PGA Best Bets: 2023 ZOZO Championship – Outright Winners & Finishing Positions

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    After a fun & exciting week in Las Vegas where we saw Tom Kim take home his 2nd career victory on the PGA Tour, the Tour heads to Japan for the 2023 ZOZO Championship. It will be the fourth version of the tournament that kicked off in the 2020 season when Tiger Woods defeated eventual 2022 Champion Hideki Matsuyama by 3 strokes. 2021 Champion Patrick Cantlay (won on U.S. soil) is NOT in this week’s field, however, Hideki does return to the field to defend his title at +1200. Other top contenders by listed odds are Xander Schauffle (+750), Sungjae Im (+1000), Colin Morikowa (+1400) and Tom Kim (+1400).

    Outright Winners

    Sungjae Im (+1000) – Sungjae has been active since the ladder end of last season, & in a good way. He’s been a Top 5 golfer in the world dating back to July but hasn’t been able to secure a victory. A handful of runner up finishes last year & kicking off the 2023 season with a Top 10 last week in Vegas has Sungjae rolling with confidence. Did not play in last year’s tournament. 2021 tournament was relocated to the states (COVID-19) and his last appearance at Accordia was in 2020, where he finished T3. 2 unit outright play.

    Viktor Hovland (+2000) – There was a point during the fall swing last year I was fully convinced Hovland was on his way to being #1 in the world. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but he has all the tools to go on a Scheffler like run. If the short game can come along this season, it will require almost perfect play for ANYBODY to beat him. Impressed at the TOUR Championship & the BMW PGA in Europe.

    Sahith Theegala (+4000)
    – We should put in the WagerEdge foot notes that if Sahith is in the field, an outright ticket is recommended. There is two things I’ve been pretty consistent on – Theegs will win a golf tournament soon. And when he does, it will be a big event with a strong field. ZOZO Championship isn’t an elevated event, but it’s a strong field & it’s not the Fortinet Championship. He comes to play when the brightest stars are out.

    Finishing Positions

    Top 5 Finishes

    Sungjae Im (+250) – I covered this in the outright section. He’s among the best in the world right now. Another 2 unit play.

    Maverick McNealy (+750) – Finished T10 in Vegas last week. Had a shot to be in the hunt on Sunday for a victory. Last year was his first appearance at the ZOZO Championship, where he finished T25. Fired a 65 on Sunday. 7.5 to 1 is a good price – although a bit of a long shot. That’s what Top 5’s are for.

    Top 10 Finishes

    Tom Hoge (+250) – Mr. Hoge cashed this exact ticket for us last week @ TPC Summerlin. Why not keep it rolling? Hoge is consistent & solid. He always has a chance to sneak into the Top 10 with a low Sunday round despite how the first 3 rounds go. Jumped out to a Thursday lead last week & played good enough to stay in the Top 10.

    Keegan Bradley (+225) – Bradley has a great history at ZOZO when it’s held at Accordia. T13 in 2020 and T7 last year. Ball striking machine (I’m not saying you should, but I will have a 1st round leader ticket on Bradley as well).

    Top 20 Finishes

    Si Woo Kim (+100) – A bladed green-side chip into the water last week from Si Woo cost me about $1,000. I forgive quickly, & it really was an unlucky mishap that made his Shriners performance look good instead of great. Without that triple bogey on Friday, Si Woo finishes T2. The Sunday singles victory over JT at the President’s Cup did a ton for this kid’s confidence. In a no-cut event, even money for a Top 20 finish deserves a max play. 3 units.

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