The Zozo Championship will be taking place at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Japan this week. Measuring in around 7041 yards this course is one of the shortest that we will see played on the PGA Tour. The course will also play as a Par 70. This will also be a no-cut event.
For DFS this week my concentration will be on finding the best value plays that are going to be most likely to outproduce their price tag. I will be looking to load up on 4 plays above $8.500 in most if not all of my builds.
For betting this week I think I will go lighter, and the bets that I will have the most exposure to are going to be top 10 bets where I can get 2 to 1 odds.
Below you will see my breakdown this slate, calling out what data points we will be looking at to determine which golfers are the best plays this week and it will show why. The NineToFive Data is all curated data to specifically tell us and show us why a golfer is a good or bad play this week. I will be going through and putting my analysis to how the NineToFive Data views those plays and whether or not I agree with those plays. If you would like access to this great data, or the plethora of data that NineToFive offers click the join now button below and signup for just $10 a month.
*Based off of which key stats led to golfers winning but also making the cut in previous years at the course tournament. When no course history is available I will difficult to compare course history. I look for which one or two Strokes Gained stats matter the most. Look to see whether this is a wedge fest or a long iron event. (175-125 stats don't really matter in terms of predicting who will play well in a given week) Find out which scoring stat matters the most (BOB, B2B, or BA). Find if this is a course in which accuracy or distance matters the most.
With this taking place overseas we do not know precisely which key stats that we should be looking at, but last year I had Keegan Bradley as a top-12 pick and he ended up winning. This points to me being on the correct key stats last year, and I will be going back to those same key stats.
Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)
Last 4 years minus 2021 where the tournament took place in the US.
SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow
I actually like this week due to some solid discount plays that we are getting, so for DFS purposes I think I will be attacking this week more than I normally do. For betting purposes, I won't be going too crazy simply because it is a no-cut event.
The last two times this tournament has taken place weather did impact the scoring with the winner finishing -15, whereas when Tiger won the weather was good, resulting in the winning score being -19.
Given that Saturday and Sunday the weather is not expected to be bad, I have marked the weather as "Fair" below are the top golfers over their past 7 starts in these conditions:
First Round Leader
AM Tee Times
I will be targeting AM Tee Times that rank out top 7 for FRL betting using the NineToFive betting sheet until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)
3 Ball Bets:
Available by clicking on either the Ownership Leverage, or Props page on NineToFive, then click on the 3 person Icon.
Picture 1 = Golfers that are the statical best Outright Bets. This is determined by looking at which data points were the most predictable in regards to players that won the past two seasons. These golfers meet at least 80% or more of the statical thresholds used to determine winners.
Personally I am looking to bet on just 4 to 5 players given the reduced field.
I would be fine betting Xander but the best odds we have on him are currently only at 7/1. I think he makes for a better FRL bet.
If I am choosing specifically from this list I would be looking at Sungjae Im, Cameron Davis, and Keegan Bradley. I will also be throwing in Sahith Theegala who would fall under the "Possible Outright Bet" tag this week. Another player that I think has a good chance at being in contention but will ultimately choke is Beau Hossler.
Core Plays + Outright Bets
Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most
The NineToFive Core Plays this week are Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, and Sahith Theegala, all plays in which I can get behind, and due to the nature of the event where we are going studs and duds you could easily fit all three of them into your builds.
The biggest question that I have with all three is weather or not they will be rusty this week. Xander is the most consistent player on the PGA Tour, and if there is one thing we know for sure about Xander is that he tends to play well at the same tracks that he has previously played well at. My worry with Xander is that I believe other golfers will finish better than him, he is just purely a very safe play that most likely will give you a top 10 finish. Let's just remember that Xander did win the Olympic Gold medal in Japan as well. Xander's mom grew up in Japan, his wife is of Japanese descent, and can speak the language fluently. If you're betting on Hideki for his narrative this one is almost just as good.
Collin Morikawa feels a bit more risky this week. He is however a great stat fit, and has been trending in the right direction. Worth noting that he is also of Japanese descent so it makes sense why he is playing in this event.
As for Sahith Theegala he makes for any ideal play this week, as I believe his game sets up really well for this style event. He is a golfer that we can trust on to score, and he proved he likes this course by finishing 5th last year here.
Players that I am still going out of my way to roster, but have a slight pause for whether that be course history, recent form, stat fit, safety, upside or price. (*This is based off of the the NineToFive Data Tag, which accurately marks a slight flaw in a great play thus why they would only be high exposure plays)
For me this week I find myself wanting to load up on Cameron Davis, Keegan Bradley, Eric Cole (who I believe is a High Exposure Play), and Theegala who I already mentioned. You can easily put together a studs and duds build while loading up on these 4 golfers.
Rickie and Sungjae are both quality plays but it will be tough for me to end up on them.
Tom Hoge and Adam Schenk are both looking like they could be good bounce back candidates this week. Hoge had some pretty bad double bogey's but other than that played well. Adam Schenk just had a slightly off week last week but still should be a good play this week. I would view these golfers more as Mid Exposure Plays.
The same would go for JJ Spaun, and Taylor Moore both of which I think will be able to hit value at their price tag but I worry about their upside, and I just do not trust those two.
Sam Ryder is a play that I do really like especially at this price tag. He is a golfer that just based off of his course history has out produced this price tag finishing 36th and 7th. He also has been playing some quality golf, looking across all the metrics that we have he is casually checking all the boxes.
Beau Hossler I feel is a bit too priced up this week but it makes sense, he has been someone that is trending in the right direction for a while now. Due to his price I feel like he is more of a GPP only play.
Players that are still good plays but have more than one flaw to them as a play this week. This could be due to recent form, stat fit, course history, injury uncertainly or just due to the fact that their are better plays around their price tag.
Hideki has been a little bit hit or miss over the past calendar year, and we never know for sure what we are going to get out of him. We do know two things though, he loves this course, and he plays well at courses like this one. He is worth a look in GPPs.
Eric Cole is a play that I mentioned I like a lot more than just a Mid Exposure play. This is purely due to his form and stat fit. The guy has been dominating this year and since he has joined the PGA Tour. Simply due to his price he is someone that I will be going out of my way to target.
KH Lee has been playing good golf this fall and he does make for a good play.
The other two golfers here I do not personally view as great plays, and I would rather go elsewhere. A golfer that I view as a strong play but find tough to end up on this week is Adam Svensson, I believe he is a safe play but this is a week in which we need to chase upside.
Risk/Reward Plays, Plays to get a made cut, Shoulder Shrug Plays, or Fomo Plays
This week these are all golfers that I think will out produce their price tag, these are all golfers that have been a little bit to hit or miss round to round to trust to make the cut but they are all golfers that can score fantasy points, and that is why I am looking at them as good plays. These are the plays that I will be tossing into some of my studs and duds builds.
To me Hughes and Kodaira are two of the stranger price tags this week simply due to the fact that they have course experience and have play well at this tournament in the past. Hughes specifically I believe will be a to put out a good start this week, and this price is one that I like.
Player Pool Breakdown:
Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week
CASH AND GPP PLAYS:
(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)
Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.
GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.
Cash: Core + High Exposure
GPP: Moore, Hoge, Schenk, Hossler, Lee
*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup
The week could really be as simple as this, load up on the top 3 plays this week, hit on the best value this week in Hughes, and hope that Werbylo and Kodaira can outproduce their price tags.
Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why. \
*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)
(Currently going through updates this fall)