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ZOZO: Rd. 3 Three-Ball Betting

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Network

Round three of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is just a few hours away, and Andrew Putnam is in the lead at 10-under. Yesterday the course was wet, and the preferred lies rule was in effect. This gave an advantage to the more accurate drivers and a disadvantage to those who don’t hit the ball as long. Due to this event being in Japan, we will have to operate with limited round-by-round data. However, we have just enough to be dangerous. Here is my favorite three-ball bet for round three.

Viktor Hovland (+155) over Luke List and Joel Dahmen

Hovland was one of my favorite golfers to win this week. I was pretty heavy on a few golfers with shorter prices, so I had to leave him off my outright list. This course has been one where his skillset makes sense here. Hovland is very accurate off the tee and a great ball striker. His putting still needs work, but if he’s dialed in, I can forgive subpar putting. In round 2, he finished 4-under. He only hit 58% of the fairways. Typically closer to 68%, he should have a better round off the tee. Giving him better control over his second shot, hopefully leading to short putts and hopefully more birdies.

List has played great so far this tournament. He’s a brilliant ball striker like Hovland, but he’s one of the worst putters in this event. Pressure-putting is where he struggles. It’s been quite some time where List has put together four consecutive good rounds. I’d imagine 1-under being his score for the day. Lower than my projection for Hovland.

The true wildcard for this group is Dahmen. He could go out there and be no contest or finish as the clubhouse leader. His high volatility is why his price is as high as it is. I want to think that he’s still third best in this group, and I’m willing to fade him, banking on a bad round out of him.

In terms of whom to target in three balls this week, I’d look at long hitters. I was at first concerned with driving accuracy, but a lot of the bombers who spray are towards the top of the leaderboard, which makes me believe there really isn’t a premium on accuracy this week. If preferred lies are back in place, that’s when you want to start looking at the accurate drives. Avoid the short ones because the course won’t roll out as much, providing a disadvantage. Best of luck this weekend!