Best bets for PGA's Zozo Championship

Tanya Simon
October 22, 2020

"I'm really looking forward to going home and seeing some family and friends and playing pretty much a home course for me".

Familiarity with the course could provide a boost, but the tournament's environment will be a far cry from the event Woods is accustomed to playing at Sherwood.

Just not very many of them. Although the tournament is typically low on golf fans' radars, with the defending champion Tiger Woods in the field - gearing up for the highly-anticipated November Masters - Zozo will surely garner some attention.

"I think my plan is just to play and practice", he said, via ESPN. And while some of the greens have changed, there's no denying his history at the Jack Nicklaus design. Another no-cut event, this one features 78 players.

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Woods won his 82nd career tour title last October in Japan at the Zozo, matching Sam Snead for the all-time record, but the event was moved to California this year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, giving Woods a chance to repeat as champion on a different but familiar layout. "I feel a little bit more prepared, a little bit better, and hopefully that translates into playing the golf course". "Over the years, my iron game has been one of the stable parts of my game and normally Nicklaus golf courses reward good iron play". If Woods jumps in, it will mark the first time since 1997 that he's competed the week before the major. It's pretty open on the fairways, but the second shots are very hard and you have to miss the golf ball in all the right places, "said Woods".

Woods will tee off on Thursday alongside Matthew Wolff and Xander Schauffele.

Overall, the Zozo Championship should be an excellent venue for Masters preparation for both the older players like Phil Mickelson and Woods, as well as Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, and the rest of the new young-gun class on the PGA Tour.

"I think it's a great setup for a smaller field". "So I'm definitely thinking about that a lot and preparing myself and hoping that week will come sooner than later". "And I'm thinking, 'If I birdie, I can tie him.' He ended up making birdie and I doubled the last", he said.

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