ZOZO Championship Preview

Zozo Championship Preview

ZOZO Championship Preview

The ZOZO Championship

  • Dates: October 21-27, 2019
  • Where: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Chiba, Japan
  • Par/Yards: 70/7,041 yards
  • Purse: $9,750,000/$1,755,000
  • FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
  • Format: 72-hole stroke play (no cut)
  • Field: 78

Read about ZOZO Championship Winners and History

Things to Know

  • The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is the first official PGA TOUR event in Japan and one of two new events on the 2019-20 TOUR schedule
  • 81-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods makes his first start of the 2019-20 season, first in Asia since 2012 and first in Japan since 2006 in search of his record-tying 82nd PGA TOUR victory
  • Reigning FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year Rory McIlroy set to make his first start of the season
  • Winner of last week’s THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, Justin Thomas has won four of the last 11 PGA TOUR events in Asia
  • Nine Japanese players are in the field; five Japanese-born players have won 11 total titles on the PGA TOUR

Field Notes

  • 13 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by Justin Thomas (No. 3), Kevin Na (No. 4) and Joaquin Niemann (No. 5)
  • 20 of the 30 players that qualified for the 2019 TOUR Championship
  • 31 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including World No. 2 Rory McIlroy
  • Five FedExCup champions: Tiger Woods (2007, 2009), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Rory McIlroy (2016, 2019), Justin Thomas (2017)
  • 9 Japanese players: Yosuke Asaji, Mikumu Horikawa, Rikuya Hoshino, Shugo Imahira, Ryo Ishikawa, Satoshi Kodaira, Jinichiro Kozuma, Hideki Matsuyama, Tomoharu Otsuki
  • With the Japan Golf Tour co-sanctioning The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, 10 players from the Japan Golf Tour qualified for the event. Shugo Imahira, Seungsu Han and Tomoharu Otsuki qualified via top-three finishes at the 2019 Bridgestone Open and Ryo Ishikawa, Jazz Janewattanond, Yosuke Asaji, Sanghyun Park, Rikuya Hoshino, Chan Kim and Shaun Norris qualified as the top seven players on the Japan Golf Tour current money list that were not already qualified


  • The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is one of a record 11 official FedExCup events held in the fall portion of the 2019-20 season, providing players more opportunities to get off to a strong start in the FedExCup
  • In 2018-19, six of the eight fall winners went on to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship, the highest success rate since the start of the wraparound season
  • For the first time since the inception of the FedExCup in 2007, all 30 players who advanced to the TOUR Championship made starts in the fall

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will be recognized through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program and be well-positioned entering the FedExCup Playoffs

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Points Behind Starts Projected Bonus
1 Lanto Griffin 710 1 1 5 $2 million
2 Sebastian Munoz 627 1 2 83 5 $1.5 million
3 Justin Thomas 615 1 2 95 2 $1.2 million
4 Kevin Na 593 1 1 117 4 $1.1 million
5 Joaquin Niemann 565 1 1 145 4 $1 million
6 Cameron Champ 561 1 1 149 4 $850,000
7 Adam Hadwin 415 2 295 2 $700,000
8 Mark Hubbard 383 2 327 5 $600,000
9 Sungjae Im 367 1 343 4 $550,000
10 Harris English 344 3 366 4 $500,000

Notable Players Rory McIlroy

  • Making first start of the 2019-20 season as he seeks to become the first three-time winner of the FedExCup and first player in history to win the season-long race back-to-back
  • 17-time PGA TOUR winner has made four prior official PGA TOUR starts in Asia, with two top-10s at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions
  • Won three titles during the 2018-19 season: THE PLAYERS Championship, RBC Canadian Open, TOUR Championship
  • In 2018-19, led or co-led the PGA TOUR in Top-10s (14), Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (1.195), SG: Tee-to-Green (2.126), SG: Total (2.551) and Par-3 Scoring Average (2.96)

