The PGA Tour heads to California this week, with the Sherwood Country Club, near Thousand Oaks, hosting the ZOZO Championship.
The Jack Nicklaus-designed course is just over 7,000 yards long, short by modern standards, and features 1,800 mature oaks, i.e. its tree-lined! It is also unusual in that it includes five par fives and five par threes.
Tiger Woods has treated any tournament this course as his private benefit in the past, winning here five times and finishing second on another five occasions. He returns from injury, but we can’t be supporting him given his likely lack of sharpness.
Instead we’re going to side with Jon Rahm. The course is often described as a second shot course, with accurate iron-play necessary. Rahm is a superb ball striker, and we’ll side with him this week.
We are also going to have some each way money on Matthew Wolff. He missed the cut last week, but that wasn’t surprising given he had finished runner-up on the previous two weekends. A rest was probably needed.
Wolff went to high school near to the course, and he had said that he has played it “1,000 times”. He’ll be a danger.
In Europe, the Chervo Golf Club hosts the Italian Open. This is a long course, with wide fairways and large greens, and seems tailor-made for those with length off the tee.
Adri Arnaus is a favourite of ours. He is still waiting for his first win on the European Tour, but has fond memories of Italy having won twice here as an amateur. He gives the ball a real smack, and if his putter works it will be difficult to see him not playing well this week.
Rahm to win, 1 pt, at 10/1, widely available
Wolff 0.5 pts each way at 30/1, 1/5 the odds for the first seven places, William Hill
Arnaus to win, 1 pt, at 25/1, SkyBet