The PGA Tour is in Japan this week for a limited field event with the 2021 ZOZO Championship at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in the Chiba prefecture. And that also means a slightly different set of rules for those making the trip across the Pacific, including a guarantee of a paycheck.
The field teed off on Thursday morning in Japan, which was Wednesday night in prime time on the east coast of the United States. An opening round -7 63 from Hiroshi Iwata gives him the 18-hole lead over Joaquin Niemann and Hideki Matsuyama both at -6. The players will be back on the track at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night, which is Friday morning in Japan.
78 golfers put the peg in the ground for Round 1, and thus all are guaranteed to finish with a check because there is no cut for this event. Most PGA Tour events have a cut following Friday’s second round in which half the field or more is eliminated from competition. But since this limits the field to 26 threesomes, they do not have a cut line. No matter how bad a Thursday or Friday might go for any of these golfers, they’ll get to stick around into the weekend — even Doc Redman and C.T. Pan, who are both T77 at +6.
Coming into Friday’s second round, Matsuyama is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, installed at +275 followed by Niemann at at +400.