(CBS Miami) – New Orleans’ Zurich Classic was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. But the PGA Tour returns to TPC Louisiana this week to be one of the game’s other games unique event. Instead of 18 individual match holes over four days, golfers pair up to play their best two balls and two shots alternately.
Tournaments will begin with Best glossy format. That means each teammate plays each hole, and the team scores the better of the two results. The second round will have a rotating shot. One player on the team hits the te te, and the other plays the next shot from finishing position. Teammates take turns shooting until they hook the ball and then score a total. Two players in a team take turns serving. Saturday best ball back, and Sunday will rotate again. A court has 80 teams playing the first two innings, with 33 teams playing at the weekend.
“You will see a lot of low scores for best innings, first and third innings,” said Andrew Catalon, 18th tower presenter for this weekend’s action on CBS. “It’s a little harder to make birdies while swinging, because the players are getting better at catching up because they will play their own ball in the best form. So I think it really matters about going low in the first and third inning, when you’re playing your own ball and you’re putting your best score on the cards. “
The pitch has many of the game’s best which are paired together in interesting combinations. Among them are 4 of the top 10 players in the world and 7 of the top 20. Including Jon Rahm, 3rd, who will once again play with Ryan Palmer. Both won the 2019 event with a total score of 26 under par. Collin Morikawa, right behind Rahm, joined forces with Matthew Wolff, another young gunman. Xander Schauffele ranked fifth with Patrick Cantlay in 10th.
“[The field] looks great, according to Catalon, “And you also see some neat things, teams where guys grew up together, played in college together, friends for a long time. There are different and unique storylines about how teams were formed, and I think that’s also a great aspect of the event. “
By format, choosing the best partner means choosing the right partner. As Catalon asked “which team can work together in the rotational shootout series? Which team has a good strategy that will definitely come into play this week? So that may not necessarily be the hottest player on the course, but the team that can really put it all together. “
Team Rahm-Palmer completed this in 2019. “They really have a good plan,” notes Catalon. “They played well, but they really picked each other. When one person goes down, the other comes over and performs a clutch strike or a big blow. “
This TPC Louisiana course is ranked as one of the easier paths of the PGA Tour. Designed by Pete Dye, with some input from 1995 PGA Championship winner Steve Elkington, the player-friendly layout near New Orleans spans over 250 acres of wetlands along the field. by the Mississippi River. The par-72, currently 7,341 yards in size, opened its doors in 2004 and can look a bit intimidating from the teeing ground. It is generally flat, with plenty of scoring opportunities, and it’s no surprise to overlook so many birdies. Weather is often influential and is likely to return, possibly with rain on Fridays and Saturdays
The pitch has an interesting and exciting mix of closed holes, as the 16th hole is 348 yards long, the par-4 leads to a final hole 215 yards long, a par-3 17 and a final par 5 of 589 yards. The 18th signature is possibly one of the better holes found on the PGA Tour. The golfer needs to be good with all of their clubs.
“At eight holes, you have to deal with water hazards, including the last three,” notes Catalon. “On the 16th, 17th and 18th, the water came into play. So that’s an important key. You may be walking down the ramp, trying to protect the wires, and then having to fill the holes with water. So that’s certainly one of the great features of TPC Louisiana. It is also the field of Pete Dye, and anyone who knows how to play golf knows that Pete Dye makes some very difficult shots for these players.
The following is favourite:
Jon Rahm – Ryan Palmer (15-2)
Rahm and Palmer both are defending champions, and they both play golf properly. Rahm finished fifth at the Masters and ninth at the Player Championships in his last two events. Palmer is 34th at the Masters and 17th at the Valero Texas Open in the last two matches. Whereas Rahm serves better, Palmer is better with the shot.
Xander Schauffele – Patrick Cantlay (8-1)
Schauffele and Cantlay are the only pair to have two players ranked in the top 10. Both are more flexible and stable golfers in the Tournament. Schauffele finished third at the Masters and could have won it had it not been for a costly mistake near the end of the game. Cantlay, however, missed the cut that week, as was more recently at the RBC Heritage.
Cameron Smith – Marc Leishman (12-1)
Smith and Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic in 2017, the first year of the new format. Ranked 25th, he recently finished in the top 10 at both Masters and RBC Heritage. Leishman is ranked 37th in the world and 5th at the Masters. These two Australian players both play well and get along very well.
See Zurich Classic Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25, 3:00 – 6:00 PM ET on CBS.