ZOZO Championship 2023: Predictions, Best Bets, Sleepers

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Collin Morikawa acknowledges the gallery after the third round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.
(AP Photo/Matt York)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Oct 18, 2023, 9:14 AM
  • The ZOZO Championship is October 19-22 in Japan.
  • The event has arguably the best field of the fall schedule.
  • Xander Schauffele (+700) has the best odds to win.

When it comes to golf betting, there aren’t many big events in the fall. But one of the biggest may be the ZOZO Championship from Japan, as it has arguably the best field of any event until January.

It will be played October 19-22 from Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan.

Some of the big names in the field are Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, as well as defending champion Keegan Bradley. Fowler led after 54 holes, but ended up finishing a shot behind Bradley. 

Schauffele has the best odds to win at +700.

When it comes to Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, it will host the event for the fourth time, as the 2020 event was held at Sherwood Country Club in Sherwood, California, due to COVID. 

In the three years it has hosted the tournament, the winning score has been between 15 and 19-under.

It is a par-70 course that plays to 7,079 yards and is relatively narrow with a solid mix of holes. Ball striking will be very important, as avoiding the thick rough off the fairways and greens will be imperative to performing well.

If past history is any indication, a high-ranked player will likely be the winner at the end of the week. Besides Bradley, the other three winners are Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay and Tiger Woods.

Below are some players to target, followed by my PGA Tour betting card for the week.

*All odds as of October 17.

ZOZO Championship Predictions 

Xander Schauffle is expected to win the Fortinet Championship with a 12.5% implied probability — i.e., the overall chance of a potential outcome in relation to the odds — according to betting markets.

Collin Morikawa is next at 9.09%, while Sungjae Im follows at 6.67%.

ZOZO Championship Best Bets

Sungjae Im +1000 Odds to Win

Im teamed up with Si Woo Kim to win a gold medal at the Asian Games two weeks ago, so he’s played well recently. And after struggling a bit in the middle of the PGA Tour season, he logged four straight top-25 finishes to close the year. He also finished T-3 at this event four years ago.

Min Woo Lee +1800 Odds to Win

The Australian is one of the best players in the world who has yet to win on the PGA Tour. He’s finished 21st or better in each of the four majors over the past two years, so he has the game. The 25-year-old did win last weekend at the SJM Macao Open on the Asian Tour, logging rounds of 62-65-64-63.

ZOZO Championship Sleepers

Cameron Champ +5000 Odds to Win

The strength of Champ’s game is his ball striking, so he ranks high in a lot of key metrics this week. He also comes in playing well, finishing T-18 last week at the Shriners Children’s Open, but he led following the second round. 

Aaron Rai +5000 Odds to Win

Rai is another player who checks a lot of the ball striking boxes. He was a popular play last week, but finished tied for 28th. The 28-year-old has three top-10 and nine top-25 finishes this year, so he certainly has the ability to compete against the game’s best.

ZOZO Championship Betting Card & Other Predictions

  • Collin Morikawa Outright Win +1000
  • Min Woo Lee Top-10 Finish +150
  • Cameron Champ Top-20 Finish +150

As I have with most other fall events, I’m keeping my betting card small and relying on my Fantasy National model.

Morikawa ranks No. 1, so it’s clear why I’m selecting him to win. He also is due to break out and win again, similar to Bradley a year ago.

Lee comes into the event very hot, while Champ has some confidence following a solid finish last week and a course that fits his game.

Here’s my Fantasy National model for this week.

  1. Collin Morikawa
  2. Hideki Matsuyama
  3. Rickie Fowler
  4. Cameron Champ
  5. Austin Eckroat
  6. Xander Schauffele
  7. Mark Hubbard
  8. Cameron Davis
  9. J.J. Spaun
  10. Aaron Rai

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”