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We went 1-2 on our matchups last week at the Shriners. Maverick McNealy played the best rounds of his career at TPC Summerlin and put away Taylor Moore rather early.
Denny McCarthy laid a dud and was never able to compete in our 3-Ball play. Luckily, Matthew NeSmith played a fabulous tournament and gave us a no-sweat win over Mark Hubbard.
We get an early start this week as the ZOZO Championship takes place in Japan and will air Wednesday night live. Returning champion Hideki Matsuyama will be in the field to defend his title. There are a handful of good names in this competition along with a handful of players from the Japan Golf Tour.
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Morikawa has had 2 really good outings the last 2 years here at the ZOZO Championship. He finished 22nd in 2019 after a 50th finish the year prior. Last year, he posted a 7th-place finish and is one of the favorites to win the event this year.
Young has not competed in this event and will be playing a new course in a new country in a new time zone. Morikawa should finish inside the top 20 which will be better than Young.
Unlike our other matchup, we are not necessarily backing Brandon Wu as much as we are fading CT Pan. CT has had 2 starts in the last 3 years here and has finishes of 59th and 57th.
We believe Wu, who is making his 1st start at this event, will be able to hold off Pan in this matchup. Pan is a solid player but his poor course history here cannot be ignored.
Hatton has just 1 start here in 2020 where he finished 28th. After a strong showing by Xander in 2019 with a 10th-place finish, he has gradually declined. In 2020, he finished 17th, and last season he posted a 28th finish.
None of these finishes are terrible but our backing of Matsuyama is solid due to his tremendous success here at the ZOZO. We mentioned that he won this last season, but he also came in 2nd in 2019 and posted a 28th finish in 2020. We expect Matsuyama to continue his strong play at this event and be in the mix over the weekend to win this event once again.