Matthew Wolff is feeling at home for Zozo Championship in Thousand Oaks

Sam Farmer
·3 min read
Matthew Wolff, of the United States, plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the US Open Golf Championship, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Matthew Wolff believes he will have friends sneaking peeks of his play in the Zozo Championship in Thousand Oaks. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

It doesn’t matter whether they’re in the market to buy, but the family of golfer Matthew Wolff will be doing a lot of house hunting this week.

Going from house to house in the neighborhood of Sherwood Country Club, that is, hunting for a peek at him playing in the Zozo Championship, which will be held without spectators.

“I know multiple people that live on the course here and have houses here,” said Wolff, the world’s 12th-ranked player, who grew up in nearby Agoura Hills.

“So I’m sure my family and friends will probably be hopping from house to house and try to catch me on certain holes and stuff. I’m sure they’ll find a way to come and watch me as much as they can.”

Wolff, 21, who attended Westlake High, was runner-up at both the U.S. Open in September, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open earlier this month.

“I gave myself two good opportunities to win the golf tournament and guess I just kind of got outplayed at the very end,” he said.

Last week, in the CJ Cup, Wolff shot a final-round 77 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas to finish 73rd.

“Golf is crazy like that,” he said. “You feel like you can be on top of the world and can’t miss a shot for two months, and then the very next day you come out and feel like you’re lost. Last week was just one of those weeks.”

Because of the pandemic, the Zozo Championship was moved from Japan to Sherwood, where Tiger Woods will defend his title and seek a record-breaking 83rd victory on the PGA Tour.

The field features 24 of the top 30 players in the world and 13 major championship winners. Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 1, had to withdraw from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Former Masters champion Adam Scott, ranked 15th, withdrew Wednesday after testing positive.

Much of the focus for the world’s top golfers is on the Masters, which for the first time will take place in November. At the same time, they intend to live in the now and concentrate on the tournament at hand.

“I mean, it’s four rounds, it’s an opportunity to win a PGA Tour event,” Rory McIlroy said of this week’s event. “That’s sort of first and foremost where my focus is.”

McIlroy’s last Tour victory came a year ago at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

“I haven’t really been in contention much since coming back from the lockdown,” he said. “If I could get into contention this week and have a chance to win, I think that would be great for just overall confidence.”

Tournament facts

What: Zozo Championship.

Where: Sherwood Country Club (Yardage: 7,006. Par: 72), Thousand Oaks.

When: Thursday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m. PDT (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Tiger Woods.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.