This article originally appeared on Lucky Trader: Slate Breakdown
The PGA TOUR heads to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, the sole two-person team event of the year. With nearly 40 events on the PGA TOUR’s schedule, this distinctive competition offers a refreshing change of pace. The tournament features a unique scoring system and several essential rules specific to the week.
The Zurich Classic transitioned from a typical PGA TOUR event to a team format in 2017, garnering interest and attracting at least four or five top players each year. With its unique format, the event features 160 golfers, making it one of the largest fields of the season. The competition consists of 80 two-person teams, beginning with a best-ball or “best-score” format, followed by an alternate-shot round on Friday. After the second round, the top 32 teams and ties proceed to the weekend.
For Reignmakers, the Zurich Classic is classified as a “Premium” event, boasting a total prize pool of $275,000 and a first-place award of $15,000 at the ELITE level. It is crucial to note that partnered golfers cannot be rostered on the same team this week.
Now, let’s explore TPC Louisiana, the host course for this week’s tournament.
TPC Louisiana, located just upriver from downtown New Orleans, offers an ideal bayou backdrop. The course presents numerous scoring opportunities and a sufficient number of challenging holes to make the alternate-shot format nerve-wracking, particularly in the final stretch. As a par 72 measuring approximately 7,500 yards, it aligns with the current PGA TOUR average. With the tournament format emphasizing birdie-making, let’s examine the competing golfers and identify a few key targets for this week.
Last 5 Zurich Classic Winners & Winning Score to Par:
- 2022: Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (-29)
- 2021: Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith (-20)
- 2019: Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (-26)
- 2018: Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy (-22)
- 2017: Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith (-27)
The largest field of the year, consisting of 160 golfers, arrives at TPC Louisiana for the Zurich Classic, a unique two-person team event. Some participants have selected their partners, while others have been randomly paired. Despite the vast field, the rule forbidding rostering partnered golfers effectively limits the selection to 80 teams.
Among those competing this week are defending champions and favorites Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. Collin Morikawa has switched partners several times in search of the right pairing and is now teaming up with rising star Max Homa. These two teams stand out as the top contenders, and their Reignmakers prices reflect this status. Other notable partnerships generating buzz this week include Si Woo Kim and Tom Kim, Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, and Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell.
Three-Ball: 3 Draft Kings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
In this week’s strategy, we’ll focus on strong teams with a pricing discrepancy between partners, seeking to capitalize on the undervalued golfer’s potential. Here are three targets with lower prices than their teammates but similar upsides for the rest of the year:
Partnering with Aaron Rai for the second consecutive year, Lipsky and Rai aim to improve on their impressive 10th-place finish last year. The pair spent considerable time together on the DP World Tour, forming a close friendship that will be put to the test again at the Zurich Classic.
Despite a strong start to the season, NeSmith’s performance has waned, with no top-10 finishes since the ZOZO Championship in October. However, he is partnering with Taylor Moore, a rising star in the world golf rankings, who should bring confidence to the team that finished fourth here last year.
The most significant price difference in our selection comes with Hossler and his teammate, Wyndham Clark. As a first-time duo, they make a formidable pair, particularly as Clark enjoys his best year on the PGA TOUR. Hossler’s exceptional short game should prove advantageous in this format, likely contributing to a top-10 finish for the team.
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