2023 Zozo Championship: Top 10 power rankings at Narashino CC

Rickie Fowler and Caddie, ZOZO Championship, Narashino,(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler and Caddie, ZOZO Championship, Narashino,(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) /
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The PGA Tour is in Asia for the one and only time in 2023 at the Zozo Championship in Japan.

One of the premier events on the PGA Tour’s fall schedule is this week at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba, Japan.

We’re at the fifth edition of the Zozo Championship.

It’s the fourth edition in Japan, as the 2020 event was moved to the United States due to pandemic-related reasons.

Narashino opened in 1965 and is a parkland-style course measuring 7,224 yards for a par 70. Like many Japanese courses, it features two greens on every hole. This is done to keep greens playable during different seasons.

For the Zozo, the bentgrass greens in place for the winter season will be played and expect to roll around 11 on the stimpmeter.

There are three par-5s and five par-3s on the scorecard.

It’s a short, tree-lined course so accuracy is rewarded this week. Length is not a necessity.

ShotLink is not in place at this tournament, so statistics are hard to come by.

This is a 72-hole event with no 36-hole cut. There are 78 players players in the field.

Sixteen of the top 50 from the Oct. 8 Official World Golf Ranking are present.

Weather this week looks pleasant with no rain in the forecast, temperatures in the 50s-70s Fahrenheit and without a lot of wind.

Let’s see who’s primed to play well this week in Japan:

Zozo Championship, Narashino, FedEx Fall, ZOZO, PGA Tour, Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley
Eric Cole, 2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Eric Cole continues to knock on the door of his first PGA Tour victory.

A dazzling 9-under-par final round had him in the mix last week at the Shriners Children’s Open if the leaders faltered.

Reigning champion Tom Kim did not, nor did Adam Hadwin in second, but it was still a nice six-figure payday for Cole who took T-3rd (71-66-67-62). He vaulted 21 spots up the leaderboard.

The 35-year-old journeyman had a bit of an upside-down week as he led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (11.464) while struggling to hole putts in 52nd. Usually, Cole is lights out with the flat stick. He closed the 2022-23 PGA Tour season ranked 17th in SG: Putting (.46 per round).

Cole improved in the final round thanks to an equipment change.

"“I switched back to my old putter today, and I definitely putted a little better,” Cole was transcribed by ASAP Sports. “I played okay the first three days, but ball-striking was a little better today and had my putter, so that helped.”"

The Nova Southeastern University alum is making his Zozo Championship debut this week at Narashino Country Club.

Cole has proved he can play well at courses he’s seeing for the first time. He’s done everything but hoist a trophy this year, racking up five top-10s in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season with another one in the FedEx Cup Fall in Vegas.

He quietly finished the season 16th in SG: Total (1.026 per round). Cole can struggle on some of the beefier ballparks. Thankfully, a lack of distance isn’t penalized too much this week in Japan.

He was also 20th in SG: Around-the-Green (.541).