Fantasy Golf Sure thing at Sherwood (ZoZo 2020)
By James Dalthorp III (JD3)
BEAST DOME NATION.
Is this tournament called the 2020 Zozo Championship or the Zozo 2020? I’m not sure which one sounds better. But I do know what players are going to be in the mix this week.
Fortunately for whoever reads this, I probably know this golf course as well as anyone in the field of this week’s event. I not only was fortunate enough to live and play here in that Thousand Oaks area during high school, but I went to this tournament and watched the best players in the world a few times.
This is a magical course where imagination is rewarded. I’ve seen Tiger Woods win here. I’ve seen incredible shots. I’ve played some of my own. It’s a course that presents unique challenges and visually intimidating shots. Players will fail, but the name of the game is risk/reward.
The course has very short holes and long ones which balance out it’s difficulty. Each hole can play completely different day to day, so you’ll want a good ball striker here. You can’t get away with hitting it poorly. There is trouble and danger everywhere off the tee. Here’s my picks.
1. Viktor Hovland –
When I think of a course where undulations like Sherwood are a factor, I think Hovland is a true champion that will handle these challenges. His game suits the track quite nicely. We have seen players who draw and fade the ball do well here. But Hovland’s draw should be very deadly as far as angles go – when on a Jack Nicklaus layout where playing from the left side of the fairway can be a nice perspective for the artist.
2. Justin Thomas –
I just like Justin’s game around these undulating fairways. He’s going to be precise tee to green and this course can bring out the absolute best in his distance control because of the acoustics of the hills and the constant focus that each shot requires. A major champion should win here every other year.
3. Bubba Watson –
I like where Bubba’s game has been trending and this is one of those special courses that brings the best out of the most creative players. Bubba will hit fairways, I believe, and if he makes any putts on these difficult greens (which are similar to the greens at Riviera where he’s won), it could be a breakout.
4. Matthew Wolf –
Few might realize the power that Wolf has this week. Not only does his coach George Gankas hail as the king of this neck of the woods, but Wolf is a local. He must know the course and given the state of his game, a win is just a few holed putts away.
5. Abraham Ancer –
I’m waiting for Abraham Ancer to truly break out for a win and with a smaller field and perhaps the sense that Tiger Woods, who has dominated here, would be the guy defending a trophy where he can earn his maiden victory – makes for a neat paradigm.