DraftKings preview: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP
October 21, 2019
By Reid T. Fowler, DraftKings
- October 21, 2019
Daily Fantasy preview for ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP
The PGA TOUR travels to Chiba, Japan for the second of three straight tournaments in Asia and the first installment of the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. The 78-man field will consist of 60 golfers from the PGA TOUR along with players from the Japanese Golf Tour Organization as well as sponsor exemptions. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Xander Schauffele will make their season debuts. There is no cut.
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club will play as a par 70 measuring 7,041 yards. The course features tree-lined fairways, six dogleg holes and undulating, bentgrass greens, which should be moderately easy to hit. We shouldn’t expect a ton of big numbers unless the golfers get in trouble on one of the four holes where water hazards are in play. Players won’t need a ton of distance, but like last week, the course may be vulnerable to windy conditions with it being close to the ocean. Greens are small, with ample bunkering coming into play on almost every hole. The course will also have two greens per hole, which is something we don’t regularly see on TOUR; players will get a free drop if their ball lands on the incorrect green.
Even though this is a par 70, there are three par 5s, which all measure over 550 yards. There will also be five par 4s measuring over 450 yards, so key statistics to focus are Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee with an emphasis on accuracy and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green. Similar to last week, scrambling efficiency from the sand as well as par-4 scoring average should be considered when building our lineups.
ADAM SCOTT ($9,900)
Hopefully his 42nd place at The Shriners Hospital for Children Open moves his ownership down from where it should be this week. Even though he didn’t win last season, Scott recorded eight top-10s, which included two runner-up finishes at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and Farmers Insurance Open. He’s been struggling with his off-the-tee game ranking 62nd in the field over his last 24 rounds, but his irons and his putting have been great over the same timeframe. Scott has ranked seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and has gained strokes on the greens in his last five straight tournaments.
XANDER SCHAUFFELE ($10,400)
Schauffele will tee it up for the first time this season in a no-cut event, a format he excels in. Just 25, he’s already won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, Sentry Tournament of Champions and TOUR Championship in his short career. He ranks among the top 12 in Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee and the top 25 in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-green over his last six tournaments. Interesting fact: Xander’s mother is from Taiwan, but grew up in Japan. Take it for what it’s worth.
JOAQUIN NIEMANN ($8,200)
Niemann continues his solid ball-striking by gaining strokes off the tee as well as with his irons since breaking through at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier last month. Over the last three tournaments, Niemann has lost strokes around the greens, but is first in the field in sand save percentage. He also ranks inside the top 20 in par-4 scoring average and should be traveling to Japan with momentum on his side after a T12 finish at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES.
RYAN PALMER ($6,900)
Like Niemann, Palmer finished T12 at THE CJ CUP. He brings his solid ball-striking to Japan ranking 25th in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green over his last three tournaments. He’s struggling with his par-4 scoring average, but ranks first in par-5 efficiency from 550 to 600 yards over his last 12 rounds. Having played well at course corollaries like The Honda Classic and Valspar Championship, Palmer should be a solid value play at his price this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.