It was a solid week for Total Sports Picks golf followers at the CJ Cup last week as both of our dark horse picks in Ian Poulter and Si Woo Kim finished in the top 20 at great odds.
The action continues this week as we head to Sherwood Country Club just outside of Thousand Oaks, California for the annual ZOZO Championship! As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the action below.
ZOZO Championship Betting Picks
Normally, we would be right in the middle of the Asian swing of the PGA Tour at the moment, with the tour heading to Japan for the first time at the ZOZO last year. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Asian swing was relocated to the West Coast this season, and it’s Sherwood Country Club that will host this week’s event.
The relocation to Sherwood couldn’t have been a better outcome for the defending champion Tiger Woods, who has arguably the most dominant record at Sherwood of any PGA Tour golfer at one course. Tiger headlines the field this week amongst a host of top level talent.
The No.1 ranked player in the world, Dustin Johnson, is the key absentee this week. After a positive COVID-19 test kept him out of the CJ Cup last week, he will once again miss the tournament. Despite Johnson’s absence, great field has been assembled with a bunch of top line talent.
Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay and Matthew Wolff are just a few of the top names who will be teeing it up on Thursday morning, alongside the star studded duo of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson of course.
Europeans will be out in strong force this week as well, alongside McIlroy and Rahm are the likes of Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey and Justin Rose.
Sherwood Country Club just outside of Thousand Oaks in California was once the host venue for Tiger Wood’s Hero World Challenge event. It hosted the event from 2000-2013 and in those 14 tournaments, Tiger won the event on five sperate occassions.
The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and plays as a Par 70 at just over 7,000 yards. Water is in play on a bunch of the holes and elevation change is no doubt the main feature of the course. While it’s not particularly demanding off the tee, players will need to be dialled in on their approach, even more so due to the raised and sunken green complexes.
1 – Xander Schauffele (+1100)
Schauffele has been playing some of the most consistent golf in the world lately and hasn’t got much to show for it. He has come agonisingly close on multiple occasions throughout the last year, finishing in 2nd place four times, most recently on the weekend at the CJ Cup, losing by two shots to Jason Kokrak. He was the best off the stick at the Tour Championship amongst a star studded field and was 5th at the U.S. Open. If he keeps playing like this, a win isn’t far away.
2 – Justin Thomas (+1100)
JT returned from a long spell at the CJ Cup last week. The No.3 player in the world hadn’t played since the U.S. Open but he looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat, finishing T12 after posting a 66 in Round 2 and a 68 in Round 3 of the CJ Cup. This course should suit his premier iron play, as it did for Tiger back in the 2000s.
3 – Collin Morikawa (+1600)
Another premier iron player who should suit Sherwood Country Club really well is Morikawa. The youngster has never played a PGA Tour event here but played his way back into form at the CJ Cup last week after missing two straight cuts at the U.S. Open and the Shriners. Finished T12 at -8 par.
4 - Tyrrell Hatton (+2000)
One of the most in-form golfers in the world at the moment after a dominant stretch in Europe over the last month. Won the BMW Championship before returning state-side to finish T3 at the CJ Cup on the weekend. Hard to look past the consistency of the Englishman at the moment.
5 – Tiger Woods (+2900)
How can you possibly overlook a record like Tiger’s at Sherwood. Tiger has played 12 PGA Tour events at this course and his record looks like this.
- 2000 – 2nd
- 2001 – 1st 🏆
- 2002 – 2nd
- 2003 – 2nd
- 2004 – 1st 🏆
- 2005 – T14
- 2006 – 1st 🏆
- 2007 – 1st 🏆
- 2010 – 2nd
- 2011 – 1st 🏆
- 2012 – 4th
- 2014 – 2nd
If you aren’t on Xander Schaffele in some form or fashion this weekend, then you haven’t been watching enough golf of late. The 26 year old is arguably the most consistent golfer in the world and over the last year, if you’ve turned your TV on late on a Sunday afternoon, there’s a strong possibility you would have seen plenty of Schaffele. Has just four PGA Tour wins but in 40 starts over the last three seasons, he has racked up 37 cuts and 31 top 25 finishes.
Paul Casey (+6500) – Give me a little bit of Paul Casey at 65-1 this weekend as one of the only players in the field with solid experience at Sherwood. The Englishman has competed there on six different occasions and has never finished lower than 11th place and has three top five finishes.