Like last week’s CJ Cup, the field for the 2020 ZOZO Championship is worthy of a major championship.
Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are all bunched together at the top of the oddsboard, but there will be plenty of firepower on display at Sherwood Country Club this week.
With so many stars in action, there are plenty of tantalizing matchup bets on the board this week. Here are our favorites:
Justin Thomas (+100) over Jon Rahm
I’ll take the better iron player as a small underdog here on what figures to be a second-shot golf course.
I think the emphasis is going to be on iron play this week and that’s the best aspect of Justin’s game. Rahm can get hot with his irons, but they aren’t nearly as reliable as JT’s.
Thomas has also been in a slightly better run of form, finishing ahead of Rahm in their last three tournaments.
Bubba Watson (-125) over Tiger Woods
I love the form that Bubba Watson had throughout the weekend at the CJ Cup. Following a 2-over start on Thursday, he shot a combined 14-under over his final three rounds to climb into a tie for 7th. He also has experience and good history at Sherwood, with some top finishes, though they came in limited 18-player fields.
The real positive I take from that experience and those scores is that it seems Sherwood may be a “Bubba Track” increasing my favor for him in all markets. For the purpose of this article I’ll stick to the matchup, but I think you can have exposure to him through the win this week.
My pick in the matchup is as much about Bubba’s form as it is about a month away for Tiger Woods. He clearly loves this place after hosting his event here for 13 years, but I am sure his task this week will be finding some tournament form with his eyes on next month’s Masters.
I’ll lay a little bit of juice on Bubba with his form and his ability to contend, as I expect Tiger to be working mostly to knock off the rust.
Webb Simpson (-125) over Tyrrell Hatton
Webb Simpson is as steady as it gets. Finishing no worse than 13th in his past five starts, he has the consistent high floor you are looking for in tournament matchups.
Being a shorter course, Simpson’s accuracy and wedge game make him an ideal fit. Hatton has been playing some amazing golf, but it feels like this is the week where it catches up with him. Two weeks ago, Hatton won the BMW PGA Championship in Surrey, England then immediately took a flight to Las Vegas where he got into contention at Shadow Creek.
As impressive as that is, golf is a tough game and it seems like a spot where we will see some regression.