PGA Tour Picks: Zurich Classic of New Orleans Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
C.T. Pan's wife probably is still on a shopping spree. She deserves it.
Pan won his first PGA Tour event on Sunday at the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, but he originally wasn't even planning to compete. Pan is a former player on the American Junior Golf Association and to give something back to the AJGA was to host the first C.T. Pan Junior Championship in his hometown of Houston last week. However, wife Michelle - who sometimes caddies for Pan -- essentially made him go to Hilton Head and hosted the junior event herself.
Pan shot a final-round 67 on Sunday to edge Matt Kuchar by a shot to become the RBC Heritage's seventh straight come-from-behind winner. It was the 79 th career Tour start for Pan, who earned a trip to next year's Masters among other perks. Michelle already has offered to caddie for him in the Par 3 contest. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson was the 54-hole leader but imploded Sunday with a 77 to finish T28. He played a five-hole stretch in 7 over, making bogeys on Nos. 11-13 and double bogeys on Nos. 14-15.
Needless to say, I didn't touch on Pan last week because I barely knew of the guy. My pick to win was Patrick Cantlay at +2200 and he finished tied for third at 10 under, two behind Pan.
This week, the Tour heads to TPC Louisiana outside New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, the only two-man team event on the annual schedule. This tournament wasn't drawing very good fields so organizers opted to change things up starting in 2017. It also allows certain players (by ranking) to pick whom they get to play with. For example, Brooks Koepka is playing with his brother this week and Davis Love III with his son. Some complain that those spots shouldn't go to fringe Tour players, but whatever. It's one stop on the schedule. And the fields have improved.
On Thursday and Saturday, the teams play best ball - which means guys play their own ball and the lowest score counts. Friday and Sunday are alternate shot, which is just as it sounds. One guy will tee off on every even-numbered hole and the other on the odd numbers.
TPC Louisiana is a par 72 measuring 7,425 yards and about 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans. Not a tough track as the past two winning teams have been at least 22 under par. Brian Stuard won the last stroke-play event here in 2016 at 15 under. Top 35 teams and ties from a field of 79 play the weekend. Both winners get most of the perks that come with a typical Tour win, including a two-year extension (but not world ranking points).
The defending champions are Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy. They finished 22 under last year, beating Jason Dufner and Pat Perez by a shot. The winning duo closed with a bogey-free 67 after entering Sunday three shots back. Horschel's first PGA Tour win also was in this tournament in 2013. Dufner had a 14-foot putt for the tie on 18 but came up short.
Golf Odds: Zurich Classic of New Orleans Favorites
Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day are playing this event together for the first time and are +650 favorites at Bovada. Day finished T34 last year with another Aussie, Ryan Ruffels. Day also finished Top 5 in the final two stroke-play events at TPC Louisiana. It's Scott's debut.
Spain's Sergio Garcia and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, Ryder Cup teammates, are +750. Both played last year with different partners. Sergio missed the cut and Fleetwood was tied for fourth.
Cantlay/Patrick Reed (+1200), J.B. Holmes/Bubba Watson (+1600) and Horschel/Piercy (+1600) round out the favorites. Watson won this tournament in 2011.
Golf Odds: Zurich Classic of New Orleans Picks
Not as many props this week with the format so we'll just cut to the winning chase: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown at +3300. They lost in a playoff to Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt in 2017 and held the 54-hole lead last year before shooting a final-round 77 to finish T15.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews