2021 ZOZO Championship Round 2 Odds, Preview & Picks: Morikawa Lurking at Narashino Country Club
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
In the opening round of the ZOZO Championship, 40-year-old Hiroshi Iwata raced out to a first-round lead with a 7-under-par score. Playing with the advantage of being a Japan native, Iwata made six birdies and an eagle, while only making one bogey on his round.
The veteran shouldn’t get too comfortable, though, as a much more prominent Japanese golfer in Hideki Matsuyama sits a shot back of the lead at 6 under.
Matsuyama will be very tough to beat playing in front of a home crowd in a place where he’s extremely comfortable. However, there is some tremendous outright value on a pre-tournament favorite that absolutely can get into contention.
Collin Morikawa was an incredibly short-priced favorite pre-tournament, opening at +650 odds via DraftKings on Monday morning. After shooting plus-three on his opening nine holes in the first round, Morikawa rebounded nicely, shooting 2 under par in his final nine to post an opening-round 71 .
No-cut events are historically a great place to buy low on elite golfers who might have gotten off to a sluggish start. Last week at the CJ CUP was a prime example of that. Morikawa posted a pedestrian 67-70 in his first two rounds and was 11 shots back of the leader Keith Mitchell.
Despite being so far behind, Morikawa was able to close the gap by shooting 65-62 in his final two rounds to finish in second behind winner Rory McIlroy.
Prior to the start of the event, I thought Morikawa was a perfect fit for Narashino Country Club. He puts the ball in the fairway and has the elite iron game to find the right level of the undulating green complexes. He’s currently eight shots back, but has three rounds to catch up and doesn’t have to worry about missing the cut.
I was skeptical of backing him at +650 to start the week, but there’s tremendous value on an outright bet prior to round at +2800 odds via DraftKings prior to the round.