Zurich Classic Preview5 min read
The PGA Tour offers a change to the traditional solo format this week with players combining in pairs to compete for the Zurich Classic.
The tournament uses fourball scoring on Thursday and Saturday with foursomes (alternate shot) on Friday and Sunday. Low scoring around TPC Louisiana is the order of the day especially with both players using their own ball.
This is the third year of the revamped tournament and plenty of star names are competing with Jason Day and Adam Scott 13/2 favourites. The Australians are closely followed in the betting by European duo Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood.
With such an unusual format, it is not worth getting stuck into the favourites especially with the possibility of one of the team letting the partnership down.
Instead, the preference is to look further down for potential contenders with Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown a team meriting support. The pair are course proven after losing a play-off in 2017 after scoring 27-under-par across the four days. Kisner and Brown returned last season and led going into the final 18 holes but a poor final round saw them slip down to 15th place.
Kisner has been exceptionally consistent this season and his form was rewarded with victory at the WGC Match Play last month. The biggest win of his career is bound to have enhanced his confidence while Brown has three top tens this year including earlier this month with seventh place at the Texas Open. Kisner and Brown are fancied to mount another title challenge in New Orleans at 33/1 each way.
Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire have enjoyed recent success as a team and the pair could be celebrating another victory this weekend. The players joined forces in the QBE Shootout in December where a final round 61 saw them triumph with a total of 31-under-par. It is no surprise they have opted to renew their partnership after their win at the end of last year.
Kizzire finished tied fifth alongside Jason Dufner at this event two years ago and produced an encouraging performance with a top 20 at the Masters this month. Harman, who was 14th alongside Johnson Wagner here two years ago, has a recent top ten at the Players Championship. Fishing friends Kizzire and Harman are bound to have a feelgood factor this week, following on from their recent success as a team, so look worth backing at 50/1 each way.
Jason Dufner and Pat Perez are another team worth following at a bigger price this week. The pair came up just short of winning the tournament 12 months ago after finishing one shot being champions Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy in second place. Dufner was also in a tie for fifth with Kizzire in 2017 so his record in this format stands out.
TPC Louisiana will always be a special place for Dufner as he claimed his first PGA Tour title at the course back in 2012. It should inspire him after a disappointing season to date, while Perez returns this week after being sidelined with a calf strain last month. He should be fresh and the relaxed format will probably suit, not putting too much pressure on him. Dufner and Perez have been overlooked in the betting but it may pay off to side with them to get into contention in New Orleans again at 50/1 each way.
Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown Each Way
Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire Each Way
Jason Dufner and Pat Perez Each Way
Read Simon’s preview and betting tips for the Trophee Hassan II.