Starts: 22nd April 2021
Course: TPC Louisiana, Louisiana
Par: 72 (36-36)
Length: 7,425 yards
Defending Champions: Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm
Overall Profit/Loss: +8.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: +3.5pts
0.75pts EW Lewis/ Pieters 50/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts EW Snedeker/Mitchell 80/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-7)
0.5pts EW McNealy/Bramlett 80/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.5pts EW Sloan/Baddeley 150/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-7)
0.25pts EW Kraft/Tway 200/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-7)
In-Play Bets: +5pts
23 April 2021 (+7.5pts)
0.5pts EW Werenski/Uihlein (1/5 1-5) - 80/1 @ Bet365
25 April 2021 (-2.5pts)
1pt Win Only Pieters/Lewis - 33/1 @ Bet365
1.5pts Win Only Hovland/Ventura - 12/1 @ Bet365
Designer: Pete Dye
Used Since: 2005 (2017 for pairs).
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda (New greens since last event hosted here in 2019.
Water Hazards: 3,4,6,9,16,17,18.
Par 5's: 2nd, 7th, 11th and 18th
Premium on: Approach play and putting.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
It's the 4th time the Zurich Classic has been a team tournament.
There are 80 teams of two. Top 35 and ties make the cut.
72-hole format featuring Four-Ball on Thursday and Saturday and Foursomes Friday and Sunday.
This event wasn't played in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The forecast is mixed this week with possible thunderstorms/showers on Friday and Saturday. Thursday and Sunday should be sunny and dry.
Max 12mph winds forecast
Max 16mph winds forecast
Max 16mph winds forecast
Max 10mph winds forecast
We will analyse the winners of the previous three team events to find trends. Past winners include Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (2019), Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy (2018), and Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (2017).
The last three team events have been won between -22 and -27. Birdies are the name of the game and expect another winning score in the high 20's.
Rahm had missed the cut in his only previous attempt with Wesley Bryan. Palmer had a previous solo 4th here in 2012 and 4th here in 2017 with Jordan Spieth. Horschel had won at the course in 2013 but Peiercy had missed both cuts here. Blixt or Smith had no form to speak of in the previous individual editions at the Zurich Classic. Preferred but not essential.
Palmer finished 28th at the Heritage the week before and Rahm was 9th at the Masters in his previous start. Piercy had missed the cut in his last start in Texas but had finished 16th at the Heritage the week before. Horschel had finished 11th in Texas the week before and 5th at Heritage. Smith had finished 6th at Texas and 29th at Heritage. Blixt had finished 44th in his last start at the Heritage. Solid recent form from the Heritage and Texas Open appears to be really important.
Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer in 2019 were both already multiple winners on tour, although Palmer hadn't won since 2010. Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy were already multiple winners too, Horschel had even won the Zurich Classic before in 2013. In 2017, Jonas Blixt had won on tour before but it was Cameron Smith's first win on tour. Ideally though, we are looking for a team that have both won on tour.
Mix of Nationalties from from the three previous pairs winners. No trends identified.
There are trends with another Pete Dye designed courses, TPC Sawgrass. Home of The Players Championship, Sawgrass also demands accuracy off the tee and challenges players visually, as Dye likes to do. Harbour Town which was used last week is also a Dye design so recent form is an angle in at these courses.
No stats available due to team event.
Fast or Slow Start
Rahm and Palmer were 4 shots back after day one in 17th place but were leading from the halfway point onwards. Horschel and Piercy were 3 shots back after day one and 6 back at halfway before a 3rd round 61 put them 2 shots back heading into the final round. Smith and Blixt were 6 shots back after day one but led at halfway.
You don't need to be leading after day one here but you want to be up with the pace after the second round is completed.
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Zurich Classic of New Orleans In-Play Blog
25 April 1.15pm
Three closing birdies saw the South African duo of Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen claim the lead going into the final round of the Zurich Classic. Bookmakers now make them a best price 3/1 to convert from here.
