Zozo Championship 2021: Form guide for this week's tournament in Chiba, Japan

Narashino Country Club stages its second PGA Tour event this week
Narashino: Similar to many Japanese courses, there are two greens on every hole

The PGA Tour travels to the Far East for this week's event at Narashino Country Club. Words and stats by Andy Swales ...

"The 44-year-old world No 27 has won twice in China, four times in the Middle East, plus once each in Australia and Korea. And he was tied-17th here in 2019."

Hideki Matsuyama will be the star attraction when this year's Masters champion returns to his home country to compete in this week's Zozo Championship at Narashino Country Club.

In April of this year the 29-year-old became the first Japanese male to win one of golf's four major championships.

And much of the media attention these next few days will be focussed on the arrival of Matsuyama as he prepares to tee-off in this select 78-player event.

Two years ago, the Zozo Championship made history by becoming the first-ever PGA Tour event to be staged in Japan, and to celebrate this momentous occasion the tournament was won by 15-time major champ Tiger Woods.

Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions because of Covid-19, last year's event had to be switched to California.

But 12 months later, it is back to Japan and for the second time will be staged at Narashino Country Club in the east coast city of Chiba.

On the tee

Two of this year's major winners, along with the Olympic gold medallist from Tokyo, are taking part.

In addition to Augusta champion Matsuyama, who finished runner-up to Woods at Narashino two years' ago, is Collin Morikawa winner of July's Open Championship in Kent.

The 24-year-old American closed last week's tournament in Las Vegas with a 62, to finish second behind Rory McIlory.

Olympic champion Xander Schauffele has also made the trip to Japan, and will tee-up on Thursday just 65 miles from where he was presented with the gold medal on August 1st.

Schauffele certainly has good memories of the Far East, having won the HSBC Champions Tournament in Shanghai, China, three years ago - and was runner-up there one year later. Two years ago at Narashino he tied-10th.

Latest odds for the Zozo Championship

Another pro whose form certainly remains solid on his travels is Englishman Paul Casey.

The 44-year-old world No 27 has won twice in China, four times in the Middle East, plus once each in Australia and Korea. And he was tied-17th here in 2019.

And if you're looking to back one of the home players this week - perhaps as an e/w bet - then how about 30-year-old Ryosuke Kinoshita?

Kinoshita is a career-high No 72 in the world thanks to a brace of wins on the Japan Tour this year - along with six other top-10s.

The most recent of these came at the weekend in Japan's national open when Kinoshita stood on the podium.

Course details

Opened in 1965, Narashino Country Club is located around 12 miles north-east of Tokyo city centre.

This week's tournament will take place over a composite course, using holes from the club's King and Queen's layouts.

It is a lush gently-rolling tree-lined course that is extremely well bunkered, with water on six holes. Every hole has two available putting surfaces.

Solid ball strikers who can accurately guide their shots along the tight fairways of this parkland venue should benefit most at Narashino.

The key is to avoid the many heavily-wooded areas which run alongside fairways.

Narashino has hosted many top level events over the years, including the Japan Open (1977), Japan PGA Championship (1968) and Japan Airlines Open (1972).

It was also the venue for the popular Suntory Open between 1974 and 1997.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves

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Last 10 Weeks / Narashino (2019)

