Tom Kim goes back to back at the Shriners Children’s Open. The 3rd round 62 put him in the driver's seat heading into the final round. Eric Cole made a valiant effort on Sunday shooting a 62 himself to fall just two strokes short of catching Tom. Kim is only scratching the surface of his potential, but we need to see him make noise in a tournament with a top tier field. He has been taking advantage of these weaker field events. Overall, it was a rough week in Las Vegas for the PGA DFS Playbook but we did have the 1st place and 2nd place golfers touted in the plays.
The PGA Tour leaves “Sin City” and heads all the way across the world to collaborate with the Japan Golf Tour but not recognized as an official event for them. It is known as the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP and this invitational is hosted by Tiger Woods himself. There are just 78 players in the field and there is no cut. He won the inaugural event at 19 under par in 2019.
The host course is Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan. This course will be a challenge but when you look at PGA Tour standards when it comes to size, it is on the short side at just 7,041 yards and plays as a Par 70. Even the format is unusual for a lot of these golfers playing as a 34-36. It features five Par 3s and three par 5s. That tells me there will be a lot of scoring but we will also see these pros face a lot of unique challenges that you’ll only see on Japanese courses. Every hole at Accordia features two greens. There are a lot of doglegs but it should not be hard for these golfers to hit the fairways but they are tree lined for wayward shots. We will also see a little water sprinkled throughout the course and lots of defensive greenside bunkers. I’ll be targeting course managers when filling out my playbook. I want guys who are smart in their shot selection and can put themselves into positions for lots of birdies.
This is a Tiger Woods invitational event which means we’ve got a better field than we’ve seen recently. You will see Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama (2021 champion), Cameron Davis, Keegan Bradley (2022 champion), and Adam Scott. I expect the winner to come in around 15-17 under par this weekend but with a field like this, it could be even lower.
Chiba, Japan will have fantastic weather for these golfers. It will get progressively cooler as the week wears on, starting at 78 on Thursday and down to 67 on Sunday. There is little to no rain in the forecast but we could see some stronger winds on Friday. It should be set up for premium scoring conditions.
It will be fun to get a look at this course once again. A reminder to all players, Japan is 13 hours ahead of us which means lineups will lock at 7:45pm ET TONIGHT! Get those lineups in.