The PGA Tour returns to Japan for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Zozo Championship beginning Thursday at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba Perfecture.
Six of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the limited 78-player field. Field Level Media's golf experts provide tournament notes, betting odds and best bets.
Chiba Perfecture, Japan, Oct. 21-24
Course: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club (Par 70, 7,041 yards)
Purse: $9.95M (Winner: $1.791M)
Defending Champion: Patrick Cantlay
FedEx Cup Leader: Sam Burns
TV: Wednesday-Thursday, 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 p.m.-2:45 a.m. (Golf Channel)
--Tiger Woods won the inaugural event at Narashino in 2019 before the event moved to Los Angeles last year due to the pandemic. Woods is not in the field this week as he continues to recover from serious leg injuries suffered in a February car accident.
--Hideki Matsuyama will play in front of fans in his home country for the first time since winning the Masters, with 5,000 fans per day being allowed at the event. Fans were not allowed at the Tokyo Olympics in August.
--The event is co-sanction by the Japan Golf Tour Organization and 13 members of the JGTO are in the field.
--Sponsors exemptions include Tommy Fleetwood, Wesley Bryan and Will Zalatoris.
--Narashino is a 36-hole facility that opened in 1965.
--Keita Nakajima, 21, is the top-ranked amateur in the world.
--Xander Schauffele (550) won gold at the Tokyo Olympics and is coming off a T18 at the CJ Cup as he seeks his first win on tour in a stroke play event since 2019.
--Collin Morikawa (700) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 3. After going 3-0-1 at the Ryder Cup, Morikawa finished solo second last week.
--Matsuyama (1200) tied for fourth in the Olympics in his home country. He already has three "fall swing" events under his belt, including at T6 at the Fortinet Championship.
--Zalatoris (1600) is still seeking his first win on tour and is one of only six top-50 players in the field.
--Fleetwood (2200) doesn't have a top-5 since the WGC-Match Play in March but has shown better form of late, including three consecutive top-12 results on the European Tour.
--C.T. Pan (4500) finished third at the Olympics and tends to fare well on shorter courses such as Narashino.
--Takumi Kanaya is the former top-ranked amateur in the world. He already has two wins on the Japan tour, although he has yet to post a high finish in a true world-wide event.
--Field Level Media