ZoZo Championship: Tiger returns to defend record tour win

Tiger Woods equaled Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories when he won the Zozo Championship in Japan last year and he returns to defend the title at Sherwood Country Club.

David Kristiansen

Seventy-eight players will take on Sherwood Country Club in the ZoZo Championship, which is making a one-year move to the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiger Woods won his record-tying 82nd PGA Tour title at last year’s event and will be back to defend against a field full of big names, including FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson.

Other tour heavyweights in attendance include Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth along with Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, and past FedExCup winners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.


Course: Sherwood Country Club
Length: 7020 yards (Par 72)
Greens: Bentgrass
Opened: 1989
Architect: Jack Nicklaus

With three weeks before a fall Masters, the elite players are starting to trickle back into the fields and this week will see the return of Tiger Woods for the first time since the U.S Open.

Like last weeks this tournament was supposed to be played in Asia, in Japan to be specific, but due to Covid 19 the players still find themselves states side.

Sherwood Country Club was the host of what is now called The Hero World Challenge or Tiger’s tournament if you like from 2000 to 2013 with the host himself winning here five times, other winners include Zach Johnson, Luke Donald and Graham McDowell.


So right out of the gate I would say that you didn’t need to be long to compete here in the past, if that is still the case with the increased distances I don’t know but it’s worth pointing out.

The California course a par 72 but with the quirk of an extra par 5 and par 3 than the usual four of each so this should lead us to put less weight on par 4 performance.

The course is short but with a lot of water and overhanging branches you will need to be good off the tee and place the ball in the correct spots.

The greens are large and fast bentgrass greens so you need not just to hit the greens but in the correct spots as 3 putts can sneak up on you fast around this place.

When Tiger won here last year we saw a winning score around the 15 under mark but with little wind in the forecast and the players having gotten better I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20 under needed to lift the trophy on Sunday.


Here are some of the things I will be looking at/for:

  • Par 5 scoring
  • Par 3 scoring
  • Proximity 200+
  • Bentgrass Putting
  • Fairways gained
  • Greens in regulation
  • Strokes gained approach

Betting history


Profit/Loss: +35.61 units


Wagered: 31 units
Won: 0 units
Result: -31 units


Bubba Watson Golf

Bubba Watson
1.25 pts EW (1/4 the odds 5 places)

I was on Bubba last week and he just missed out on the each-way places with a T7 and he was best in the field from tee to green but couldn’t buy a put to save his life, now back in California where he thrives he should at least have more of a chance of delivering an average putting performance and that’s all he needs in the kind of form he is in at the moment.

Over the last month, he ranks 1st in GIRs gained, 2nd in off the tee and 3rd in par 5 scoring and approach.

He is now also back at a place while it is some years ago has seemed to fit his eye more and more with a course history form line of 14-6-9-3 (in an 18 man field but with most of the best players in the world at the time).

Collin Morikawa
2 pts EW (1/4 the odds 5 places)

My first bet of the week is a guy who won on a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course with bent grass greens earlier in the summer at Muirfield Village before securing his maiden major title here in California.

After a couple of missed cuts, the young American was back closed to his best last week with a T12 and ranking 3rd with his approaches. With all the par 5s being under 600 yards he shouldn’t be at a disadvantage to the longer hitters and we know he is one of the best in the world with his long irons when he is on.

In terms of stats he ranks 1st in my model over the last 50 rounds clocking in at 3rd in par 5 scoring, approach and fairways gained while he is also in the to 10 in greens gained.

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