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ZOZO Championship Tips & Predictions: It's all about the W's at Sherwood

Webb Simpson features amongst our ZOZO Championship tips and predictions.
Webb Simpson features amongst our ZOZO Championship tips and predictions.

Russell Palmer returns with another three tips from the PGA Tour having narrowly missed out on a 125/1 place last week...

It was a bit of a what-if on the PGA Tour last weekend as two of my three selections hovered around the places all week but could make those extra couple of shots to give us a return.

I've another three this week which is a very similar turn out in terms of field strength. Much like the CJ Cup last week, the ZOZO Championship has been re-routed from it's home in Asia (this time Japan), to the United States and it's another small field with no cut scenario.

Dustin Johnson sits it out for a second consecutive week following him contracting COVID, but we welcome back Tiger Woods who not only one this tournament on Japanese soil last year, has an excellent record at Sherwood Country Club where he played host the Chevron World Challenge for four years back in 2010. Woods returned figures of 2-1-4-2 in those four years, but with lack of practice and a missed cut last time out in the US Open, he's as big as 33/1 this week.

Johnson and DeChambeau aside we have another very strong line-up this week, with John Rahm heading the betting and last week's Xander Schauffele also well fancied.

That pair have brilliant stats and it wouldn't be a surprise to see either win here.

I'm tempted to go in on Schauffele, but a niggling doubt that he may be carrying a bit of baggage after failing to get the job done last week in Vegas stop me at this week's odds of 11/1.

I am interested in his Masters odds though where he can be backed at 16/1. 

Golf Odds
ZOZO Championship at a glance
ZOZO Championship at a glance
ZOZO Championship Tip #1
Thu
Webb Simpson
  • Two top 10s here in three starts
  • Ranks top 12 for par 5 scoring, GIR and scrambling
Odds correct as of 2020-10-20 19:55 Odds subject to change.

First up it's a column favourite in the shape of Webb Simpson who continues to play really well and his stats really shape up nicely on a course he's played well on in the past.

There are five par 5's at Sherwood and Simpson ranked 6th for par 5 scoring on the PGA Tour last season. Add to that his approach play which saw him rank 11th for greens in regulation plus his excellent short game, Simpson shapes up nicely to have a big chance here.

We were on Webb when he landed the RBC Heritage (pictured above) on just the second tournament back from the COVID break and he's since elevated his game to warrant the odds of 18/1 this week. With five top 20 finishes in his last five starts including three top tens, he's primed to go well again this week.

Past winners here include players who weren't the longest off the tee but need to be good ball strikers and good around the greens. The likes of Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk and Davis Love III all won here and although by no means short off the tee, Simpson is a similar type of player and has played well here with finishes of 5-7-13 in his three visits.

Masters Odds
ZOZO Championship Tip #2
Thu
Matthew Wolff each-way
  • Two second places in his last three starts (including the US Open)
  • Says he's played this week's course 'thousands of times'
Odds correct as of 2020-10-20 20:20 Odds subject to change.

Next up this week is a feel play in the shape of Matthew Wolff at odds of 33/1 with Bet365 paying five places.

The Californian has made no secret that he's played Sherwood Country Club "1000s of times" growing up in California and providing he can shape off last week's dismal display in Las Vegas where he finished 73rd of 77 finishers, I think there's a bit of value to be had at the prices.

Wolff was fancied last week by many following his excellent recent form finishing second in the US Open and then again at the Shriners.

Ranking 12th for shots gained off the tee, he's a beast with the driver averaging nearly 320 yards and you have to think he knows every blade of grass on this week's set up.

ZOZO Championship Tip #3
Thu
Russell Henley each-way
  • Ultra consistent in recent months finished third last week
  • Top 5 ranking for GIR and scrambling
Odds correct as of 2020-10-20 20:00 Odds subject to change.

My last selection this week goes in the shape of Russell Henley at 50/1.

Henley has really shaped well in the past couple of months, finishing in the top 30 in his last five tournaments straight including three top 10s.

The 31-year-old finished third at the CJ Cup last week and will have been disappointed with a final round 70 which saw him lose pace with the eventual winner Jason Kokrak.

Ranking top five for both greens in regulation and scrambling last season, Henley is ranking in the top ten for shots gained in total early into this season's campaign.

Best of the rest

Others to make my shortlist who may appeal if you're making a DFS lineup this week include Paul Casey who ranked 15th for shots gained off the tee last season, 21st for par 5 scoring and 14th for greens in regulation. He also has two third place finishes at the course and it was only his performances in the last few months which have failed to sparkle that stops me backing him at the prices around the 70/1.

At massive prices I may also chance my arm on Lanto Griffin going well again this week after his 7th place last week.

As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly.

Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.

Post-lockdown form:

Winners

  • Tyrrell Hatton - BMW PGA Championship - advised at 16/1
  • John Catlin - Irish Open - advised at 40/1
  • Jon Rahm - BMW Championship - advised at 14/1
  • Dustin Johnson - Northern Trust - advised at 20/1
  • Justin Thomas - WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 12/1
  • Webb Simpson - RBC Heritage - advised at 30/1

Placed

  • Kristoffer Ventura - T6 Sanderson Farms Championship - advised at 80/1
  • Xander Schauffele - 5th US Open - advised at 16/1
  • Kristoffer Ventura - T7 Safeway Open - advised at 80/1
  • Laurie Canter - 2nd Portugal Masters - advised at 66/1
  • Si Woo Kim - T3 Wyndham Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Jason Day - T4 USPGA Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Phil Mickelson - 2nd WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 110/1
  • Viktor Hovland - 3rd Workday Charity Open - advised at 25/1
  • Kevin Streelman - T7 Workday Charity Open - advised at 60/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton - T4 Rocket Mortgage Classic - advised at 16/1
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