Golf betting tips: Preview and tips for the 2021 ZOZO Championship
2019 marked the first edition of the ZOZO Championship which was won by Tiger Woods. The tournament is the first event sanctioned by the PGA Tour in Japan, in a deal that will last until at least 2025.
The ZOZO Championship replaced the CIMB Classic as the middle leg of the Asia Swing on the PGA Tour schedule. However, last year, in only the tournaments second year, it was forced to move to Sherwood Country Club in California for logistical reasons due to the COVID panademic.
The event is co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour and will feature an elite 78 man field comprising of the following;
- Top 60 available PGA Tour players from the previous season’s FedEx Cup standings
- Top 7 players in the current season Japan Golf Tour money list through the Bridgestone Open
- Top 3 players in the Bridgestone Open
- 8 sponsor exemptions
The tournament will be contested at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, which is located in the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan.
The Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club opened in 1965 and was designed by Shinya Fujita. The course for this week’s tournament is a Par 70 layout that measures 7,041 yards. It is an unusual layout for a Par 70 in that it has five Par 3’s and three Par 5’s.
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club features narrow, tree-lined fairways which makes club selection from the tee box an important part of play. Several holes are doglegged requiring an ability to shape the ball both ways. Like many courses in Japan, the host course at was designed with two greens (an ‘A’ & ‘B’ green) to help mitigate against wear-and-tear.
The greens are small by Tour average and have plenty slope and undulation. They are also well protected by bunkers and trees. Putts will be fast and challenging on many of the holes.
The layout demands precision and will reward ball-strikers. There is some elevation change and a variety of approach shots will be required to find the tricky green complexes. This is a week where, on the face of it, accuracy will win over power.
There is no cut at the ZOZO Championship, so an aggressive strategy is required. However, good course management will be at a premium and accuracy off the tee will be key.
Scoring levels this week will ultimately be dictated by how penal the fairway rough will be and more importantly how slick and fast the undulating greens will play.
Players hitting full shots while in tune with distance and accuracy will prosper.
Expect players in the mix to have a healthy percentage of greens in regulation with first class putting and a low scoring average on the three Par 5s