Chiba, Japan, and Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club hosts the inaugural Zozo Championship.
The top 60 available golfers from last season’s FedExCup standings, 10 of the best golfers from the Japan Golf Tour and eight sponsor exemptions comprise the 78-man field participating for the $9.75 million prize purse.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods make their 2019-20 season debuts ranked second and 10th, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking. Justin Thomas is back in action fresh off of his victory last week at the CJ Cup in South Korea.
Jason Day won Monday’s The Challenge: Japan Skins at this same venue. Will it provide a boost for the 12-time PGA Tour champion at a course few in attendance have played?
Fantasy Golf Rankings: Top 30
Here are my top-30 fantasy golf rankings for the 2019-20 Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
30. Daniel Berger
Finished T-23 and T-18 in the first two events of his season before missing the cut at the Houston Open. He’ll need to rely on his strength off the tee to set up good approach angles on the tight, doglegged course.
29. Jordan Spieth
Debuted last week with a T-8 in South Korea. Still relies far too heavily on unsustainable putting performances while struggling from tee to green.
28. Billy Horschel
A great approach game will be key to navigating the 70-plus bunkers spread throughout the course while trying to access the elevated greens.
27. Adam Hadwin
Already finished solo second and T-4 this season. His accuracy off the tee will be more important than the length of others in the field with the par-70 course measuring just 7,041 yards.
26. Byeong Hun An
An up-and-down start to the season includes a third at the Sanderson Farms Championship followed by two missed cuts, and a T-6 last week. Could have difficulty navigating the tight fairways.
25. Ian Poulter
The best sand player in the field will need to scramble for some pars, as he’s likely to find plenty of trouble off the tee.
24. C.T. Pan
Won’t be penalized for his lack of length at the shorter venue. Above average around the greens and from the sand.
23. Corey Conners
Will know how to navigate the tight fairways and give himself the best angles into the greens.
22. Jazz Janewattananond
One of the top competitors from the Japan Golf Tour. Ranks fifth on the JGT in Scoring Average and second in Par or Better Percentage.
21. Sungjae Im
A disappointing T-39 finisher last week in South Korea. Has been struggling with his approach shots of late.
20. Ryan Moore
Second best in the field in Fairways Gained over everyone’s last 36 rounds. Will need to position himself well off the tee in order to combat the difficult dogleg angles and the bunkers surrounding many of the greens.
19. Sergio Garcia
The 2017 Masters champion has slipped to 34th in the OWGR but is just six weeks removed from a victory at the European Tour’s KLM Open.
18. Abraham Ancer
The little-known No. 41 golfer in the world is being disrespected at the sportsbooks this week with only 31 golfers having longer odds. Ranks second in the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
17. Shugo Imahira
No. 2 in winnings on the Japan Golf Tour this year. Leads the tour in Scoring Average and Par or Better Percentage.
16. Patrick Reed
A great par-4 scorer who will be tested by Accordia Golf’s 10 par 4s ranging from 363 to 505 yards.
15. Tiger Woods
Rust will likely be an issue for the Presidents Cup captain, but he can still stick it tight and shouldn’t have too tough of a time navigating the fair bentgrass greens.
14. Tommy Fleetwood
The expert ball striker positions himself well to navigate tight courses. Should avoid trouble better than most.
13. Lucas Glover
A great scrambler who can quickly save himself from trouble on the rare occasions he doesn’t stick his approach shots tight.
12. Paul Casey
Two-time winner on the Asian Tour in 2005 (TCL Classic and Volvo China Open, both co-sanctioned with the European Tour). Won the Porsche European Open early last month.
11. Joaquin Niemann
Began the 2019-20 PGA Tour season with a win at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and finished T-12 last week for his best result since. Has dominated the field in par-4 scoring over his last 36 rounds.
10. Gary Woodland
Will need to focus a little more on accuracy than distance. Has a great approach game if he can leave himself good angles with his tee shots.
9. Collin Morikawa
Yet to show any real weakness in his game early in his pro career. Has made three consecutive cuts to start the season.
8. Xander Schauffele
Hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since the 2018-19 Tour Championship at East Lake. Finished in a tie for 46th at the Porsche European Open for a lackluster start to his season.
7. Jason Day
The course is able to be set up vastly different from one day to the next, but he at least enters with a measure of confidence following a disappointing 2018-19 season.
6. Viktor Hovland
Needs to stay out of the sand but consistently finds ways to score. He will win this season.
5. Tony Finau
One of the best drivers of the golf ball on Tour. Will need to club down in order to navigate the tight landing areas.
4. Rory McIlroy
The reigning FedExCup champ loses his main advantage with the course taking the driver out of his hands far too often.
3. Hideki Matsuyama
The top Japanese golfer in attendance, as per usual. Can do enough scoring on the par 4s and won’t be as reliant as others for birdie opportunities on the three lengthy par 5s.
2. Adam Scott
One of the best approach games in golf. Has struggled of late keeping the ball in the fairway off the tee, and he’ll have little room for error, here.
1. Justin Thomas
His biggest drawback is the fact he won last week. It’s not a bad problem to have when competing for one of the largest non-major purses of the season for the second week in a row.
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