ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Weekend Preview, Picks: Can Anyone Catch Hideki Matsuyama?
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama.
Hideki Matsuyama came out firing this week at the ZOZO Championship, opening with a bogey-free 64 on Thursday, following that up with a two-under 68 on Friday.
The Masters champion is the solo 36-hole leader at 8-under par and holds a one-shot lead over Cameron Tringale. The question: Can anyone chase him down this weekend as he looks to win in his home country?
Matt Wallace jumps off the page as a nice bet at +1400 on BetMGM. He sits at five-under par and just two shots back heading into the weekend. Wallace is not a household name, playing mostly on the European Tour, however, he is currently the 73rd ranked player in the world and has four career international victories, so he’s no stranger to the big stage.
If the conditions at Narashino continue to be tough, Wallace could make a nice run.
Collin Morikawa is worth a sprinkle at +4000 on DraftKings, as well. He righted the ship on Friday with a two-under 68, putting him seven shots back heading to the weekend.
As we saw last week at the CJ Cup, he can go nuclear at any time and if the rain and wind continue at Narashino, the top of the leaderboard can certainly fluctuate as we come down the stretch.
A long shot that potentially catches the eye is Jhonattan Vegas at +10000. He didn’t play great on Friday, shooting a two-over 72, but still sits in a tie for 20th place and is seven shots off the lead.
Vegas has been playing some great golf over the last few months and if he can find his form from his opening round where he made six birdies, he may be in the mix come Sunday.
Joaquin Niemann sits at +1000 on PointsBet and three back of Matsuyama. There’s not a ton of value in this number, but keep your eye on it as we get close to Sunday. Niemann already has a PGA TOUR victory to his name and it would surprise no one to see him take over this tournament over the final two rounds.