Preview: 2022 Zurich Classic

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via @PGATOUR

Zurich Classic

TPC Louisiana

Avondale, Louisiana

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Yards (per official scorecard):7,425
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:Poa Trivialis over-seeded Bermuda; 5,225 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12 feet.
Rough:TifSport Bermuda at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards106/5 (in play on 8 holes).
Architects:Pete Dye (2004).
Course Record (last):60; four times in Fourballs 65; Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm 2019 Foursomes.
Tournament Scoring Record:261; Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt & Kevin Kisner & Scott Brown 2017.
2021 Purse:$8.3 million; $1.494 million each; 400 FedExCup points each.

Notes:

  • Field of 80 teams of two.
  • Top 33 and ties play the weekend.
  • Rounds 1 and 3 will be Fourball (best ball).
  • Rounds 2 and 4 will be Foursomes (alternate shot).

Previous Winners

YearWinnerScoreComment
2021Cameron Smith & Marc Leishman-20Won in a playoff as Smith wins for the second time here.
2020No Event – COVID  
2019Ryan Palmer & Jon Rahm-26Won by three shots, the largest margin of victory in the team event.
2018Billy Horschel & Scott Piercy-22Matched Palmer & Rahm for the most birdies, 28.
2017Cameron Smith & Jonas Blixt-27Only team to play the event bogey free.

Facts and Figures:

Back-to-Back Champions:No repeats
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Cameron Smith (2).
Oldest winner:Ryan Palmer, 42
Youngest winner:Cameron Smith, 24
Odd Fact:First edition played Fourball in the final round.

OAD

Spotter’s Game 2022

2022 EventsGolferPlaceTotal $$
    
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsMarc LeishmanT10188,000
Sony Open in HawaiiKeith MitchellT7227,812
The American ExpressSeamus PowerT14119,700
Farmers Insurance OpenJon RahmT3445,200
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealyT3343,548
WM Phoenix OpenHideki MatsuyamaT8248,050
The Genesis InvitationalPatrick CantlayT3364,000
The Honda ClassicSungjae ImMC0
Arnold Palmer InvitationalRory McIlroyT13228,000
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipDaniel BergerT13327,222
Valspar ChampionshipKeegan BradleyMC0
WGC – Dell Match PlayPaul CaseyT6041,000
Corales PuntacanaEmiliano GrilloMC0
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT3541,925
Masters TournamentJordan SpiethMC0
RBC HeritageMatt FitzpatrickMC0
    
Total Events: 16Top 10: 4MC: 5      $1,974,457
    

This Week – Zurich Classic

Ah, the team game!

From one Pete  Dye to another but this week we’ll throw in the foursome and fourball formats to sort out the winner.

Power couples. Country clubs. College teammates. Neighbors. Odd Couples.

Yep.

All of it.

Time to have fun this week. This isn’t the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup so don’t infer it to be. These folks choose each other and are not paired up so there’s a level of comfort well before showing up outside New Orleans.

The field this week has very interesting combinations which could lead to very interesting results. Over the years we have seen lesser known pairings creep up the leaderboard and cause havoc while some big names fizzle out.

I’d expect the same this time around as well!

It’s golf. You let me know when you get it figured out!

All winning teams have been 20-under or better so making birdies and avoiding penalty areas are the top orders of business. In a shootout, those who hit the most GIR will have the most chances at Par-Breakers. The fourball format requires sub 65 to contend while foursomes suggest anything in the 60s are fantastic.

THE CHOICE: Ian Poulter (Shane Lowry)

As usual, I’m chasing shadows in this game but for once I’m going to take my own advice and play the hottest non winner on TOUR. Poulter did what he usually does at Harbour Town and should be the perfect lightning rod at TPC Louisiana for the Irishman.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Ryan Palmer (Scottie Scheffler): Anytime you can get Scheffler twice in a season is a really good idea! For those of you who haven’t pulled the trigger yet he’s said that Southern Hills is his favorite course. OK THEN! Oh, and Palmer seems to play awfully well here so there’s that too hahahahaha.

Marc Leishman (Cameron Smith): I’m guessing most have burned the one in (   ) while Leesh hasn’t caught fire yet. The defending champs were a tough lay down for me this week.

Sam Burns (Billy Horschel): Nothing wrong with loading up on the home game for Burns especially after he defended at Valspar. Horschel is salty as ever as he’s been knocking all spring but hasn’t been able to pick the lock on Sunday. T4 last year should have them thirsting for more.

