The PGA Tour returns to the country of Japan for the 2023 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP for the fifth edition of the event.
The tournament has been played at Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, during three of the four iterations of the tournament, with one stop in America due to COVID. As in the past, the 72-hole event features a reduced field of 78 players and no cut.
Keegan Bradley returns as the defending champion after firing a total score of 265 (15-under) to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2018. Bradley’s score bested Rickie Fowler and Andrew Putnam by one shot. The Tour veteran would go on to add the Travelers Championship to his win total in June of this year.
The total purse for the tournament is $8.5 million dollars, with $1.53 million going to the winner. Additionally, the winner will receive the standard 500 FedEx Cup points.
Narashino Country Club
Narashino Country Club is located just east of Tokyo and features a parkland-style layout designed by Kinya Fujita. The 36-hole course that features two greens on every hole opened for play in 1965 and has hosted numerous high-profile golf events.
For the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, the layout will be a blend of the property’s King and Queen Courses, creating a par-70 that measures just over 7,000 yards in length. There will be five par 3s and three par 5s on the scorecard.
In the last two seasons, the winning score has been 15-under par.
Who’s in Action this Week
The field is full of top talent, as sixteen of the top 50 players in the world are in action this week.
Headlining the field is the No. 6 ranked player in the world and No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, Xander Schauffele. Collin Morikawa, Bradley, and Adam Schenk round out the players in the field sitting inside the Top 10 of the FedEx Cup.
Fowler will try his luck again in Japan after coming up just short last year. The fan-favorite broke his win drought with a triumph at the Rocket Mortgage Classic this summer.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama returns to action this week on the PGA Tour. The 2021 ZOZO winner hasn’t played in an event since the FedEx St. Jude Championship in August.
Other notable players in the field include Min Woo Lee, who has earned Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour thanks to his finish at the PGA Championship.
European Ryder Cup player Nicolai Hojgaard will tee it up for the second week in a row after a T56 at the Shriners Children’s Open last week.
Schauffele (+750 at Bookmaker) is the betting favorite as the tournament closes in. The 29-year-old hasn’t won since the Genesis Scottish Open in July of last year.
Right behind Schauffele is Morikawa (+1200) and South Korea’s Sungjae Im (+1400). Morikawa tees it up for the first time since representing the United States in the Ryder Cup.
Matsuyama (+1600), Fowler (+1800), and Lee (+1800) round out the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP betting favorites. Both Matsuyama and Fowler have had success at the course in the past, while Lee will test his game at the Narashino for the first time in his career.