Waggle Duff fantasy league is back this week, so watch out tomorrow for entries re-opening. Before you do submit your team, be sure to read this betting preview by NelsonsGolfTips on the 2022 ZURICH CLASSIC OF ORLEANS.
After a mad two weeks with the Masters and the Heritage where golfer Jordan Spieth won on the second Easter Sunday in a row. We now head over to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, in its doubles format. It was changed in 2017 from singles to a doubles format, in 2016 there was just 23 players of the world’s top 100 in the line-up and in 2017 there were 24 players in the top 50 lining up. So thumbs up from the players for the new format.
ZURICH CLASSIC – THE COURSE – TPC Louisiana
TPC Louisiana is located in the south west of New Orleans, it was designed by the renowned Pete Dye in consultation with Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson, it’s a par 72 measuring just over 7400 yards. The course made it’s debut in the event in 2005 but just a year later the tournament returned to its old venue, English Turn, after Hurricane Katrina devastated this venue. The event returned in 2007 and it’s been here ever since.
The greens are Bermuda grass over seeded with Poa Trivialis and the fairway’s Bermuda grass.
The 72- hole stroke play tournament features four-ball (best ball) during the first and third rounds and foursomes (alternative shot) during the second and third rounds.
The starting field consists of 80 teams (160 players) with the low 33 teams and ties after 36 holes make the cut.
The first edition was won by Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt in 2017, beating Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in a play-off, whilst last year’s edition was won by Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith with a score of 268, the only other two events was won by Horschel-Piercy in 2018 and Rahm- Palmer in 2019.
So with little data to go off I had to dig deep and found what I think are some good little nuggets. Looking at the stats the tournament played or the week before the Zurich the winners had either good stats in SG Putting or SG TTG.
The week before Blixt won in 2017 he T44 and ranked 1st in putting with 2.43 shots gained and Smith T29th and was T28th in SGTTG. Smith again won in 2021 and the week before he T9th at Harbour Town and was 15th with SGTTG gaining 1.43, and Leishman T5th at the masters. He was 6Th in SGTTG gaining 2.04 on the field.
Horschel in 2018 was T5th at the Heritage and was 4th in SGPUTT gaining 2.04 on the field and Piercy was T16. Piercy was 15th in SGTTG gaining 1.69, we also have some correlating courses with this being a Pete Dye course. Austin country springs to mind with players playing well at both courses, you only have to look at the stats to see the likes of Billy Horschel. Who has won at both courses, and players that played well at Harbour Town have gone on to play well at the Zurich.
GOLF TIPS & PICKS
My main pick is the favourites, not a surprise but world number 2&5 respectively are not to be sniffed at. Collin has had a slow start to the year but is showing signs of the old Collin, his recent form is good he T5 at the Masters and T9th at the Match play. He finished with a 68 at the Heritage but only finished T26 but he was 8th in SGTTG, gaining 1.907 on the field. Victor had a week off and was only T27th at the masters but was 10th in SGPUTT, these young guys will just enjoy every moment and will be smiling all the way to the winner’s circle.
The European duo of Tommy and Sergio are here for another crack at winning this event after finishing second in 2019. They missed the event in 2021, this year both players have been steady without winning, Tommy has had five top 30s this year, with three top 20s. His effort at Harbor Town was by no mean feat with a 64 mid round, he ranked first in putting gaining 2.10 on the field. Sergio had last week off, after a half decent Masters where he was 3rd SGAPR and 17th SGTTG, which puts them both in a good position to give a good account of themselves.
The Chilean due will be very popular this week after some really good tournaments, Niemann is up to world number 16 after gaining his second win on the PGA tour, he has two top 10s and some solid rounds to his name, don’t think he would have been far away this week if he hadn’t shot 72 in the second round, he was 21st in SGTTG, with Mito 11th gaining 1.571 on the field, Mito is slowly gaining a reputation of being a solid iron player and shown some good form coming into this, with a 13th at the Valero Texas Open and a T27th at the Valspar, it won’t be long before this guy gets his maiden tour win.
The only place to start with Will is his putting, believe it or not he ranked 6th in SGPUTT in his last tournament the Masters gaining 1.40 shots on the field and 3.15 in total. I’m sure will has used this week off to spend time with his putting coach Stephen Sweeney. It seems like a lot of hard work has gone into his putting with tension and nerves show up in his legs. They have worked on ways to relieve the tension, so make no mistake this guy will undoubtedly win multiple times once his maiden win is out the way.
Wills partner is Davis Riley has been giving a good account of himself on the PGA tour. Unfortunately he missed the cut at Harbour Town, but at the Valspar he finished 2nd just missing out on his maiden win by losing in a play-off to Sam Burns.
The Scottish duo are going to be an interesting pairing with hopefully Laird will be guiding the youngster to his first win in the States. Macintyre produced a cracking T23 in the master, not bad for a Scottish youngster, he finished off with a 69 and finished 15th in SGPUTT, he’s had three top 20s this year and has shown some strong form. He has the potential to be a Ryder cup player for years to come. Martin however has been on the tour for many a year, he gained his first PGA win in 2009 at the Shriners in which he won again in 2020 which was his last win.
His recent form has been up and down. His last outing, he finished T29th at the Valero Texas open where he finished 5th SGOTT and 19th SGTTG which gives us a hope that they can both combine to put a good show for our money.
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