Tommy Fleetwood (Sergio Garcia): I can’t help but notice that Fleetwood has finally found some form again in the States. His past results in this event with Garcia (2nd) and Chris Paisley! (T4) also stand out. I don’t love their odds but I see why they are so short. Garcia’s record speaks for itself.

Talor Gooch (Max Homa): Too many arrows pointing in too many correct directions for this pair of mashers as I have written already.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Chile Boys: Pereira has been banging top 30s for fun all season long because he destroys fairways and greens. Everything you need to know about Niemann was realized as he smoked Riviera in February.

AnIm: Nice extra shot at Sungjae and his ability to make a million birdies. Ben An was second on his own ball here in 2016 and nearly won on the KFT recently. Tremendous OAD value as An doesn’t even have status.

Zalatoris/Riley: Check Pick ‘Em.

McDowell/Power: Same.

Patton Kizzire/JT Poston: Nice ham and eggs here and both putt lights out on Bermuda. Poston season’s best T3 at RBC shouldn’t hurt and Kizzire has cashed six of his last seven plus owns a pair of top 10s here.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Straka/Sigg, Laird/MacIntyre, Garnett/Stallings, Brehm/Hubbard, Duncan/Schenk

Last Time – RBC Heritage

THE CHOICE: Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000) – MC

I gave up once he hit four strokes LOST putting for the week mid afternoon on Friday. For some reason I thought he was a better choice than the red hot Shane Lowry or classic course horse riding in to town on bags of form, Matt Kuchar.

Nope, smart me.

Hilarious that Spieth decided THIS WEEK was better than last week as well. His first MC at the Masters triggered all of this!

Am I talking to myself? Yes! 

I’ll add to my notes that Fitzpatrick should be played at Bay Hill and nowhere else. It’s not worth the chase.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Matt Kuchar: Fantastic last few weeks and a course that matches his game perfectly. Fantastic play for guys looking to save bigger names for down the road. T2. Opportunity knocked and I didn’t answer the door.

Shane Lowry: I should just copy and paste this until he wins as his 2022 has been superb. Went close here in 2019 as well as he led after 18 and 36 and played in the final group (T3).  Last win was 2019 Open Championship. T3 and led on the back nine until he chipped into the water on 14. It’s coming.

Kevin Kisner:  Would seem an automatic choice on a Pete Dye in his native state.  T4 at THE PLAYERS and T3 at Sony are the highlights so far so this isn’t a stretch.  Went close in 2015 as he lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk. Grabbed T7 in 2018. MC after 69-74.

Dustin Johnson: I’m not running him on a track where he’s never had a top 10. If you’re trailing and need to throw caution to the wind, good luck.Didn’t break par for MC.

Corey Conners: Brand ambassador for RBC so there’s that angle, just like DJ. I’ll remind you the Canadian Open returns this summer. I’ll remind you no Canadian has won it since Pat Fletcher. Better look that one up, kids! Another beauty, T12.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Russell Henley: Plenty of experience in this part of the world and his stat sheet does nothing to suggest he’s flailing.  Only top 10 this year was Sony but he hasn’t MC since The Open last summer. At least I don’t have to track back to last year for his last MC. MC.

Adam Hadwin: Rolls in on T4-T7-T9 and even Scheffler thinks that’s hot! His success in Palm Springs suggests he’s not adverse to Pete Dye tracks either. Odd his best here is just T22. Even his great form (four rounds in the red again) couldn’t crack the top 20 as he posted T26.

Si Woo Kim: Beaten finalist in a playoff in 2018, he loves Pete Dye (PLAYERS, AMEX) and has been bang in form cashing in his last 11 of 12. Four rounds of par or better this year settled for T42.

Justin Thomas: His best was T8 in the free for all in June of 2020. He didn’t play last year after the Masters but he’s back this time around. Too many moving parts for a guy who has bigger fish to fry. Broke 70 once in four rounds with 67 on Sunday to cash T35.

Patrick Cantlay: No need to run to this course form this week after another finish outside the top 25. That’s four straight so I’ll let him sort his bag out before jumping in again (Memorial). It appears he’s sorted his bag out rather quickly after Augusta. Lost in a playoff for his first top 10 since losing in a playoff at TPC Scottsdale.

Ian Poulter: The old man and the sea sounds like a classic tale and it fits here as the Englishman hasn’t MC in 11 tries. He’s had a sniff on a few Sundays but has ran out of gas and his form is less than stellar recently. 2 over on Sunday moved him 20 spots the wrong direction to T42 but it’s 12 straight here.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Matthew NeSmith – T12, Doug Ghim – T35, Brendon Todd – T26, Brian Stuard – 69, nice, Michael Thompson – MC, Bill Haas – T59

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