By News Team
20th April 2021
We’re switching things up a bit on the PGA Tour this week with TPC Louisiana hosting the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Instead of the usual individual stroke-play events, we have become accustomed to seeing, the tournament over the next four days consists of 80 teams taking each other on in both the fourball and foursomes formats.
Here’s our preview as well as more information on the format of the competition.
How it works
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans takes place over four days from Thursday, with the usual cut coming after the second round seeing the low 33 teams and ties in the 33rd position making it through to the weekend. Round one and three are played using the fourball, better ball format, while rounds two and four are foursomes.
For foursomes, players will rotate tee shots. One player will hit the tee shots on all the odd-numbered holes, and the other on the even numbers. For the fourball, the players of each team will each play their own ball throughout the entirety of the round, with the best score on each hole recorded.
Horschel and Burns the fancied duo
In all honesty, this is a very difficult event to weigh up and there are a whole host of teams who a solid case can be made for. Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm are the defending champions and they’ll do for many at 15/2. That will also be the case for Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay at 8/1, but the eye is drawn to the pairing of BILLY HORSCHEL and SAM BURNS at 25/1.
The term course specialist comes to mind when you think of Horschel and TPC Louisiana given he’s won here both in the individual format and then alongside Scott Piercy in 2018. And then throw in the fact that the American has been in great form this season with four top 10s, including a runners-up finish at The Concession and a victory at the WGC Match Play. He also played well for the first two rounds at Harbour Town last week, so he’ll be hopeful of holding up his end of the deal here.
His partner, Burns, is a precocious talent with bags of ability and although he is yet to win on the PGA Tour, the omens are that his maiden victory isn’t far off. He has three top 10s this season, including a solo third at the Genesis Invitational, where he showed plenty of gusto on Sunday after stumbling to a 74 in round three. He missed three consecutive cuts after that, perhaps still in the doldrums that he couldn’t get the job done at Riviera, but he played much better at Harbour Town, where he ended with three rounds in the 60s.
He hasn’t had much luck in this event so far, but he was born in Louisiana and also went to the college in the state, so should be at home with his surroundings. He’s shown he can get hot and go on a birdie run in the past and that sort of style might just work in this event.