Zurich Classic betting tips & predictions – the Zurich Classic is played annually in New Orleans, Louisiana. From the event’s inception in 1938 through 2004, it was played at a series of courses in New Orleans. In 2005, the tournament moved to its current home at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
Last year marked the first year of team play at the Zurich Classic instead of the standard stroke play competition. The two-man team format over 72 holes brought widespread interest and in particular fans of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup were thrilled with the new format.
Key points for the format of the tournament;
- The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players).
- The top committed players choose their playing partner, provided they have full PGA Tour status or have been invited to play the event on a sponsor exemption.
- The new format will feature Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (better ball) during the second and fourth rounds.
- After the completion of the second round, there will be a cut to the low 35 teams and ties.
- The tournament will continue to award FedExCup points and official money and will count as an official victory for the members of the winning team.
- The winning team will evenly split first and second place FedExCup points (500 for first and 300 for second for 800 total points, or 400 for each player). Official prize money will be distributed in the same manner.
- FedExCup points and prize money will also be awarded to teams making the cut based on combining every two positions from the distribution table for a regular Tour event, with each team member receiving an equal share.
- Both winning players will receive a two-year winner’s exemption and an eligibility into Invitational fields.
- The PGA of America will include both members of the winning team in the Tournament Winners category for the PGA Championship.
TPC Louisiana is a 7,425 yard Par 72. It opened in 2004 and was designed by golf course architect Pete Dye in consultation with tour professionals Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson. Since 2005 the course is part of the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) network.
The course stretches over 250 acres of wetlands along the Mississippi River delta. The layout incorporates cypress and oak trees and features over 100 bunkers as well as five ponds which come into play. The signature hole is the Par 5 18th with water in play on the entire right side, making for a challenging finish.
TPC Louisiana boasts a series of short but compelling Par 4 holes that delivers a great blend of challenge and play-ability. As with most Pete Dye creations finding fairways is key. This is true of TPC Louisiana where most of the recent winners of the Zurich Classic have ranked inside the Top 10 for Greens in Regulation. Greens are average in size but are undulating.
The new team format is a departure from the norm making it challenging to find an angle in. It will be important for teams to get the right balance between an aggressive strategy and good course management. Putting will still be at a premium and regulars to the tournament will eliminate the ‘course-unfamiliarity-factor’.
Accuracy off the tee will be a plus and the ability to capitalise with good scoring on the Par 5s will be important. Expect teams in the mix this week to be precise in their approach play backed up with first class putting. Patience and teams with good camaraderie will be key.
Last year, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt emerged victorious winning at the fourth playoff hole on a Monday finish. For Smith it was his first PGA Tour victory and third for Blixt, who’s last victory was in the 2013 Greenbrier Classic.
They defeated Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in the playoff after both teams finished -27 for the 72 holes. Kisner and Brown birdied 10 of their first 11 holes in the final round on their way to a combined for a -12 (60). Blixt and Smith did not square any bogey for the week and earned $1.02 million and 400 FedEx Cup points each.
A possible strategy is to look for a team with one player who drives the ball long (and accurate) coupled with someone who has a deft touch around the greens. Look for players with proven record in both strokeplay and matchplay.
Zurich Classic Betting Tips 2018