Photo Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
2023 Zurich Classic: Preview, Props, Best Bets
The PGA Tour makes its annual stop in New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. The only team-based tournament on the schedule, the event starts Thursday at TPC Louisiana.
80 teams will compete in Four-ball for the first and third rounds, and Foursomes in the second and final rounds. The format creates unique and fun wagering opportunities, and our golf experts provide their favorite props along with best bets to win this week.
Location: New Orleans, Avondale, La., April 20-23
Course: TPC Louisiana (Par 72, 7,425 yards)
Purse: $8.6 million (Winner: $1,242,700 each)
Defending Champions: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Friday, 9:15 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 8:45 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
–Doc Redman/Sam Ryder to Beat Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (+120 at DraftKings): Moore is in the best form among the four, following up his win at the Valspar with a T39 at Augusta and a T11 last week. He has also played a lot of golf of late and is paired with NeSmith, who hasn’t posted better than a T39 in his past 11 starts, which includes seven missed cuts. That said, Redman has failed to make the weekend in six of his past seven starts. Still, we like his pairing with Ryder, an excellent ballstriker who has been in contention on Sunday several times this year, including a T3 at the Valero three weeks ago.
–Matthew/Alex Fitzpatrick to Make the Cut (-160 at BetMGM): The brothers are playing together as professionals for the first time, while Alex makes only his second career PGA Tour start. However, he is an accomplished player and is coming off a T9 in his most recent start on the Challenger Tour. The field is chock full of a range of pairings, and our bet here is that older brother Matt provides the steadying hand, allowing Alex to play more freely than he would in a stroke play event.
–Sam Burns/Billy Horschel to Win vs. Harris English/Tom Hoge (-176 at PointsBet): Burns and Horschel finished solo second last year, and Burns won the WGC-Match Play last month. Horschel also teamed with Scott Piercy to win the event in 2018 and won the individual format in 2013. Hoge has missed his past two cuts and has one top-50 in his past five, while English has more missed cuts (five) than top-30s (two) this year.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 17-22-1
–Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (+300 at BetMGM) set the tournament scoring record of 29-under 259 last year and are coming off third- and fourth-place finishes last week, respectively. They are also the only team comprised of two players ranked in the top five in the world rankings. They opened at +350, but those odds quickly shortened with the pair leading the field with 13.0% of the total bets and 27.2% of the money backing them to win, making Cantlay/Schauffele the sportsbook’s second-biggest liability this week.
–Collin Morikawa and Max Homa (+750) are both ranked in the top 13 in the world, while Homa is the highest-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings at No. 4. They’re second with 12.3% of both the total bets and money backing them to win.
–Sam Burns/Billy Horschel (+1200) are the third-biggest liability at BetMGM, having been backed by 10.2% of the bets and 9.3% of the money.
–Si Woo Kim and Tom Kim (+1400) also competed together in the 2022 Presidents Cup, where they beat Cantlay and Schauffele 1-up in Four-ball. They are also the only team made up of players who have each won on tour this season.
–Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh (+2200) have seen their odds hold steady despite being the sportsbook’s biggest liability this week while being backed by 10.2% and 7.6% of the action, respectively. Theegala is seeking his first PGA Tour title and followed a solo ninth at the Masters with a T5 at the RBC Heritage. Suh has a pair of top-10s while making seven consecutive cuts.
–Five of the top six finishers in last week’s RBC Heritage are in the field, including champion Fitzpatrick, who will play this week with his brother, Alex. Alex will make his second career start on the PGA Tour, with the other being a missed cut at last year’s Valspar Championship.
–Both Ryder Cup captains are paired with one of their vice-captains this week. United States captain Zach Johnson is playing with Steve Stricker, while Team Europe captain Luke Donald is paired with Eduardo Molinari.
–The only team made up of major champions is John Daly, who won the 1991 PGA Championship and The Open in 1995, and David Duval, who claimed The Open in 2001. They also make up the oldest team in the field with an average age of 54.25, while Harry Hall and Akshay Bhatia comprise the youngest at 23.52.
–Field Level Media