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first cut

The First Cut for the Zozo Championship | PGA DFS for DraftKings + FanDuel

Jason Rouslin

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This is the first installment in our weekly fantasy golf content for DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft, breaking down the best PGA DFS picks and everything you need to know for the Zozo Championship.

If this is your first time reading the article, or you’ve forgotten all about PGA DFS, then I’ll give you a quick summary of what’s to come:

  • Tournament Intro
  • Course Breakdown and PGA DFS Sweatsheet
  • Player Preview
  • Statistical Preview

PGA DFS Picks & Fantasy Golf: The Zozo Championship

From last week golfers have a four-hour drive through the desert from Las Vegas to Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. The two-week Vegas swing gave us one of the highest-scoring events in a while, a three-man playoff and a beautiful course hosting its first-ever PGA Tournament. It was a fun time in Vegas, not had by all, but then again, when is it fun for all? It’s almost a guarantee that someone in your party will lose.

The Tournament

In part of the Tour’s global outreach, the Zozo Championship was created last year and was the first PGA Tour event in Japan. Of course, it was won by Tiger Woods because why wouldn’t it be? Speaking of Tiger Woods, he finally is going to grace us with his presence again after taking a month or so off after the U.S. Open. He is joined by a whole host of other big names, most of the best in the world, in fact. The only big change from last week is we trade Brooks Koepka for Webb Simpson. A few others return to action on the PGA Tour for the first time since the U.S. Open, including Adam Scott and Patrick Reed. They will all be descending upon Southern California and Sherwood Country Club for the first time since 2013.

The Course: Sherwood Country Club

The Chevron World Challenge, which has now turned into the Hero World Challenge, hasn’t been played with Chevron as the sponsor or at Sherwood Country Club since 2013. It had hosted the event from late 2000 all the way through 2013. It went by a couple of other names throughout the years, but the course remained constant. The 18-man field had an average winner of 16 under par. It’s likely to be a bit better than that this week, as the field size is almost five times what it was back in 2013.

The par 72, measuring just shy of 7,100 yards winds through the dense California forests in the middle of two state parks. Its exclusivity, and therefore larger-than-normal budget, should give the players perfect playing conditions yet again. Not all that far from what we saw last week at Shadow Creek. Since 2016 the course has been host to the Invesco QQQ Championship on the Champions Tour, so information is actually quite readily available.

In terms of setup, the PGA Tour will aim to make it considerably harder than how the Champions Tour sets up their tournaments, but there isn’t much yardage that can be added to the course. The rough length and green speed will be the way the tours differentiate from one another.

Tournament Format

There are 78 golfers and no cut.

Course Facts & Figures

Par and Yardage 

  • Par 72: 7,100 yards

Course Difficulty

  • N/A. My prediction is 71.38 or -0.42 in 2013.

Hole Dispersion:

The official scorecard of the course has it playing as 10 par fours with four par 5s & 3s, but the tournament scorecards have it as the following:

  • Five Par 3’s: 185, 186, 168, 202, 230
  • Eight Par 4’s: 342, 456, 422, 446, 422, 360, 455, 444
  • Five Par 5’s: 531, 531, 517, 568, 576

Grass Types & Hazards

  • Grass Type: Bentgrass throughout except for the rough which they overseeded with ryegrass to increase the length
  • Average Green 7,200
  • Water Hazards: 4 but comes into play on 8 holes.
  • Bunkers: 78
  • Rough Length: 3 inches *ryegrass

Designer 

  • Jack Nicklaus

Sweatsheet

A totally different layout awaits the golfers, as we have five par 5’s, five par 3’s and eight par 4’s. We rarely see that on the PGA Tour. Although the actual scorecard shows the course with a different layout, this is the layout that’s been used in the Chevron World Challenge each year. The five par 5’s and the two shorter par 4’s account for over 60% of the total DFS Scoring. There certainly could be some discrepancy in terms of finishing position and actual points scored this week with all these par 5’s.

Player Preview

I already mentioned a couple of new names and faces this week, with Woods, Reed, Simpson and Scott among the biggest names that are scheduled to tee it up again this week. Tony Finau and Dustin Johnson will be big talking points this week, as Finau should be cleared to resume playing, while Johnson will have to test negatively for COVID-19 at least twice without any positives in between to return to play.

Eleven golfers from the Japanese tour will be playing this week, with a few familiar names like Ryo Ishikawa, Jazz Janewattananond, Shugo Imahira and Shaun Norris among them. Incredibly, Tiger needed a sponsors invite to get into this event, as he didn’t finish in the top 60 of the FedEx Cup point list last year. Also needing another sponsor invites are Tommy Fleetwood, Satoshi Kodaira, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. 

*Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the event and he is replaced by Matt Kuchar. 

*Adam Scott has withdrawn from the event and he is replaced by Jim Herman 

Previous Winners for the Zozo Championship

  • 2019: Tiger Woods 

Statistical Comparison for PGA DFS Picks

Driving Accuracy vs. Driving Distance

While stats are few and far between to find, the five par 5’s certainly would lead us to believe that distance will be an asset on them. However, the course is rather short, so I sense a lot of fewer drivers will be hit off these par 4’s.


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Jason established his roots in the littlest state that could...Rhode Island. But after 29 years of bitter cold, and only being able to play golf 4 months a year, upended those roots and moved to Florida. Now two years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of James as well as two Labradors (Choco and Bella) and he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at Awesemo.com. In the time he is not diving into the PGA stats and covering this week's current tournament, you can find him researching and trading stocks, on the golf course, or somewhere hopefully lost in nature with his dogs guiding him along the way. Want to chat? Have a question about Golf/Stocks or anything else? Hop on twitter and give him a message @dfsgolfer23. You can also contact Jason by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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