With the 2018 PGA Tour rolling right along and heading to the Big Easy for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, it’s time to offer up some expert betting advice on the only team event on the PGA Tour as it heads into the second year of its current two-man format.
The Zurich Classic features two rounds of foursome and four-ball competition and tees off on Thursday morning live from TPC Louisiana, in Avondale, LA.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are the prohibitive favorites at 8-1, followed closely by Bud Cauley and Justin Thomas at 10-1 and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and playing partner Patrick Cantlay at 11-1.
The format at this year’s @Zurich_Classic will get a bit of a Sunday shake-up!
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) April 25, 2018
What: 2018 Zurich Classic
When: April 26-29, 2018
Where: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA
Length: 7,425 yards (6,789 m)
Tour: PGA Tour
Format: Stroke play
Prize fund: $7.2 million
TPC Louisiana is a Par-72 that is 7,425 yards in length that was opened in 2004. It was designed by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye in consultation with tour pros, Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson. The Zurich Classic is undeniable of the unique tournaments on the PGA Tour as it now features a new, two-man format, on-course food and this year, its walk-up songs to the first tee, which copies some of the stops on the European Tour.
A year ago, Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown needed a chip-in at the last hole to eventually send the tournament into a Monday playoff. While the pair eventually lost to the duo of Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt, the new format was also an undeniable success.
2017: Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith
2016: Brian Stuard
2015: Justin Rose
2014: Seung-Yul Noh
2013: Billy Horschel
This year, 10 of the top 14 players in the world are in the field looking to get the two-man win and there are some interesting duos in action.
Field and odds
- Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson: 8-1
- Bud Cauley-Justin Thomas: 10-1
- Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay: 11-1
- Ryan Palmer-Jordan Spieth: 14-1
- Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar: 14-1
- Rafael Cabrera-Bello-Sergio Garcia: 20-1
- Jon Rahm-Wesley Bryan: 22-1
- Sean O’Hair-Jimmy Walker: 22-1
Justin Rose won this tournament when it was still a one-man event back in 2015, so he knows this course and has played it quite well in the past. 42-year old Henrik Stenson finished fourth at Bay Hill, T^ at the Houston Open and an excellent fifth at The Masters, so he’s playing fantastic golf this year.
Cauley has quietly finished T14 at Bay Hill, T18 at the Houston Open and T23 at the RBC Heritage in his last three tournaments. Thomas, the world No. 2, won the Honda Classic, finished second at the WGC-Mexico Championship, finished T4 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and T17 at the Masters.
Not only did Patrick Reed win The Masters, but he also finished T9 at the WGC-Dell, T7 at Bay Hill and T2 at the Valspar Championship. Cantlay is coming off a T7 at the RBC Heritage following his missed cut at the Masters. However, he did finish T17 at the WGC-Dell, T30 at the WGC-Mexico Championship and T4 at the Genesis Open.
My Pick: While I often don’t go with the prohibitive favorite and equally as often can’t understand why some players are listed as favorites at certain tournaments, this time isn’t the case on either front.
Justin Thomas and Henrik Stenson are both playing out of their respective minds this season and should find their way to victory here at the Zurich Classic.
I’m going with Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay as my No. 2 pick and Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar as my third and final pick to win the 2018 Zurich Classic.