Zurich Classic Betting Tips, 2019 Odds & Golfers to Back
- Bet Sam Horsfield and Ian Poulter at 39/1 with Karamba.
- Bet Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia at 8/1 with 888Sport.
- Bet Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner at 30/1 with William Hill.
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans has a storied past, stretching all the way back to 1938 and the likes of Byron Nelson, Billy Casper, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw are all two-time winners. So, in fact, was the less-heralded Paraguayan Carlos Franco either side of the millennium.
But these days the two-tone nature of the tournament is reflected in the novel style of play which, for the last two years, has been a team event and thus a chance for golf betting fans to wager on something different.
The Zurich Classic Format
A player qualifies based on his PGA Tour rankings and he can pick his partner, who must be a tour member or get a sponsor exemption. The first and third rounds are fourballs (better ball), the second and fourth rounds are foursomes (alternate shot). Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith prevailed in 2017, Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy won last year.
The TPC Louisiana Course
TPC Louisiana is a 7,425-yard par-72 designed by Pete Dye with some assistance from Steve Elkington. Its four par-3s are all longer than 200 yards, three of the four par-5s stretch beyond 560 yards. But there is some relief with the par-4s, four of which are shorter than 400 yards.
Winning PGA Tour Tandem’s Profile
It’s all fun and games trying to work out which combinations might succeed, but is there really anything to be gained by debating it? Two countrymen might have some advantage, or close friends, or successful Ryder/Presidents Cup combinations. But given that the players pick the pairings themselves you’d think they’d have some sense of the alliance being potentially positive so why overthink it?
A common belief is that players hitting their drives similar distances are at an advantage. In 2018, winners Horschel and Piercy hit it 295.4 and 296.6 yards, respectively, throughout that year; runners-up Jason Dufner and Pat Perez 297.1 and 290.9. In 2017 Smith and Blixt knocked it 292.6 and 288.8 and second-place Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner were 289.0 and 288.7 each. Make of that what you will.
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The Sorcerer and the Apprentice
Ever since he first played golf with Sam Horsfield, Ian Poulter has been telling his Twitter followers that the Englishman has what it takes to make it in the game.
The youngster thrashed the opposition at European Tour Qualifying School 18 months ago, then he retained his card with some ease. He had seven top-20 finishes in 2018, with second in the Tshwane Open the highest finish. But his 15th in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth really opened people’s eye to his potential, as did fifth later in the year at the British Masters.
Poulter’s form has been strong in 2019. He has eight top-20s in just 11 starts and though he has flattered to deceive a little (he shot 73 in the final round at both the Masters and the Heritage), he should not be overlooked.
His personality should work well in this format and with this partner. He’ll be happy showing off and taking his young friend under his wing. Don’t be surprised if they have a good week. The English duo is listed at 39/1 with Karamba.
The Paris Connection
In truth, for the 2018 Ryder Cup to be fully replayed Tommy Fleetwood should partner with Francesco Molinari this week. But the Italian has opted out and Fleetwood has instead been wooed by the offer of a week with Sergio Garcia.
They’re untested here but the vibes of that wonderful week in Paris will, without doubt, be revived if they get off to a good start. The Englishman thrashes the ball, on average, 299 yards from the tee and the Spaniard 300 – so they’re also a nice fit in that regard.
This could be the week, and the format, which prompts both to escape very mild slumps and makes their PGA Tour betting backers happy. Fleetwood couldn’t finish the job after leading in Bay Hill and Sawgrass; Garcia made nine top 10s since earning a Ryder Cup wild card, but he missed the cut at Augusta. They're 8/1 with 888Sport.
Repeat Contenders in New Orleans
Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown have taken to this format. Both short hitters, they thrive on syncing well from tee to green. They lost in a playoff in 2017 and were tied for the 54-hole lead last year only for a final round of 77 to derail their challenge.
Despite this success oddsmakers aren’t entirely convinced, but it might pay to take this team on. Bet Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner at 30/1 with William Hill.
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