Tiger Woods

  • Set to make his 2019-20 season debut after finishing 42nd in the FedExCup standings during the 2018-19 season
  • 81-time PGA TOUR winner is one shy of Sam Snead’s record of 82
  • Made nine cuts in 12 starts with a victory at the Masters Tournament and three additional top-10s during the 2018-19 season
  • Last start in Asia on TOUR came at the 2012 CIMB Classic, where he finished T4 (unofficial event)
  • Returns to Japan for the first time since 2006 after falling in a playoff to Padraig Harrington on the Japan Golf Tour at the Dunlop Phoenix
  • Won twice previously on the Japan Golf Tour (2004 Dunlop Phoenix, 2005 Dunlop Phoenix)

Justin Thomas

  • Won last week’s THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES by two shots, his 11th PGA TOUR victory; has won four of the last 11 PGA TOUR events held in Asia (2015 CIMB Classic, 2016 CIMB Classic, 2017 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, 2019 THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES)
  • Became the fifth player in the last 60 seasons to win 11 times before the age of 27, joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth
  • Leads the PGA TOUR with 10 wins since the start of 2016-17 season
  • Has made two starts during the 2019-20 season, finishing T4 at the Safeway Open and winning THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES; active streak of four straight top-fives is the longest of his career

Jordan Spieth

  • 2015 FedExCup champion finished T8 in his first start of the 2019-20 season at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
  • Collected four top-10s and made 19 cuts in 23 starts in the 2018-19 season
  • Qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs and advanced to the BMW Championship for the seventh consecutive season in 2018- 19, finishing No. 44 in the FedExCup standings
  • 11-time PGA TOUR winner has four career prior TOUR starts in Asia with a T7 at the 2015 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions as his best effort

Notable Japanese-born players in the field Hideki Matsuyama

  • Recorded his first top-10 of the 2019-20 season with a T3 at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
  • Five-time TOUR winner has one prior TOUR victory in Asia (2016 WGC-HSBC Champions)
  • Finished the 2018-19 season T9 in the FedExCup standings with seven top-10s in 24 starts, including a season-best solo third at the BMW Championship and T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Eight-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour
  • In search of first TOUR victory since the 2017 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
  • Highest-ranked Japanese player in the Official World Golf Ranking at No. 27

Satoshi Kodaira

  • Kodaira earned his first PGA TOUR victory at the 2018 RBC Heritage, holing a 24-foot, 6-inch birdie putt on the third playoff hole to defeat Si Woo Kim after coming from six shots behind in the final round
  • Tokyo native missed the cut in his first two starts of the 2019-20 season
  • Finished 185th in the FedExCup standings for the 2018-19 season with 12 made cuts in 22 starts
  • Became only the fifth Japanese player in history to win on the PGA TOUR
  • Seven-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour

Ryo Ishikawa

  • 145 career starts on the PGA TOUR with 11 top-10s; career-best finishes: 2nd/2012 Puerto Rico Open, T2/2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
  • Made the FedExCup Playoffs in 2013-14 and 2014-15
  • Lost PGA TOUR membership after the 2016-17 season after finishing 175th in the FedExCup standings
  • Narrowly missed regaining PGA TOUR membership through the 25 cards given out via the 2017 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, finishing 31st on the Finals money list in 2017
  • 16-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, including two wins this year – 2019 Japan PGA Championship in July and 2019 Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup in August

Presidents Cup Notes

  • U.S. and International Presidents Cup Team potential candidates have two weeks remaining to impress, before Captains Tiger Woods (United States) and Ernie Els (International) each make their four Captain’s Picks the week of November 4
  • Eight players in the field have already qualified for the Presidents Cup:
    • United States: Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele
    • International: Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Abraham Ancer, C.T. Pan, Louis Oosthuizen
  • Potential Captain’s Picks in the field include:
    • United States: Tiger Woods, Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na
    • International: Jason Day, Byeong Hun An, Sungjae Im, Adam Hadwin, Joaquin Niemann, Sung Kang, Si Woo Kim, Danny Lee, Emiliano Grillo, Dylan Frittelli

The ZOZO Championship Preview is via PGA TOUR

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