2022 ZOZO Championship Final Round Best Bets: Rooting for Rickie
Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images. Pictured: Rickie Fowler.
There is a big storyline brewing in Japan, as Rickie Fowler is carrying a one shot lead into the final round at the ZOZO Championship.
Fowler comes in off of a tough season, which led to him breaking up much of his team and going back to long-time swing coach Butch Harmon. He also got to witness his former caddie, Joe Skovron, carry the bag for Tom Kim's victory last week, adding a bit of a motivating factor for the 33-year-old Fowler, playing this week on a sponsor's exemption.
Keegan Bradley is the player closest to Rickie on the leaderboard, just one shot back going into Round 4. They will be joined in the final group by Andrew Putnam, who is another shot back at 12-under through the first three rounds.
It all sets up for an exciting finish in the wee hours of Sunday morning stateside as the final group collectively looks to end multi-year winning slumps. Fowler is seeking his first TOUR win since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, while Bradley and Putnam are seeking their first victories since 2018.
The name they will all have an eye on in the group ahead of them is undoubtedly Viktor Hovland, who sits just three shots back of the lead. He'll have a chance to really put some pressure on that final tee time as he looks to capture his fourth TOUR win.
My opening card had both Keegan and Hovland as a part of my three best bets, so my allegiance will stick with them into the final round. Let's see if there is anyone else worth adding before the tee it up.
2022 ZOZO Championship Final Round Best Bets
Rickie Fowler +225 (BetRivers)
I would usually just ride it out with my typical card, and I will still, from a betting standpoint, be rooting for Bradley or Hovland, but I want just a sprinkle of Fowler. I've always been a Rickie fan, and a win from him would be great for the game, so I want to be sure I don't miss it. I can take him as a bit of a hedge and just hope that Andrew Putnam or someone from further back takes my three horses down.
Fowler has been great this week. He's hitting fairways at a solid clip and ranks second in greens-in-regulation and second in putts per green. He has it all working and now just needs to close it out. We are actually getting a bit better odds than his implied win probability from Data Golf, which they have set at 33%, but the odds imply just over 30%. It gives us a little something to lean on knowing we are getting a smidge of value as we add a position on what would be a really popular and exciting win for Rickie and the TOUR.
Cameron Champ +2900 (BetRivers)
If there is one player that could spoil the party from behind, I'd put my money on Cameron Champ. He's a player that runs hot or cold with his game and clearly he has things working this week, as he sits just four shots back of the lead into the final round. If he can put together another round of 6-under or better as he did in Round 3, he could really put the pressure on that final group to score and catch him.
Champ is someone that can go really low at any given time, and, as a three-time TOUR winner, he will relish the opportunity to get himself in position for his next win heading down the back nine holes. He's the best combination of skillset, odds, and winning potential going into the final round.
Joel Dahmen +185 over Tom Hoge/Ryo Hisatsune (BetMGM)
I've put Joel Dahmen in this column each of the last few weeks he's teed it up, and I'll do so once again for the final round at the ZOZO Championship. He has really turned his game around from what was a terrible finish to the prior season and he may be one to watch to contend for a win this fall. Dahmen has his game with him this week in Japan and while Hoge has been playing quite well too, I think the odds on this three ball are a bit too heavy in Hoge's favor.