This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
The Zozo Championship
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club - Par 70 - 7,041 yards
Field - 78 entrants
Purse - $9.75M
A sneak preview of Japan's Narashino Country Club came in the form of a televised skins challenge between Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama earlier this week, but 78 entrants will now tee it up at the inaugural Zozo Championship for 72 guaranteed holes not far from Tokyo. Narashino will play host to a surprisingly captivating field in its debut on the PGA Tour's Asian Swing this fall, with 11 of the Official World Golf Ranking's top-20 players in attendance. A unique feature of this Japanese golf courses is the inclusion of two greens on each hole, though only 18 pins will be deployed per day as usual. McIlroy recently announced that he plans to play for Ireland at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, so the golf atmosphere in the area is certainly on the rise as sellout crowds are expected this week if the weather allows.
Key Stats to Victory
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Justin Thomas - $48
Pacing last week's field in birdies with 27 in 72 holes, Thomas' overall score of 20-under-par was good enough to win the CJ Cup for the second time in three years. He's now won twice over his last four starts while rising from 10th to fourth in the OWGR, spanning back to a victory during the FedEx Cup Playoffs at the BMW Championship. At 7-1 on GolfOdds.com, Thomas narrowly surpasses Rory McIlroy atop the list of favorites for the inaugural Zozo Championship.
Hideki Matsuyama - $39
Home-field advantage may not carry as much weight in golf, but Matsuyama should feel confident on native soil in Japan as he comes off a T3 performance at the CJ Cup where he fired a bogey-free, seven-under 65 on Sunday. He averaged five par-breakers per round in Korea and ranked T6 in GIR percentage, while he also hit at least 12 of 14 fairways in regulation during Rounds 1 and 4.
Adam Scott - $37
The Aussie elected not to tee it up at the recent CJ Cup, but Scott still traveled to Asia last week as he tied for fifth at the Japan Open Golf Championship for his fourth top-10 in six starts dating to the Northern Trust. Scott has gained an average of 2.6 strokes putting throughout his last five measured events, so maintaining momentum with the flat stick could be key on potentially slower greens this week. He's also gained strokes on his approach shots in eight of his last nine starts.
Adam Hadwin - $32
A small sample size, but Hadwin has been stellar through two starts to begin his 2019-20 campaign. The Canadian placed solo-second at the Safeway Open before adding another top-4 finish at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He gained a total of 12.2 strokes on approach shots over these two starts, while also continuing to excel with the putter. Providing additional intrigue, Hadwin has ranked top-40 on Tour in driving accuracy each of the past two seasons.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - $29
The baby-faced Englishman has posted a trio of runner-up performances in his last 10 international appearances, most recently collecting another solo-second by just one shot at the Italian Open on the European Tour. Fitzpatrick hasn't notched a victory in over a calendar year now despite coming so close on multiple occasions, so he certainly feels due and a limited 78-entrant field boosts his chances. On the Euro Tour this season, Fitzpatrick ranks fifth in putts per GIR, 21st in driving accuracy and 13th in GIR percentage.
Shugo Imahira - $27
Imahira has been tearing up the Japan Golf Tour again in 2019 while ascending to a career best 52nd in the OWGR, tallying nine consecutive top-20s from the Shigeo Nagashima Invitational SEGASAMMY CUP to the Japan Open Golf Championship. He compiled his first win of the year in mid-October at the Bridgestone Open, which marked his sixth straight finish of T9 or better.
Ryan Moore - $26
Despite a missed cut at the Safeway Open to kick off the season, Moore hasn't actually lost strokes from tee to green in a single event since the Rocket Mortgage Classic in late June. He rebounded from that MC in Napa last month by going T13-T8 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and the CJ Cup. Last week in Korea, Moore didn't record any bogeys throughout his first two rounds en route to ranking fifth in scrambling and T6 in driving accuracy.