For the second week in a row, the PGA Tour has been forced to switch venues with the Zozo Championship taking place in California, rather than the originally scheduled Chiba in Japan.

What should have been the second of three weeks in the Far East, will see 78 players teeing-up at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

As with last week’s CJ Cup, which moved from South Korea to Las Vegas, the Zozo-sponsored event has had to give way to Covid-19.

But at least the tournament is still taking place, albeit more than 5,000 miles from the intended location.

Meanwhile, what was due to be the third and final tournament of the Asian Trilogy – the HSBC Championship in China – has been cancelled altogether, and will not be contested next week.

As for Sherwood, this exclusive club is around 40 miles north-west of downtown Los Angeles and about 10 miles from California’s Pacific coastline.

Tiger country

It is also a venue familiar to a number of leading PGA Tour professionals who will have competed here when teeing-up in Tiger’s Hero World Challenge.

This is an 18-player invitational competition usually staged in early December each year, but does not count as an official PGA Tour points-scoring event.

The last time the Hero World Challenge came to Sherwood was in 2013 when Zach Johnson beat Tiger Woods in a play-off.

And Tiger’s among the entries this week, defending the title he won in Japan last October.

Check out the latest betting ahead of this week’s Zozo Championship

The 15-time major champ has won the lucrative end-of-year invitational at Sherwood Country Club five times, while finishing second on just as many occasions.

Of those taking part this week, the next most experienced Sherwood competitor is Englishman Paul Casey who has completed 24 competitive rounds here.

However, barely a dozen of those teeing-up on Thursday have any real knowledge of the course.

Bubba bounces back

Bubba Watson is one of the rare few to have competed over this layout, having stood on the podium when Sherwood staged the last of its 14 invitational events seven years ago.

Watson was seventh in Nevada on Sunday, his first top-10 on the PGA Tour since mid-June.

And despite testing positive for Coronavirus last week, Dustin Johnson remains among the entries in what is another strong field.

Rory McIlroy goes again after playing solidly for 66 holes at the CJ Cup, and appeared to be heading towards a third straight top-10 finish until he covered the last four holes in six-over-par.

Check out the latest betting ahead of next month’s US Masters

Following a week’s rest, Patrick Reed should be ready to contend, as the 2018 Masters champion continues his preparations for next month’s later than usual trip to Augusta National.

His overall game is in decent shape. He currently stands fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach The Green and sixth in Strokes Gained: Putting.

And Joaquin Niemann is on the move again, with his sixth place finish on Sunday taking him to a career high No 44 in the World Ranking.

Course background

Designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened 31 years ago, Sherwood is a parkland course with lush, contoured, tree-lined fairways, and surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains.

Accuracy from the tee will be important on a course which has plenty of subtle dog-legs, and well-guarded putting surfaces. Water is in short supply and most of it arrives early in the round.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Note: Week 36 (Tour Championship result listed by 72-hole total, rather than position after handicap)

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves





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