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23 Apr 2019 by Sam Vickers

The 2019 Zurich Classic Of New Orleans Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans? Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th of April 2019

Where is the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans? TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana, USA

What is the total prize fund of the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans? $7,300,000

What television channel can I watch the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans on in the UK? Sky Sports Golf

Where can I stream the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans in the UK? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the tournament online via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans? https://www.pgatour.com/tourna...

What is the course yardage at TPC Louisiana? 7,425 yards

What is the par at TPC Louisiana? 72

What is the course information for TPC Louisiana? The Pete Dye design was formed with help from two player consultants, Steve Elkington and New Orleans native Kelly Gibson. The course represents the environment’s natural habitat, running along the Mississippi River and incorporating the natural cypress and oak trees, with water coming into play on many of the holes. However, TPC Louisiana is ranked among the PGA Tours’s top third to go low even before the team format was introduced, showing the need for birdies this week.

What is the predicted weather for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans? Play on the opening day is likely to be disrupted due to expected thunderstorms, however the remaining three days will be mostly sunny and warm with temperatures all week around 22c.

THE HISTORY

In 2017, the Zurich Classic changed its typical format of 72-hole stroke-play to a team event, with 80 pairs making up the field. The PGA Tour wanted to introduce a team format into the regular schedule to provide a different excitement that is seen in team golf such as the Ryder Cup and World Cup. Round 1 and 3 are Four-Ball (Best-Ball) and Rounds 2 and 4 are Foursomes (Alternate Shot).

Even before the team format was introduced, winning scores around TPC Louisiana were always low with an average winning total of 18 under par since 2009. Remarkably, Justin Rose in 2015 matched the same winning total of last year's winners, giving an indication of the birdie opportunities available this week. Notably, the tournament has produced many a close finish with the average winning margin being 0.8 strokes over the last ten editions, making the Par 5 finishing hole ideal for a dramatic finish.

With the team format still in its infancy, favourites based on past form is more difficult to predict. Nevertheless, players with good form around TPC Louisiana, either in the individual or team format, were assessed alongside SG: tee-to-green - a key statistic that will be required, especially in the foursomes format - as well as birdie average, an important statistic that will be vital in the betterball format.

THE FAVOURITES

Patrick Reed & Patrick Cantlay

The two Patricks return for the third straight year having performed well previously with back-to-back top 15 finishes. The in-form Cantlay has six top tens already to his name this season and ranks highly in both performance stats, making him one of the best players on tour right now, and his positive vibes could help Reed revive his. Moreover, ‘Captain America’ is great in team formats as proved by his Ryder Cup past heroics, meaning if they start the week well, then a spark could make these two difficult to beat.

Sergio Garcia & Tommy Fleetwood

The Ryder Cup team mates pair-up for the first time in a format that should perfectly suit their games. With both being renowned as two of the very best tee-to-green players and both holding brilliant records in these formats from the Ryder Cup, if the two connect then they could be a hard combination to stop. Furthermore, the Englishman finished T4 here last year with Chris Paisley, showing he has a liking for this course and the tournament, and with Sergio being one of the all-time great team-players, this could be a partnership for years to come.

THE OUTSIDERS

Bubba Watson & J.B. Holmes

The American pair finished T5 here in 2017, only to switch partners the following year and struggle - perhaps something that has brought the two back together. As players with very similar styles of game, if these two get on a run, there won’t be many who could dominate a golf course with as much ease. Both are playing steady golf and with the extra freedom involved this week, they have every chance of being in contention once more.

Louis Oosthuizen & Charl Schwartzel

The South African duo – both former major winners – team up for the second year running in a tournament in which they finished third last year. Oosthuizen heads to New Orleans in good form, whereas Schwartzel is searching for his game after four missed cuts from his last five starts. The pairs success in this tournament, coupled with their ability to perform on the big stage, suggests if Charl finds his trigger, the couple have a great chance of contending again.

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