The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits TPC Louisiana for the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Co-designed by Pete Dye, alongside both Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson, TPC Louisiana is a Par 72, 7,245 yard layout that typically serves as one of the most scoreable layouts yearly on the PGA Tour. The Zurich serves as one of the more interesting formats on tour, as it is the only team stroke play event. Last year’s edition was won by Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who opened the tournament with a 59 and shot a tournament record -29 to beat Sam Burns and Billy Horschel by two strokes.
Players to Fade:
Arguably the most unique pairing in this year’s event, John Daly and David Duval aren’t exactly the cream of the crop of this year’s field. Daly hasn’t made the cut in a PGA Tour event since 2019 and Duval hasn’t made the cut in even longer, dating back to 2015. Neither have been lighting it up lately on the Champions Tour either, which doesn’t help their cause. This may be one of the easiest layouts on tour, but we predict that Daly and Duval will struggle anyway and that they will only be here to entertain the crowd on Thursday and Friday on the way to a missed cut.
A pair of promising young studs, Sahith Theegala and Justin Suh are both having solid seasons, combining for 9 top 10’s in 34 starts on the PGA Tour this season. The success of both players can be contributed to their putter, as they both rank inside the top 50 in Strokes Gained: Putting. Theegala will likely be leading the charge for the team this week, as he is fresh off of back-to-back top 10 finishes at the Masters and at the RBC Heritage. Definitely a threat to win, we predict that this duo will find their way to a top 10 finish this week.
Finishing in the top 5 here each of the last two seasons, including runner-up here last year, Billy Horschel and Sam Burns know a thing or two about success at TPC Louisiana. Burns has had the hot hand lately, winning the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, and finishing in the top 15 in 3 of his last 4 starts. Horschel though, brings the course knowledge, as he is a two-time winner at TPC Louisiana and has finished in the top 15 in each of the last 4 Zurich tournaments. Definitely a threat to win this week, Horschel and Burns will be a lock for another top 10 finish.
The defending winners of this event, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele have been lights out on the PGA Tour this season, with 11 top 10’s in 21 combined starts and just 1 missed cut between the two of them. Both Cantlay and Schauffele are excellent ball strikers and have very few weaknesses in their respective games’ right now, ranking inside the top 10 in both Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Total. Both Cantlay and Schauffele finished in the top 5 at Harbour Town last week and we suspect that they will find even more success this week, as we predict that Cantlay and Schauffele will win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for the second straight year!