The format for the final round will be foursomes, just as it was on Friday. Schwartzel/Oosthuizen shot a solid 71 earlier in the week and their only dropped shots came by way of a missed 5ft par putt and a poor chip from a relatively easy position. Another round of 71 will certainly ask a question and will at least force the others to shoot in the 60s if they want to win outright.
For all their solid play when playing foursomes, it's worth mentioning that Charl Schwarzel plays with a ball that is different to almost everyone on the PGA Tour. It didn't seem to matter to them on Friday but under pressure we may see some cracks start to appear.
lt's also notable that the past record of 54 hole leaders at this event isn't the strongest. In 2019 Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer co-led and were able to go on and win. However, their co-leaders (Stallings/Mullinax) struggled to a final round 77 and in 2018, the leaders (Kisner/Brown) also shot 5 over par and slipped to 15th!
With that in mind, we're happy to take the leaders on in the final round. The wind is not expected to be strong today, maximum forecast is 6mph and players will be able to make birdies.
Round 4 Bets
- 1pt Win Only Pieters/Lewis 33/1 @ Bet365
We tipped Pieters/Lewis pre-event and we are looking to top up going into the final round. They had a relatively slow start, only managing a round of 67 in Thursday's fourballs. However, two good rounds have followed and they are now within 3 shots of the lead. Their foursomes performance on Friday was particularly impressive, a missed 5ft par putt on the first hole their only dropped shot.
- 1.5pts Win Only Ventura/Hovland 12/1 @ Bet365
We'd like to cover Hovland/Ventura given their solidity off the tee this week. Both players are driving the ball nicely and that set them up nicely for a 3 under 69 on Friday. The fact they are childhood friends will stand them in good stead and if they can keep the ball out the water on the par 3s they'll go close today.
24 April 9.50am
Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura have retained their lead but been joined by Tony Finau and Cameron Champ. Both pairs will have a two shot advantage heading into today's Fourball’s, where we should expect similar scores to Thursday.
Champ and Finau are now regarded as 5/2 favourites and they will probably take some beating from here. Both are accomplished tour players and their aggressive style should fit today’s format.
Hovland and Ventura, who were teammates in a National Championship college event three years ago, are 7/2 and there’s not much to split the two pairs. Bubba Watson and Scottie Scheffler are two shots back at 7/1 currently.
If we were to get involved at this stage, it would be with Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose at 11/1 but we’re happy to wait and see how today plays out and get them onside tomorrow if they can hang in there.
The European Ryder Cup pair talked about their experience playing foursomes together and the trust they have in each other, which should give them a good shot on Sunday if within a couple of the lead.
It was a good round for our 80/1 in-play pick Uihlein and Werenski yesterday and they now sit in a tie for 5th place. Pre-event each way selections Lewis/Pieters (50/1) and Snedeker/Mitchell (80/1) are in 16th place and we’ll be cheering them on to make a move today.
23 April 10.30am
|Seven pairs tied||-9|
We’re underway in New Orleans with two teams tied for the lead at 10 under par – Brice Garnett/Scott Stallings and Norwegian duo Kris Ventura/Viktor Hovland.
There are currently 28 teams within three shots of the lead and it very much feels like all the pairs are jostling for position right now. We should see the leaderboard spread out today as they play foursomes (alternate shot). This will expose the teams who were reliant on one player yesterday.
Our preview highlighted that day one leaders have not yet went on to win and it looks a likely scenario again as Hovland and Ventura are 5th favourites while you can still get 25/1 on Garnett and Stallings.
We don’t want to look too far down the leaderboard though – 10 of the top 13 last year shot -7 or better in round one.
Round 2 Bet
- 0.5pts Each Way Werenski/Uihlein 80/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
This pair are off to a solid start with seven under par 65, speerheaded by Peter Uihlein who won on the Korn Ferry Tour last week. That recent winning feeling should bode well here and he also has a partner who has won as recenlty as last year at the Barracuda Championship, which also uses a different scoring format. At 80/1 this morning, they look like the stand out each way value.