NCG form expert Barry Plummer assesses the runners and riders ahead of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana
Just a few weeks on from a our last alternate format event, we are treated to another in the form of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. As the PGA Tour stars join forces to challenge for glory, let’s take a closer look which team has the best chance of winning. But first…
Zurich Classic of New Orleans details
Venue: TPC Louisiana, New Orleans
Date: April 22-25, 2021
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 fourball format, while the second and fourth 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: $7.4 million
Defending champion: Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (-26)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 7pm and 8.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 7pm and 8.30pm; Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 6pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 6pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm
Zurich Classic of New Orleans betting tips
As usual, I’m joined by NCG’s Steve Carroll to discuss my betting tips for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the Dialled In podcast. I’ve picked out three pairs who I fancy to go well this week.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below, or on your preferred podcast platform.
Bazza’s Banker: Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman @ 11/1 with Bet365
The all-Aussie partnership should worry other competitors with both players arriving in great form. A pair of top 10 finishes at Augusta have them towards the top of the form table, and with Smith posting a first-round 62 at Harbour Town last week he should be raring to go with his compatriot here. Interestingly, Smith has also won this event back in 2017, which adds further value to this selection. The short game of both players is a real strength, with Smith ranking 1st for SG: Around-the-green and Leishman ranking 6th for SG: Putting in the last 3 months. I can see a bold effort from this pairing, and I am happy to confidently throw them in as Bazza’s Banker.
Bubba Watson/Scottie Scheffler @ 14/1 with Bet365
This is a true example of the master and the apprentice, with Watson possessing years of TPC Louisiana experience to share with Scheffler who makes his debut. A win for Watson in 2011, plus a 5th-place finish in 2017 – by then a pairs format – will be invaluable to share with Scheffler who arrives after a recent runner-up in another alternate format event, the WGC Dell Match Play. Scheffler is arguably the more in form golfer in the partnership, ranking 15th for SG: Total in the last three months, but we all know what Watson can do when on a course that he likes.
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson @ 33/1 with Bet365
Much improved performances from both of these players at the Masters make this an interesting partnership, and with buckets of experience I fancy them to go well. The two gold medal finalists at the Rio Olympics combine with Justin Rose holding the best TPC Louisiana form, having won here back in 2015 when the event used a singles format. A couple of top 20s in Stenson’s last two visits are encouraging, and with both players looking to get their season back on track, this could be a great opportunity to grab a victory.
For more prices visit Bet365.