Preview: The Zurich Classic

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 4/24/24 6:10am ET

The PGA Tour will take an annual detour from individual events when the Zurich Classic begins on Thursday. 80 duos will compete in best-ball (Thursday/Saturday) and alternate-shot (Friday/Sunday) formats in the PGA Tour’s lone team event.  

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are +500 to win. They’re followed by Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry +800 , Will Zalatoris/Sahith Theegala +1100, and Collin Morikawa/Kurt Kitayama +1600 on the PGA odds board.


What: The Zurich Classic
Where: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA.
When: Thursday-Sunday, April 25 – April 28
Purse: $8.9 Million
Defending Champion: Nick Hardy/Davis Riley

The Course:

TPC Louisiana is a Pete Dye-designed, 7,400-yard Par 72 located in Avondale. If TPC courses share an identity of fan-friendly scoring holes. Persistent bunkers and random hazards like trees in the center of the fairway have Dye’s signature design elements all over them. But, there are plenty of scoring opportunities on this course. Featuring wide fairways and incredibly non-penal Bermuda-grass rough, TPC Louisiana is one of the easiest golf courses on the PGA Tour. In 2015 and 2016, when this tournament was an individual stroke play event, the Dye design ranked as the seventh-easiest and second-easiest course on Tour, respectively.

The Field:

There are 160 players in the field this week, technically the largest of the season. The field will be grouped into 80 teams of two, with the top 33 pairs and ties advancing through the 36-hole cut.

After having the Masters and the RBC Heritage Signature events in successive weeks, this team play setup serves as a natural bye week for top players like Scottie Scheffler. Even still, the field features four OWGR top-10 players, highlighted by Zurich Classic first-timer Rory McIlroy (alongside Ryder Cup teammate Shane Lowry), and the 2022 champion duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

In addition, other marquee pairings at the top of the projected Zurich Classic odds board include Sahith Theegala & Will Zalatoris, Corey Conners & Taylor Pendrith, Collin Morikawa & Kurt Kitayama, and Adam Hadwin & Nick Taylor.

Top 10 Odds (Courtesy of DraftKings):

Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele +500
Rory McIlroy & Shane Lowry +800
Will Zalatoris & Sahith Theegala +1100
Collin Morikawa & Kurt Kitayama +1600
Tom Hoge & Maverick McNealy +2500
Matt Fitzpatrick & Alex Fitzpatrick +2500
Taylor Pendrith & Corey Conners +3500
Rasmus Højgaard & Nicolai Højgaard +3500
Taylor Montgomery & Ben Griffin +4000
Sepp Straka & Ben Griffin +4000

Keys To Victory:

The name of the game at TPC Louisiana is bomb away off the tee and get hot with the putter. Obviously, in a team format, birdies are going to be highly desired, and players will be taking an aggressive approach and throwing caution to the wind. This week, players who rate out highly in statistics such as going for the green,  birdie or better percentage, and strokes gained total will thrive.  Temperate scoring conditions, and putting on Bermuda-over-seeded greens should yield low scoring and plenty of birdies and eagles.

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Read More

Celtics enter playoffs as +120 favorites

The Boston Celtics (+120) remain the title favorites but there is a lot of basketball to be played before anyone hoists the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Read More

RBC Heritage preview

After a dominant win at the Masters, Scottie Scheffler and many of the world's best players are headed p to Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage for one of the PGA Tour's longest-running events and the fifth "Signature Event" of the season.
Read More

Celtics tabbed as +165 title favorites

The Boston Celtics enter the NBA postseason as a significant favorite with +165 championship odds, hoping to deliver on regular season dominance and avoid repeating recent playoff disappointment.