The First Look: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP
October 18, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Local star Hideki Matsuyama joins the field in the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods makes his season debut as the PGA TOUR plays its first official event in Japan at the inaugural ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.
Woods had an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee during the TOUR Championship to repair minor cartilage damage, the fifth procedure he’s had on that knee. He’s back in action just weeks before he leads the U.S. Team at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia.
Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy, along with former FedExCup champions Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, and local star Hideki Matsuyama join the field in Japan.
FIELD NOTES: Tiger Woods notched his 81st career-victory on the PGA TOUR, just one win behind Sam Snead, last March. He rarely plays fall events, but will be in the field this week as his Presidents Cup team starts to take shape… There will be 10 Presidents Cup team members in the field in Japan including many hopefuls looking to impress Woods and International Team captain Ernie Els… This is Rory McIlroy’s first start since his victory at the TOUR Championship in August where he won the FedExCup and was named Player of the Year… The event is co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) and 10 players from the JGTO will be part of the 78-golfer field… Eight players received sponsor exemptions including former Japanese teen phenom Ryo Ishikawa and TOUR rookie sensations Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff… In addition, 2019 major champions Gary Woodland (U.S. Open) and Shane Lowry (The Open Championship) will also be in the field.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
COURSE: The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP will be contested at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. It’s a par-70 layout that measures just over 7,000 yards. The club was opened in 1965 and is a 36-hole facility in Chiba, Japan.
STORYLINES: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama will play the MGM Resorts The Challenge: Japan Skins on Monday of tournament week… Woods last competed in an official fall TOUR event in 2011 when he played the Safeway Open. He played the former CIMB Classic in 2012, the year before it became an official TOUR stop… The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is the second of three events on the PGA TOUR’s Asia swing this fall… There is an agreement in place to have the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP until at least 2025… The 2020 Summer Olympics will also take place in Japan with golf returning as part of the games… Five Japanese players have won 11 times on the PGA TOUR over the years, led by Matsuyama with five… The PGA TOUR has had at least one Japanese player on its roster every year since 1993.
72-HOLE RECORD: N/A (Inaugural event)
18-HOLE RECORD: N/A (Inaugural event)
LAST TIME: N/A (Inaugural event)
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Wednesday-Thursday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. ET (Golf Channel). Friday-Saturday 10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET (Golf Channel). Event ends Sunday morning (ET).
PGA TOUR LIVE: None.