There are some strong pairings as the PGA Tour moves inland to Louisiana for the always-entertaining Zurich Classic. Barry Plummer has everything you need to know
After a week off following the Masters, I am back for an event where we struck gold last year courtesy of Cam Smith and Marc Leishman. The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is one of the more ‘fun’ events on the PGA Tour calendar, but don’t be fooled into thinking that players will not be taking this one seriously. With that being said, I have picked three pairs, flying the flag for GB&I, that I believe can take the title this week. But before I get to my free golf betting tips…
Zurich Classic of New Orleans details
Venue: TPC Louisiana, New Orleans
Date: April 21-24, 2022
Course stats: Par 72; 7,400 yards
Course summary: This track is a typical Pete Dye design, with accuracy vital to avoid the strategically placed bunkers and water hazards. Subtle changes in direction, including sharp dog-legs, also give an additional premium to precision off the tee. Average sized, fast Bermuda greens await the players – with plenty of risk and reward options for the brave among the players.
Format: This is a pairs event consisting of 80 teams. The first and third round use a fourballs format, while the second and final round use an alternate shot format. The cut after round two is set at 35 teams and ties, with the winning pair receiving 400 FedEx Cup points. No world ranking points are on offer for this event.
Purse: $8.3 million
Defending champion: Cam Smith and Marc Leishman (-20)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 1.30pm; Sky Sports Golf from 6pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 2.15pm; Sky Sports Golf from 6pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 1.45pm; Sky Sports Golf from 5.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 8.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf (Red Button) from 3.30pm; Sky Sports Golf from 5.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm
Zurich Classic of New Orleans free golf betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter @ 20/1 with Bet365
After securing our place money with a third-place finish at Augusta, Lowry went on to narrowly miss out again last week at the RBC Heritage. Like many I can’t help but feel a win is just around the corner for th Irishman. That could certainly come this week alongside Poulter, who himself has been playing some steady golf in 2022, making five out of six cuts on the PGA Tour and consistently finishing in the top-40 without really threatening.
We know from their Ryder Cup exploits that these two players thrive on energy and that is something that I believe they will give each other this week. Since the last edition of this event, Lowry ranks 4th for SG: Tee-to-Green in the field, and Poulter ranks 2nd for SG: Putting. With a combination of strengths, I would not be surprised to see these two run away to a roaring, fist-bumping victory on the 18th come Sunday.
The Each-Way Play: Tyrrell Hatton and Danny Willett @ 33/1 with Bet365
This all-English pairing are arriving in great form, and could be dangerous at what looks to be a big price. Hatton was second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational not too long ago, while Willett had a strong-run at the Masters before eventually coming up short in 12th position. Both players have won in the last 18 months, and the pair where tied-8th in this event last year so clearly now how to navigate this format.
Looking at the strokes gained data, it appears that both players excel on or around the greens, which will be useful at the business end. If the pair can find their consistency off the tee, then this could be a great value bet with five places on offer.
The Long Shot: Graeme McDowell and Seamus Power @ 40/1 with Bet365
This pair is an interesting one, with a blend of experience and both players arriving in form. McDowell was 21st at Harbour Town last week, and 13th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational recently, while Power followed up a quarter-final at the WGC-Match Play with a respectable T27 finish at the Masters.
In the last 12 months, Power ranks 10th in the field for SG: Total and McDowell has started to find his form with the putter in recent weeks. With McDowell’s 16 career victories combining with Power’s form, my long shot selection could create the perfect storm that provides a big price winner for us this week.
For more prices visit Bet365.