Getty Images

The PGA Tour travels across the Pacific Ocean to Chiba, Japan, for the 2023 Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. Making the voyage for the third straight season and fourth time overall, the Zozo Championship features a limited, 78-man field that will pack plenty of punch. 

World No. 6 Xander Schauffele headlines 16 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings set to tee it up. Schauffele arrives in Japan fresh off the 2023 Ryder Cup where he struggled to a 1-3-0 record. He will look to get right in a nation that has served him well in the past; Schauffele claimed the gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Schauffele went without a victory during the 2023 regular season, as did Collin Morikawa. The two-time major champion enjoyed a strong statistical output throughout his campaign, but the search for his first trophy in over two years continues. He will have to deal with the likes of Japanese superstar Hideki Matsuyama and South Korea's Sungjae Im.

There was no one better at this tournament last year than defending champion Keegan Bradley. Leapfrogging 54-hole leader Rickie Fowler on the final day of competition, Bradley broke a winless drought of his own and went on to use his triumph at the Zozo Championship as a springboard for the rest of his season. 

Fowler hopes to make amends for last year's shortcomings while young guns like Min Woo Lee, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Davis aim to keep their fall momentum going. Adam Scott rounds out the notables and could play a factor in this tournament as two of the three prior winners at Narashino Country Club were Masters champions just like the Australian.

2023 Zozo Championship schedule

Dates: Oct. 19-22 | Location: Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club — Chiba, Japan
Par: 70 | Yardage: 7,079 | Purse: $8,500,000

2023 Zozo Championship field, odds

  • Xander Schauffele (7-1)
  • Collin Morikawa (12-1): He's played in every edition of the Zozo Championship with varying success. His results are highlighted by his T7 in 2021, and he looks primed for something similar given his finish to the 2023 postseason. Busting out the gates of the Tour Championship, Morikawa faltered over the final few rounds to finish T6. Still, it was yet another example of Morikawa putting together the statistical profile we are used to seeing from the 26-year-old. Over the last six months, he ranks first in this field in strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained approach.
  • Hideki Matsuyama (14-1): A winner and a runner up at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Matsuyama remains one of the most difficult men to decipher on the PGA Tour. Matsuyama withdrew from the BMW Championship in his last competitive outing two months ago, and his game is a bit of a mystery. He is without a top-10 finish since the Players Championship in March, but his statistics remain sound with solid output with from tee to green.
  • Sungjae Im (14-1)
  • Rickie Fowler (16-1): This championship a season ago signaled something was brewing in the Fowler camp. He arrived in Japan outside the top 100 in the OWGR and now finds himself as the 24th-ranked player in the world. Fowler has cooled since his sizzling summer stretch that included a contention run at the U.S. Open and a victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but this has primarily been due to the putter. He comes off a disappointing Ryder Cup where he was under the weather and should be in store for a bounce back of sorts.
  • Min Woo Lee (16-1)
  • Sahith Theegala (20-1): There are plenty of converging factors in Theegala's corner. Getting the monkey off his back with a win at the Fortinet Championship, Theegala returns to Japan where he finished T5 in his debut appearance a year ago. The setup is ideal for his game as the waywardness off the tee can be hidden to an extent and will allow the rest of his skillset to thrive. The FedEx Cup Fall has catered to the best players in the field thus far, and Theegala certainly checks in as one of those this week.
  • Cameron Davis (22-1)
  • Keegan Bradley (22-1): This time of year is commonly referred to as snub season; those who were not picked for the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup depending on the year want to let leadership know what they whiffed. You can put Bradley in this subsection as the defending champion returns to Japan after a top 10 at the Tour Championship. He has risen to No. 16 in the world, ranks fifth in this field in putting over the last six months and has a mighty chip on his New England shoulder. 
  • Adam Scott (25-1)

2023 Zozo Championship expert picks

Winner (7-1): If the FedEx Cup Fall has taught us anything, it is that the best players should win tournaments when the competition is lessened. Schauffele is the best player in this field; he ranks first in total strokes gained, second in strokes gained tee to green, seventh in strokes gained off the tee, second in strokes gained approach and third in strokes gained putting over the last six months. The Ryder Cup performance was mildly disappointing, but look for him to rebound in this spot. He has a pair of top 10s under his belt at this golf course and has been the no-cut king throughout his career with wins at tournaments like the Olympics, Tournament of Champions, WGC and Tour Championship.
Contender (16-1): The electric Australian makes his Zozo Championship debut fresh off the third victory of his professional career. Boat racing the field at the Macao Open, Lee continued a fine stretch of play that spans back to the spring. He possesses ample firepower and a saucy short game ranking inside the top 10 in both putting and around the green. Should the iron play cooperate as it did last week, he will have a great chance to grab his first win on the PGA Tour.
Sleeper (70-1): Kitayama finished in the top half of this field in his debut showing in 2022 and hasn't done much of late, but he has proven to be a player to pop his head into tournaments like this. He notched four top fives in 24 starts throughout the 2023 season with those four coming in big-boy events like The CJ Cup in South Carolina, WGC-Match Play, the PGA Championship and his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His ball striking was percolating towards the end of the postseason in a way that mirrors his trajectory before the title at Bay Hill.

Who will win the Zozo Championship, and which longshots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard and best bets, all from the model that's nailed 10 golf majors and is up more than $9,000 since June 2020.