The PGA Tour heads to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, and it’s something different… a two-man team format.
Between 1938 and 2016 this event was like most other PGA Tour events: a four-round, 72-hole, strokeplay competition. But this all changed in 2017. In an effort to attract more interest (players, TV viewers, sponsors etc) the “powers that be” changed the tournament to a pairs event. A novel twist and, aside from the Franklin Templeton Shootout in late November, a rarity on the US schedule.
What we have now are 80 teams of two players. They compete in better ball (fourball) in Rounds 1 & 3, and alternate shot (foursomes) in Rounds 2 & 4. So it’s a bit like what we see in the Ryder Cup. In a fourball each player has their own ball (with the best score of the two being counted), whereas in foursomes each two-man team shares one ball and the two players hit alternate shots from tee-to-hole. So it’s exciting, different and definitely a change from the norm!
Prizemoney €2.0m (€475,000 to the winner)
Field 80 teams (2-men per team)
Highest-ranked OWGR players in field: Scheffler (1), Morikawa (2), Cantlay (4), Hovland (5), Smith (6), Burns (11), Schauffele (12), Horschel (14).
-20 Leishman / Smith ($13)
-20 Oosthuizen / Schwartzel ($34)
-19 Uihlein / Werenski ($81)
-18 Bradley / Steele ($34)
-18 Burns / Horschel ($26)
-18 Mitchell / Snedeker ($81)
72-Hole record 262: Jon Rahm & Ryan Palmer (2019).
Zurich Classic: The Course
We’re at the TPC Louisiana this week in Avondale. This is a 7,425 yard par 72 course designed by renowned course architect Pete Dye. There’s plenty of bunkers on the course, and water hazards are in play on eight holes, but the fairways and rough aren’t penal which makes scoring relatively good (in the “standard” format previous winning scores were regularly 15-under to 20-under-par).
Zurich Classic: The Weather
A dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 10%-10%-10%-20% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the low 80s, with partial cloud cover during the week. Winds will be moderate, with maximum wind speeds reaching 14-16mph.
Zurich Classic: Value Bet
Tyrell Hatton & Danny Willett $34 with TopSport
I must admit, there are certain weeks in the golfing calendar that I don’t particularly relish from a betting point-of-view. Events like the WGC Match Play and Scandinavian Mixed spring to mind, plus other recent innovations we’ve seen like the Golf Sixes and Belgian Knockout / Cyprus Showdown. These events are an absolute nightmare for the layers, as there are simply so many variables, and so little form to work from. If anything, you could say, this swings things back into the favour of the punters – as the pricing up is done largely on individual player records, and not on the team element, or the style of golf being played this week. I’ve had a few small bets myself [based mainly on price, past performance, and general “feel”]. But let me stress, these are small bets!
The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...
Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21GET INVOLVED HERE