The PGA Tour is gearing up for its annual visit to Japan and the tree-lined fairways of Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
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This week marks the fifth edition of the ZOZO Championship, but it is only the fourth time Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club has hosted the 2020 event in California post-Covid.
Narashino is a classic Japanese layout with fairly narrow tree-lined fairways and a traditional style of shape and contour.
The course’s first winner was Tiger Woods in 2019, a victory that saw both scenes of exultation among fans and also empty scenes when bad weather forced organizers to close the gates to the public.
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Two years later local hero Hideki Matsuyama lifted the trophy and 12 months ago Keegan Bradley succeeded him.
He plays again this week and is likely to put up a solid defense.
He has played the course every year and has always finished in the top 15. He is also fueled by the feeling of having almost won a wildcard for the Ryder Cup and by the feeling that he could have improved the performance of the American team.
ZOZO Championship Betting Tips
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🏌️♂️ Keegan Bradley each way
Can Bradley really use the Ryder Cup as a trigger for a successful defense?
Yes he can.
He was 13th in his debut in 2019, seventh in 2021, then spent the entire week in the top three when he was first last year.
These results are very reminiscent of how he played against Firestone at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational – yet another tight, tree-lined layout.
He played there five times and never finished outside the top five, a run that included a win, a second and a fourth.
He won the Travelers Championship last June and when he last visited he was the 11th top scorer in the elite-level Tour Championship.
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🏌️♂️ Aaron Rai each way
This week promises to be a great opportunity for Englishman Aaron Rai to continue his progression in the world of golf.
He has been on the PGA Tour for two years now and has recorded five top 10s in that time.
He also finished second a few weeks ago at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
This further reminds us that he plays very well on tree-lined golf courses and is also a good player around the world.
He won in Kenya, Spain and France on the Challenge Tour, then in Hong Kong and Scotland on the DP World Tour.
He also finished third at this year’s Canadian Open.
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🏌️♂️ Ryo Hisatsune will finish in the top 10
Japanese golfer Ryo Hisatsune, 21, is a golfer on the rise.
In 2021, he won his country’s second tier three times and at the end of this year he received an invitation to this event.
He struggled in the early rounds but finished with an impressive 66 and last year he finished 12th.
Twelve months later, he comes into the tournament full of confidence as a recent DP World Tour winner – at last month’s French Open – and he can build on that with a top 10 this week.
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How to watch the ZOZO Championship
- Place: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Chiba, Japan
- Date: Thursday October 19 – Sunday October 22
- Broadcast: Full coverage on Sky Sports Golf: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 4am – 10am
About the Author
Matt Cooper has been a golf journalist for 15 years. He has worked for, among others, Golf365, SkySports, ESPN, NBC, Sporting Life, Open.com and the Guardian. He specializes in feature writing, reporting and tournament analysis. He has covered numerous Opens, Ryder Cups and Solheim Cups, and has traveled to golf destinations as varied as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
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