Zurich Classic of New Orleans Preview
Fans of traditional stroke play might want to take a short break from the PGA Tour, as there will be 80 teams of two for the tour’s only full-field team event.
Scottie Scheffler will return to the fold after enjoying a deserved week off following his Masters delight, and he’ll be partnered alongside Ryan Palmer – who played with former world no.1 Jon Rahm during last year’s event.
Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman will be playing together as defending champions, following the victory for Australia last season.
The Previous Edition
The Australian duo conquered in a playoff last year, after beating the South African team of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
A formidable group comprised of Billy Horschel and Sam Burns finished T4, alongside Keith Mitchell and Brandt Snedeker.
Rahm and Palmer managed to squeeze their way into the top 10 after two rounds of 65, whilst the English duo of Danny Willett and Tyrrell Hatton concluded their week in T8.
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay remained just outside the top 10, with Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson sharing that position of T11.
TPC Louisiana will be playing host again, and its ideal location has resulted in it becoming one of the tour’s greatest scoring courses.
Pete Dye is responsible for the design and its measurement of 7,425 yards can be viewed as gettable by the longer hitters.
Alternate Shot Record: 65, Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm
Best Ball Record: 60, on five occasions.
We welcome the world number one back into the picture this week in Louisiana, and Palmer has certainly managed to convince the hottest golfer on tour right now.
Scheffler seemingly cannot lose currently, and if he picks up another title here, serious discussions will need to be had regarding his electrifying form.
Another cool pairing is Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland – which isn’t very fair on the field considering they are both placed inside the world’s top 5.
Morikawa hasn’t tasted victory this season yet, whilst Hovland enjoyed a stellar start to the calendar year.
Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry will also be an interesting pairing to keep an eye on, with Lowry coming agonizingly close to winning at The RBC Heritage.
Stenson and Rose remain grouped together and the same can be said for Schauffele and Cantlay.
The teams will play best ball on Thursday and Saturday, with Friday and Sunday being played as alternate shot.
Smith has previously won this tournament on two occasions – with different partners – and he’ll be looking to add to his two PGA Tour wins so far this season.
Above all, this is a fun event and a slight respite from the seriousness of standard PGA Tour events, and that’s reflected in the viewing process.
The winners will still be issued 400 FedEx Cup points, but we’re too early into the season to give that seasonal leaderboard any major significance.
If you missed out on The RBC Heritage last week, you can read our report from South Carolina here.