2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Round 2 Odds & Picks: Value on Collin Morikawa, Emiliano Grillo

2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Round 2 Odds & Picks: Value on Collin Morikawa, Emiliano Grillo article feature image

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

The TOUR kicked off the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP on Wednesday night in the states from Japan as seven of the top 20 players in the world teed off in the short field, no cut event. Brendan Steele would, wait for it, steal the day as he birdied his final four holes to get in at six-under and take the first round lead by one shot over Adam Schenk.

Steele birdied six of his nine holes coming in as his putter got hot on the greens. He got through the day with just one bogey as his data shows that the leader was solid in all aspects of his game. There are three players at four-under, two shots back of his lead, and Xander Schauffele is the elite name lingering at three-under.

We don't have strokes gained data to help guide us this week, so we will lean on the more traditional stats, but with everyone guaranteed to play all 72-holes, it's a great spot to chase some value. Let's see who stands out.

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Collin Morikawa +4000 (BetMGM)

Let's double down right from the start. Morikawa was the popular pick of the week, and really he didn't do anything that should turn us away. He was sharp both off the tee and on approach, missing just three greens and five fairways respectively.

His biggest issue, as generally is the case, was some poor putting that had him rank 66th of 78 players in putts per green. That is going to be the experience we get from Morikawa at times, but I'll still take a positive out of the day that he is just one-over and seven shots back of the lead after showing he brought his ball striking with him.

I'd argue that his biggest problem in the opening round could be seen in his scoring on the three par 5s where he had two pars and a bogey on the day.

If we can get a more Morikawa-like result on the par 5s and even some positive regression on the greens, he can quickly get back into the mix for this tournament. I'll take the plunge at +4000 and see how it shakes out in Round 2.

Emiliano Grillo +11000 (DraftKings)

Grillo is at even par, one shot better than the above Morikawa, but at much longer odds. I get that he isn't of the same ranking or class of him or some of the players around him, but this number is just too long.

We have seen a changed Grillo this fall where his putting has been a strength, gaining strokes on the greens in three straight tournaments, and I'll look for that to show up again this week. He struggled a bit on the putting surfaces in the opening round, but his ball striking seems to be in store. This is a number where I can take a chance on a player who we know has it in him to post a really low round and see if we can grab some value before the start of the weekend.

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Mito Pereira -115 over Maverick McNealy in Round 2 (DraftKings)

Pereira has been playing some great golf in recent weeks and had his name in the mix before the weekend in Vegas during the last tournament. I'll continue to ride his hot hand, and it's easy to do that against McNealy who is showing numbers I would usually "fade" in this column typically.

McNealy hit just four fairways and missed one-third of his greens during his opening round. He still posted a three-under score, as he usually does, with a hot putter. This is a tournament that year after year has been more heavily reliant on ball striking than short game, so I'll look for that to start to play out in this matchup in the second round.

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