s Cam Davis. The latter has returned four top seven finishes in his last six starts and he leads the power rankings this week.
Other golfers to mention from the chasing pack section include Adam Scott at 28/1 and Eric Cole at 35/1. Cole is fresh off a final round 62 on Sunday and he is one of the form golfers in the field leading into Thursday’s first tee times.
Adam Schenk and Beau Hossler lead the underdogs with both golfers available at top prices of 40/1. Hossler is another player to tie for seventh at the Shriners Children’s Open and he also has two top five finishes in his last three starts.
Next is Nicolai Hojgaard at 45/1 and he is followed by a clutch of golfers at 50/1. Alex Noren, Adam Svensson, J.J. Spaun, Aaron Rai, Vincent Norrman and Cameron Champ are all available at that 50/1 figure. Noren finished in a tie for third on Sunday, while Champ had a solid four days, and is hinting at an overdue return to form.
Other players to mention before we look at the course include Taylor Moore at 66/1, Keith Mitchell at 66/1, Garrick Higgo at 80/1, Kurt Kitayama at 80/1, Taylor Montgomery at 100/1 and Mackenzie Hughes at 110/1.
Our Preview’s Zozo Championship Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Conclusion
The Narashino Country Club in Inzai is the regular home for the Zozo Championship. It is a standard par 70, which measures just over 7,000 yards. There are, however, three par 5s in play, which represent birdie chances for the bigger hitters.
That leaves five par 3s, in an unconventional layout which features double greens. If a ball lands on the wrong green, a free drop is allowed. Those putting surfaces should be fast. Wind is expected to be brisk on the first two days, while primary rough of 3.5 inches, means that accuracy will be vital.
The player that interests us this week is Cam Davis. He delivered a small return in the top 10 finish betting lines on Sunday and is one of the most consistent players of the early season. He has good, relevant stats for this course and is already exempt from all Signature events in 2024.
So our betting picks and predictions for this Zozo Championship preview are:
- Cam Davis to win at best odds of +2200 (22/1) with BetOnline. He is +2000 (20/1) with Bovada and EveryGame.
- Top 10 Betting Picks (all odds from BetOnline, the first to publish betting, though they are usually longest in this market on all selections): Cam Davis (+250), Min Woo Lee (+180), Adam Scott (+225) and Tom Hoge (+400).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.