2020 ZOZO Championship at Sherwood Country Club Betting Preview: Our Best Outright Bets For the Tournament
Gregory Shamus, Getty Images. Pictured: Webb Simpson
- The 2020 ZOZO Championship begins on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.
- The ZOZO features an elite field, which could make it tough for a longshot to come through and win.
- With that being the case, our GolfBet analysts share their picks to win the ZOZO Championship.
Like last week’s CJ Cup, the field for the 2020 ZOZO Championship is worthy of a major championship.
Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are all bunched together at the top of the oddsboard, but there will be plenty of firepower on display at Sherwood Country Club this week.
An elite field like this makes it hard to envision a path to success for a longshot winner, but that’s what we thought last week at Shadow Creek where Jason Kokrak won as a 66/1 outsider.
Here are our favorite outright bets for the ZOZO Championship:
Patrick Reed (+2500)
In his past three worldwide starts, Reed has finished 3rd-13th-7th (using 72-hole scoring for the last of those, that being the TOUR Championship). That alone should have us jotting his name down this week, but recent form is hardly the only reason I’m listing him here.
If course correlations are indeed accurate, it bodes well for Reed, who owns two top-10s (and no MCs) in five starts at Muirfield and a pair of runner-up results at Innisbrook.
Then there’s the fact that this will likely take on the feel of a Tiger-hosted event, even if he’s not doing the heavy lifting. Reed loves showing off for his idol, four times finishing top-five (in six starts) at the Hero.
My guess is that Tiger’s inclusion alone will have Reed a bit more motivated than usual – and he’s usually among the most motivated guys around anyway.
Webb Simpson (+1800)
Simpson has been putting up solid finishes for months and now he’s heading to a course that should suit his game to a tee. Simpson has played Sherwood CC a few times and finished fifth here at the 2013 Chevron World Challenge.
Sherwood Country Club isn’t super long, so Webb’s lack of distance — at least compared to some of the other favorites — shouldn’t hamper him too much this week. It should also fit his eye as a course where he just needs to keep it in play off the tee and attack with his second shot.
It seems like Harbour Town is a decent corollary course with Sherwood. Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald each have wins here and those three players also have had success at Harbour Town, where Webb won earlier this year.
Viktor Hovland (+3300)
Viktor Hovland has been a bit up and down in 2020. He’s seen his young counterparts contend and win in big events, while his success came on secondary tournaments like his win at the Puerto Rico Open.
Things do seem to be trending in the right direction for the 23-year-old to start this season though, as he’s come out of the gates with a 13th-place finish at the U.S. Open and a 12th last week at the CJ Cup. Hovland has shown to be an elite ball-striker in his brief time on TOUR, and that has certainly been the case of the last few events.
The part of his game that gets me excited for his winning potential is that he has gained strokes on the field around the green and with his putting in each of his last two tournaments, both of which featured quality fields.
I love the form that Hovland is showing throughout his game coming into this week, and his preference for the bentgrass greens is an added bonus.
Collin Morikawa (+2000)
Morikawa is a top-3 iron player in the world and Sherwood Country Club is a second-shot golf course. At the CJ Cup, the 23-year-old was excellent as usual with his approach shots; as he ranked third in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+5.8).
With Muirfield Village (another Nicklaus design) being a corollary course, Morikawa is a natural fit having won there earlier this season at the Workday Charity Open. Additionally, Morikawa is a California native and we’ve seen him play some of his best golf in the state including his PGA Championship victory at TPC Harding Park.
I anticipate driving accuracy to be more important than distance this week, which should fit Morikawa’s game as he ranks fourth in this field in his past 24 rounds in fairways gained. Morikawa also excels at long Par 3’s where he ranks fourth in this field on Par 3: 175-225. With five par 3’s on the course that are all relatively long, playing them effectively can be a difference maker at Sherwood CC.
My only concern with Morikawa is his putting. If he can find a way to putt slightly above field average this week, he should have an excellent chance to secure his fourth PGA TOUR victory.