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2022 ZOZO Championship: Best Longshot Picks & Predictions

by October 11, 2022
Sepp Straka

With the Shriners Children’s Open in the rearview mirror, we look forward to this week’s ZOZO Championship in Chiba, Japan. For the third time ever, Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club will host this event.

Accordia is a par 70, 7,079-yard track designed by Shinya Fujita with a parkland layout with plenty of trees and lush grass. Looking at the previous winners of this event tells us that iron play is essential for success, particularly excelling in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach-the-Green and Greens in Regulation percentage (GIR%).

Below, I will give my two best longshot bets to win the 2022 ZOZO Championship.

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These plays are 0.2u and 0.1u, or 0.2% and 0.1% of your betting bankroll. Odds Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Sepp Straka (+5000): 0.2u

The first golfer we are targeting this week is Sepp Straka, who sits at 50/1. Now ranked 26th in the world and sixth in the FedEx standings, the Austrian will look to continue his strong start to the season.

In his lone outing of the 2022-23 campaign, Straka finished second at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Dating back to last season’s playoffs, he has made four straight cuts and boasts three top-10 finishes.

The main reason for this excellent form has been his terrific iron play. At the Sanderson Farms Championship, Straka finished fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green, eighth in SG: Approach-the-Green and second in GIR%.

We are getting such a high number because he finished 66th last season at the ZOZO Championship. However, his iron play has improved immensely since then, and we could see Straka finish towards the top of the leaderboard for the fifth straight tournament.

Matthew NeSmith (+7000): 0.1u

Another golfer we are targeting is Matthew NeSmith, who sits at 70/1 at DraftKings. Coming straight off his T2 finish at the Shriners Children’s Open, NeSmith will look to find himself inside the top 10 for a third straight week.

His iron play is also the main reason for this strong stretch of golf. On TOUR, NeSmith currently ranks 26th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 18th in SG: Approach-the-Green and 17th in GIR%.

His irons have always been the strongest part of his game, which should benefit him immensely at Accordia. In the 2021-22 season, NeSmith ranked 41st in SG: Tee-to-Green, 30th in SG: Approach-the-Green and 31st in GIR%.

In his one appearance at Accordia, NeSmith finished around the middle of the pack. Entering this year’s tournament in excellent form, he should have a better week, making 70/1 an intriguing proposition.

Other Outright Winner Plays:

  • Tom Kim (16/1): 0.4u
  • Mito Pereira (35/1): 0.3u

Best of luck!

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Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him @tony_sartori.