Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Zozo Championship
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Accordia Golf National CC
Par 70 - 7,079 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole-by-hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
- 2022 - Hideki Matsuyama(-15)
- 2020 - Tiger Woods(-19)
This week the PGA Tour travels abroad and returns to Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan for the Zozo Championship. It will be the third running of this event at this course with the 2020 Zozo being played in California due to travel restrictions. As always, this event has no cut and a smaller 78-player field consisting of leaders from the FedEx Cup playoffs points list, players from the Japan Golf Tour, the 2022 BMW Japan Tour Champion, and some sponsor exemptions.
As I mentioned above this will be the third time Accordia Golf Narashino CC will host this event so we do have some information and stats to analyze, although limited as there are no Strokes Gained data at this event. Tiger Woods won the inaugural event here in 2020 with a winning score of -19 with the field shooting just over a half stroke under par per round. Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champ at this event as he won last year with a winning score -15. The field was not as strong last year which made it appear to play a bit tougher in terms of scoring as it playing about a half stroke over par per round on average.
Statistically, the fairways were tough to hit both trips as the field averaged 53% and 55% with the players finishing Top 10 hitting around 2-4 % more fairways on average. The field averaged 61% and 68% when looking at Greens in Regulation with the approach shots being the biggest advantage in terms of separation from the field as those finishing Top 10 averaged around 5-6% more, on average. The course is made up of five Par 3's, 10 Par 4's, and three Par 5's. The most notable of all these holes is that five of the Par 4 holes are 480 or more yards which will put an emphasis on long iron play. Speaking of stats, let's take a look at some top stats in my model this week.
Top Stats in the Model
Strokes Gained: Approach
As discussed above, the biggest separator in terms of the top of the leaderboard was greens in regulation and with five long par 4's, I will not only be looking at SG: Approach but also Proximity from 175-200 and 200+ yards.
Good Drive %
With driving accuracy numbers well below average but the rough not overly penal, I will be looking at Good Drive % which is a combination of fairways hit and greens in regulation when players miss the fairway.
Par 4 Scoring(Emphasis on the 450+ range)
The par 4's present the biggest challenge on this course so this is where I will focus a lot of my model allocation this week. I also mentioned that five of these holes are 480 or more yards so that is a range I will be putting into my custom model on Fantasy National, as well.
Let's now take a look at some of my core plays for this week. If you would like all of my top plays, rankings, and more make sure to grab a subscription to DFSR or my Patreon site so get your copy of the cheatsheet.
Hard not to start with the defending champ here. Not only did he win here last year by five strokes, he also finished runner-up to Tiger in the inaugural event back in 2020 and has now shot a cool -31 combined in those two events. Looking at the form, he played as a part of an under-manned International team at the Presidents Cup going 1-3-1 and also picked up a T25 at the season-opening Fortinet Championship. While a T25 is nothing to write home about, it was positive to see him gain 2.6 strokes on approach, 1.3 around the green, and 1.9 putting. Either way, I am not worried at all about the form as he went into his win last year off a T59 and T67. With the tremendous course history, he is likely very chalky this week and worth a fade in some GPP lineups but will be a lock for me in cash games.
Hoge was a highlight n my article last week and while he didn't come through with the outright win for us, he crushed again for DFS picking up a T4 and finishing third in DraftKings scoring. I am back to him again this week for several reasons starting with the form as he now has a T12 and T4 to start the season on the back of an elite iron game gained 4.3 and 7.0 strokes on approach in those events. You are going to need to putt here as well and has also gained 2+ strokes on the greens in both events and is above average putting on Bentgrass greens(L24). For DraftKings, his price has also dropped for the second straight week in comparison to the start of the season. Put it all together and Hoge is once again a core play for me in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#44)
Vegas Odds (30/1)
Each week I am looking for a couple of golfers who can be leverage off the chalk plays and while it's early in the week when I am writing this, I feel Keegan will be one of those players. I say this because I see people paying up for multiple golfers in the top range highlighted by Matsuyama, Morikawa, and last week's winner Tom Kim. Then I feel Si Woo Kim and Tom Hoge will be more popular. That could leave Keegan outside the Top 5 and possibly outside the Top 10 in ownership and if that is the case(check FanShare ownership % Wednesday), I going full Keegan! He has had success here with a T13 in 2020 and T7 last year and is one of the best ball strikers on tour. While the around the green and putting game always adds risk, he ranks 11th in this field in SG: Putting on bentgrass greens over the last 24 rounds. No matter where the ownership falls, I am on board with Keegan in all formats and will be overweight on the field in GPP's if the ownership projection looks lower.
World Golf Ranking (#98)
Vegas Odds (50/1)
It will be interesting to see where NeSmith's ownership ends up as this is a classic case of course history vs. current form. He didn't look great here last year finishing T48 but comes in red-hot this time around with back-to-back Top 10's after a missed cut at the Fortinet. During this hot run, he has gained 6+ strokes on approach in both events and a combined 4.5 strokes putting. The price has trended up in each event this season and one of the knocks here is that this will be his fourth straight event so fatigue could be a factor. I will ride the hot iron play this week, especially at these prices.
World Golf Ranking (#294)
Vegas Odds (200/1)
Stars and scrubs likely a popular build this week and it makes sense as this field is weaker than in the past and very top-heavy. If going that route, we will have to dip down into the $6K range(DK) and the top player in my model, by far, is Sam Ryder. A lot of that is driven by his T7 here last year but I am also on board with the form. Nothing to write home about but he has made back-to-back cuts since missing at the Fortinet and has gained 2+ strokes on approach in all three events and he has also gained strokes putting in all three(7.5 total). Given the price and no-cut event, I am on board with Ryder in all formats this week.