ZOZO Championship: Picks and Predictions for Accordia Golf

Sungjae Im, ZOZO Championship,(Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Sungjae Im, ZOZO Championship,(Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images) /

The PGA Tour returns to Japan for the 2023 ZOZO Championship.

Following a week in the desert, the PGA Tour travels across the globe to Japan for the 2023 edition of the ZOZO Championship.

The ZOZO marks the fourth event of the new FedEx Fall series which will help determine who earns PGA Tour cards and qualifies for two of next year’s early signature events. Following a week in Japan, the PGA will take a one-week hiatus before the tour wraps up the FedEx Fall swing with three more events.

Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club will host the ZOZO Championship for a fourth time this week. The event began in 2019 with Tiger Woods beating home hero Hideki Matsuyama for the inaugural title.

In 2020, the ZOZO was hosted by Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California, due to the pandemic. It returned to Japan in 2021 and has been played there since.

Narashino CC, a Par 70, 7,079-yard layout is a tight tree-lined course that was designed by Kinya Fujita in 1965. The unique design features three Par 5s and five Par 3s with Bentgrass greens complexes throughout.

Keegan Bradley returns to Narashino to defend his title following his emotional win at the ZOZO Championship last year. Bradley beat out Rickie Fowler and Andrew Putnam for his first win since the 2018 season.

Previous winners of the ZOZO Championship

  • 2022: Keegan Bradley (-15)
  • 2021: Hideki Matsuyama (-15)
  • 2020: Patrick Cantlay (-15)*
  • 2019: Tiger Woods (-19)

*Contested at Sherwood Country Club

A field of 78 players will compete over all four days with no cut in place for the ZOZO. Four of the Top 25 players in the OWGR will be in attendance this week for one of the marquee events on the fall calendar.

World No. 6, Xander Schauffele, is the highest-ranked player in the field and the favorite to win an event he has played in each of the last four years. Here is how the rest of this week’s favorites shake out.

2023 ZOZO Championship Favorites

Note: All listed odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. For more betting content for all sports check out Betsided.

  • Xander Schauffele (+700)
  • Collin Morikawa (+1200)
  • Sungjae Im (+1400)
  • Rickie Fowler (+1600)
  • Min Woo Lee (+1600)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (+1600)
  • Sahith Theegala (+1800)
  • Cam Davis (+2000)
  • Keegan Bradley (+2200)
  • Adam Scott (+2500)
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Pick to Top 10:  Cameron Champ (+400)

Following a missed cut in the first event of the fall at the Fortinet Championship, Champ has started to play some excellent golf in his last two starts.

The three-time PGA Tour winner followed up a T-9 result at the Sanderson Farms Championship with another excellent showing last week in the Sin City. A T-18 finish at the Shriners could have been even better if not for a Saturday round of 74 which dropped him out of pole position heading into Sunday at TPC Summerlin.

Champ will make his second start at the ZOZO Championship and Narashino this week after finishing in a share of 8th place in his debut appearance here last year.

Pick to Win:  Sungjae Im (+1600)

It’s been a fantastic month for Sungjae Im thus far. Coming off a team gold and individual silver medal at the Asian Games which earned Im and his playing partners their military exemption, Sungjae finished T-2 at last week’s Genesis Championship in South Korea.

Aside from the Asian Games, last week’s Genesis was the first tournament action for Im since the Tour Championship at East Lake in August. The two-time PGA winner finished tied for 21st at the season finale to wrap up a fantastic stretch throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs which also included finishes of 7th at the BMW Championship and T-6th at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Sungjae has made two appearances in the ZOZO Championship with finishes of T-29 at Narashino last year and T-3 in the inaugural event in 2019.

Next. Reflections on a Pilgrimage to the Home of Golf. dark

He has a fantastic opportunity to pick up his third PGA title this week and should have an advantage over those who will have made the long trek across the globe for this week’s ZOZO Championship.