Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Picks

Zurich

Perhaps the most unique tournament of the year, the Zurich Classic, is upon us. For those unfamiliar with the format, this week’s tournament is a two-man team event. This year, Rounds 1 and 3 will be played four-ball style, where each partner plays their own ball each hole and the best score between the two is used for that hole. Rounds 2 and 4 will be played foursome style, where partners alternate hitting the same ball. Sounds like a fun event to me. It is definitely a solid way to break up  the lull between majors. Let’s get down to business!

Mike McNamara
Winners: Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley
Current Betting Odds: 14-1

These Bama boys go way back, and I think this is the week that you see their chemistry really pay off. Bud is still looking for his first career Tour win, and what better way to do it than with a good friend and top 5 player in the world? Expect this duo to absolutely fill it up in the four-ball format and methodically take apart TPC Louisiana.

Sleeper Pick: Seamus Power and David Hearn (100-1)

Frank Laterza
W
inners: Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley
Current Betting Odds: 14-1

Different sport, same slogan: Roll Tide. Obviously these two go back to the college days, and they even lived together for a short while. The comfort between the two should help tremendously in the alternate shot portions, allowing Buddy to play a little looser, as he seems to be above average at just about everything, just not great at anything. Yet, Buddy, my Buddy, is trending up and putting together one of the nicer seasons on tour to date, with 7 Top 25 finishes. Still chasing that first trophy on tour, one of his best friends, who just happens to be, in my opinion – which is usually correct – the best golfer in the world right now, would be happy to get him one. I think they get it done come Sunday. Say it with me: Roll Tide.

Sleeper Pick: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (40-1)

(Editor’s Note: Apparently Frank and Mike were thinking very alike this week. Roll Tide, indeed, I guess.)

John Balas
Winners: Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan
Current Betting Odds: 16-1

This is purely a gut pick based on the personalities of the golfers, which I think is a big factor when you have best ball/alternating shot rounds. I think Jon Rahm’s intense style of play bodes well for runs, while Wesley Bryan’s calmer demeanor keeps them on track in times of trouble – think Mike and The Bear on the mini course with their respective competitive natures. You have Mike’s fiery personality where when his play is dialed in, he can’t miss shots and you simply ride him to a major. However, at times, he can get volatile and erratic and needs the constant presence of Mack to sink a big putt so that they can regroup and get after it. That’s the way I see Rahm and Bryan playing this week, and it’s exactly why I like them to win it all. Having a top-5 player in Rahm gives upside to the group, but I think Bryan elevates the floor to minimize any type of damage Rahm’s hotheadedness (like Derek Bard described for us a few weeks ago) gets them into. It’s the exact group dynamic you want for this type of tournament, and why these two are my pick to win the Zurich.

Sleeper Pick: Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen (33-1)

Mack “The Bear” Rooney
Winners: Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay
Current Betting Odds: 12-1

I am not going to be the one to fade Patrick Reed in a Ryder Cup-esque format coming off a Masters win (Shoutout Kessler as well). I expect Reed to carry the load in this group, but Cantlay is no slouch as he currently ranks 15th in the FedEx Cup standings with 3 Top 10 finishes this year. The alternate shot format being played on Sunday makes me slightly hesitant to pick these two, as I would prefer Reed to have complete control on the final day of the event. But, ultimately I believe the two Patrick’s win this thing by 3 strokes.

Sleeper Pick: KJ Choi and Charlie Wi (300-1) [Shoutout Kris]

Jack Corrigan
Winners: Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose
Current Betting Odds: 7-1

Mr. Silver and Gold – these boys will make Yukon Cornelius very happy. Justin Rose is as hot as anyone the past 6 months and to be paired up with this partner in crime puts up for a deadly duo. Stenson has finished 6th or better in his last 3 tournaments, so I just do not see this team being stopped. If their putters get hot, it will be over after Friday.

Sleeper Pick: Jim Furyk and David Duval (250-1)

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Kevin Walsh
Winners: Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen
Current Betting Odds: 33-1

These two may have the best chemistry in the field – longtime friends, competitors, President’s Cup partners, and now Zurich Classic teammates. Their skill sets and respect for each other’s games will certainly aid in the team play format when things inevitably get difficult. While Charl did win relatively recently, it has been a long time for Lou, and we know he is itching to get back to the top. This is also go around number two for these guys, and I think they learn from last year and find a way to get into the winner’s circle.

Sleeper Pick: Hudson Swafford and Harris English (100-1)

schwartzel-oosthuizen

Sean Carney
Winners: Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly
Current Betting Odds: 55-1

Call me crazy, but I love the two old guys from the Midwest this week: Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. Both of these guys have been playing great golf on the senior tour and are very good friends. A combination of chemistry and great short games will have these guys in the hunt come Sunday.

As always, much love to our readers. Cheers!

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