This article is part of our Golf Picks series.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Betting Preview
The PGA Tour will spice things up this week with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans -- the only team event of the season.
A total of 80 teams of two will tee it up at TPC Louisiana, with the duos playing fourball -- each golfer plays his own ball and the best score on each hole is used -- in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds. There is a 36-hole cut, and the top 33 teams and ties will play the weekend. Following a pair of marquee events, we have a weaker field than usual, and one that is headlined by defending champions Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele -- the clear favorites with meager 3-1 odds -- as well as the team of Collin Morikawa and Max Homa, who check in at 9-1.
Last year, Cantlay and Schauffele -- at 8-1 -- defeated Sam Burns and Billy Horschel by two strokes for the victory.
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TPC Louisiana has been the host site since 2007 and plays as a par-72 at 7,425 yards. Yet another Pete Dye design, the fairways are wide and the rough is minimal, but there is danger off the tee with trees, bunkers and water hazards that will punish wayward drives. I still give a slight edge to driving distance over accuracy, especially in fourball, as more margin for error is afforded with two drives per team being counted. The four par-5s are all reachable in two and will provide eagle opportunities, especially in the first and third rounds. Another notable aspect of the course are the par-3s, which all play over 200 yards. Those will be a challenge for the field, and those who excel on longer approaches will have an advantage. Overall, we've seen a lot of different styles of play succeed here, so I'm not going to rely on a particular stat too much. Scoring will be low, so I'm mainly looking for teams that feature players with elite strengths and are capable of making a lot of birdies and eagles. I'm also not too concerned about golfers who post big numbers, as those won't come into play in fourball.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Bets: Outright Picks
Sungjae Im / Keith Mitchell (12-1)
Jumping straight into the picks after cashing a winning ticket last Sunday with Matt Fitzpatrick at 28-1, I'll start with Im and Mitchell, who complement each other well, especially in the alternate shot format where the duo can take advantage of Mitchell's length and Im's superb iron play. Mitchell has a top-5 in this event, and while Im hasn't done much, he has played with far weaker partners than Mitchell. I think they are a quality pivot off the top two options.
Taylor Montgomery / Kurt Kitayama (22-1)
Montgomery will be making his first appearance and Kitayama his second, and the latter will get a big upgrade in partners after finishing T38 with Kiradech Aphibarnrat last year. Montgomery comes in struggling a bit, but as we saw with Garrick Higgo and Branden Grace last year, this is the type of format that can snap you out of a slump. Montgomery has one of the best short games on Tour and Kitayama's ball striking has been strong.
Beau Hossler / Wyndham Clark (25-1)
This is another first-time pairing that I have my eye on, mainly because of how well Clark has played this year. He's gaining shots in every Strokes Gained category and is one of the longest hitters in the field. Hossler and Clark are capable of going very low in the best-ball portion, as both rank top-25 on the season in eagles.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Bets: Other Wagers
Luke List / Henrik Norlander
Top-10 Finish: 5-1
List and Norlander -- a pair of Augusta residents -- will team up for the first time. List's length, solid ball striking and ability to go low make him an enticing pick in this format. Norlander comes in playing relatively well compared to his baseline, posting a pair of top-25s over his last four events.
Thorbjorn Olesen / Nicolai Hojgaard
Top-5 Finish: 7-1
Olesen and Hojgaard form an intriguing pairing, and the Danes will look to boost their stock for the European Ryder Cup squad this fall. Olesen has been playing well overseas, going T16-T4-Win-T6 over his last four starts. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Hojgaard has made the cut in both of his PGA Tour starts this year, including a runner-up at the alternate event in Punta Cana last month.
Ben Martin / Chesson Hadley
Top-5 Finish: 12-1
Hadley has a top-5 here, albeit with a different partner, and he had success when this was an individual event, notching a top-20 in both of his appearances. Combine that with Martin, who quietly racked up three top-10s over his last six starts, and you have the making of a potentially strong pairing.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Bets: Head-to-Head Matchups
Nick Taylor / Adam Hadwin (-110) over Victor Perez/Thomas Detry
In a matchup between two first-time duos, I'll gladly take the Canadians, who I view as the better golfers. Perez has little PGA Tour experience and hasn't shown much in those starts, while Detry has had a disappointing 2023 following a strong fall season. Taylor is a solid 25th in Birdie or Better Percentage this season, and with he and Hadwin having a similar style, they should be consistent in the alternate shot format.
Joel Dahmen / Denny McCarthy (+105) over J.J. Spaun/Hayden Buckley
I'll take the value in Dahmen and McCarthy at plus money against Spaun and Buckley, who each missed the cut in their most recent appearance here. Neither Buckley nor Spaun are huge birdie-makers, and they are unlikely to go low in the best ball portion. Dahmen and McCarthy should mask each other's weaknesses.
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