2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans team play event is about to tee off following an emotional win by Tiger Woods at the Masters two weeks ago. That was followed by Dustin Johnson’s tumble down the leader board this past Sunday at the RBC Heritage which opened the door for CT Pan to pick up his first PGA Tour win.
But, that win does not seem to be earning Pan too much love from oddsmakers heading into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans this weekend which is a two-man team event. The former University of Washington player is teamed with Michael Kim and the duo are at +8000 which is well behind the leading team of Jason Day and Adam Scott who are coming in at +600.
The Classic is a hard event on the PGA Tour to make picks for because of its short history of being a team event. The format is only in its third year even though the event dates back to 1938 with regular play coming in the 1960s. Here are the leaders through +1600 heading into Thursday play according to Intertops.
Jason Day/Adam Scott
Sergio Garcia/Tommy Fleetwood
Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay
Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy
Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes
Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer
2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Prediction
The Classic field includes eighty two-player teams with one of the players picked by the PGA Tour priority rankings. The second player for each team is either a PGA Tour member or has been granted sponsor an exemption. To make things harder when selecting a team this year is that the format is a combination of games similar to Ryder Cup play. Fourball is used for the first and third rounds while alternate shot for used for the second and fourth rounds.
It appears that oddsmakers are going with a leaderboard heading into the opening round that’s heavy with some of the bigger names in the game. Joining the team of Day and Scott towards the top of favorites list are Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay, Bubba Watson, and Jon Rahm.
The field is wide open as there are plenty of big names sprinkled through the favored list but it’s hard to get past the first two teams of Day/ Scott and Garcia/Fleetwood. There’s plenty of experience with team play with those two teams but there are plenty of other teams with Ryder Cup or President’s Cup play on their resume scattered down the leaderboard.
One team to watch may be the Koepka brothers. Brooks Koepka is a standard on the PGA schedule while his brother is on the European tour. What better teammate to have on a team play event than brothers who probably know each other's strengths and weaknesses? And, if you’re looking for family connections, Davis Love is teamed with his son Dru Love.
The winning team will be the one that can navigate Pete Dye’s TPC Louisiana course outside of New Orleans successfully while taking advantage of birdie opportunities and avoiding the wetlands and massive bunkers after the turn. All while playing two completely different formats rotated over four days! No wonder the Zurich Open is becoming a fan favorite. Almost like a mini Ryder Cup… who knows, they may include the USA vs. Everyone Else wrinkle next year.