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W42 W41 W40 W39 W38 W37 W36 W35 W34 W33
Collin Morikawa 2 28 63 MC
Xander Schauffele 18 3 49 16
Hideki Matsuyama 59 67 6 26 46 43 MC
Sung Jae Im 9 1 31 23 3 16 24
Paul Casey 25 MC 38 64
Kevin Na 49 MC 1 17 8 2
Joaquin Niemann 45 40 29 29 47
Will Zalatoris MC 14 11 29
Tommy Fleetwood 38 7 12 2 65
Ryan Palmer MC 57 MC
Si Woo Kim 76 MC 8 11 29 MC 2
Garrick Higgo MC MC MC 64
Erik van Rooyen 25 MC 16 5 7 37
Mackenzie Hughes 25 35 52 27 37
Branden Grace 68 27 12 MC 52 MC 2
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 25 14 MC 12 47 24
Alexander Noren 59 12 27 9 4
Charley Hoffman 68 44 39 22 38 21
Cameron Tringale 59 56 11 22 52 21
Chris Kirk 14 35 48 56 29
Matt Wallace 14 MC MC MC Wd
Carlos Ortiz 25 47 MC 66 47
Sebastian Munoz 49 MC MC MC 29 21 29
Emiliano Grillo 18 47 39 MC 46 MC
Harold Varner 32 11 16 12 11 57
Maverick McNealy 38 MC 2 63 27
Chan Kim 15 46 1 6 11 5 MC 46
Rickie Fowler 3 MC MC
Charl Schwartzel 77 MC 17 MC MC
Matt Jones 38 27 38 MC 70
Keegan Bradley 32 MC 60 11
Takumi Kanaya 7 13 5 16 4 4 10
Guillermo Pereira 40 31 3 MC
Jhonattan Vegas 14 38 MC 15
Ryosuke Kinoshita 3 MC 9 8 3 5 32
Brendon Todd MC 22 MC 10
Lanto Griffin 6 MC 66 64 MC
Rikuya Hoshino 23 10 9 28 7 15 13 MC
Troy Merritt MC 27 16 MC
Aaron Rai 25 MC MC MC 14 41 45 2
Harry Higgs 9 27 MC 38 16 15
Stephan Jaeger MC 26 MC 2 4 4
Scott Vincent 15 7 5 14 1 8 1 17
Tom Hoge 32 14 MC 36 49 4 MC
Tomoharu Otsuki 51 20 2 28 2 15 4 3
Robert Streb 9 27 MC 60 16 MC
CT Pan 11 6 MC 29
Brendan Steele MC 17 42 MC
Shugo Imahira 49 28 31 MC 25 1 7 20
Andrew Putnam 11 MC 30 56 MC
Henrik Norlander 65 4 MC
Adam Long MC 29 MC MC MC
Greyson Sigg 47 MC 30 MC 34 1 35
Adam Schenk 3 MC 51 31 MC
Kramer Hickok MC MC 56 MC
Chad Ramey 14 63 MC 11 18 7 4
Joseph Bramlett MC 58 42 1 27 20 MC
Jinichiro Kozuma 11 2 2 18 7 45 MC MC
Sepp Straka MC MC MC MC 15
Luke List MC 17 51 70 MC
Adam Svensson MC MC 51 27 1 20 MC
Brandon Hagy 56 58 MC MC MC
Doc Redman MC 56 MC MC MC
James Hahn MC MC 71 62
Roger Sloan MC 14 MC MC 2
Matthew NeSmith 14 MC 51 MC MC
Keita Nakajima 68 Wd 1
Sam Ryder MC 51 58 MC 35
Pat Perez Wd MC 16
Trey Mullinax 56 4 MC 2 MC 16 MC
Wyndham Clark 56 MC 30 MC MC
Naoyuki Kataoka 31 2 MC MC 25 19 MC 37
Doug Ghim 40 58 MC 31 MC
Kyle Stanley MC MC MC MC
Peter Malnati MC 51 22 47 MC
Tomoyasu Sugiyama MC 1 37 MC 47 MC 52 10
Chesson Hadley 27 45 MC MC 15
Sung Kang 32 27 65 47 15
Jimmy Walker 24 45
Tyler McCumber MC MC MC MC 15
Satoshi Kodaira 11 55 MC 34 26 MC
Ryo Hisatsune 36 9 MC 20
Wesley Bryan
Naoto Nakanishi 15 59 MC 39 55 15 44 MC
Bill Haas 72 MC MC 45 MC
Kelly Kraft Wd MC MC 33 MC 7
Ryuji Imada
Player 2019
Collin Morikawa 22
Xander Schauffele 10
Hideki Matsuyama 2
Sung Jae Im 3
Paul Casey 17
Kevin Na 46
Joaquin Niemann 33
Will Zalatoris
Tommy Fleetwood 22
Ryan Palmer 10
Si Woo Kim 37
Garrick Higgo
Erik van Rooyen
Mackenzie Hughes
Branden Grace
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
Alexander Noren
Charley Hoffman
Cameron Tringale
Chris Kirk
Matt Wallace
Carlos Ortiz
Sebastian Munoz
Emiliano Grillo 30
Harold Varner 27
Maverick McNealy
Chan Kim 41
Rickie Fowler
Charl Schwartzel
Matt Jones
Keegan Bradley 13
Takumi Kanaya
Guillermo Pereira
Jhonattan Vegas
Ryosuke Kinoshita
Brendon Todd
Lanto Griffin
Rikuya Hoshino 51
Troy Merritt 30
Aaron Rai
Harry Higgs
Stephan Jaeger
Scott Vincent
Tom Hoge
Tomoharu Otsuki 46
Robert Streb
CT Pan 59
Brendan Steele
Shugo Imahira 59
Andrew Putnam 59
Henrik Norlander
Adam Long 51
Greyson Sigg
Adam Schenk 22
Kramer Hickok
Chad Ramey
Joseph Bramlett
Jinichiro Kozuma 57
Sepp Straka
Luke List
Adam Svensson
Brandon Hagy
Doc Redman
James Hahn
Roger Sloan
Matthew NeSmith
Keita Nakajima
Sam Ryder
Pat Perez 51
Trey Mullinax
Wyndham Clark 46
Naoyuki Kataoka
Doug Ghim
Kyle Stanley
Peter Malnati
Tomoyasu Sugiyama
Chesson Hadley
Sung Kang 17
Jimmy Walker
Tyler McCumber
Satoshi Kodaira 37
Ryo Hisatsune
Wesley Bryan
Naoto Nakanishi
Bill Haas
Kelly Kraft
Ryuji Imada

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