Zurich Classic: Top 5 Teams to Watch this week in New Orleans

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Zurich Classic: Top 5 Teams to Watch this week in New Orleans

PGA Tour

Zurich Classic: Top 5 Teams to Watch this week in New Orleans

By

AVONDALE, La. – Like crazy-hard conditions at the U.S. Open or crazy-drunk fans at TPC Scottsdale, the team-format Zurich Classic works because it breaks up the monotony throughout the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule.

It wouldn’t work every week, but trying something new once a year is harmless enough and has seemingly paid off at TPC Louisiana. The fields have been stronger and fan intrigue greater since the Zurich Classic switched to the two-man format in 2017, and it’s led to some eye-catching pairings.

It also gave us some strange moments like Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar slapping each other in the face.

This year’s offering has another intriguing cast of characters, so let’s dive into the top five teams to watch at this year’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay

Pat Squared returns for a third consecutive year and you will not find a steelier duo in golf. Doesn’t exist. These guys aren’t buddy-buddy with many fellow players on Tour and seem to like it that way. And they might soon share a U.S. team room, with Cantlay quietly climbing up the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup points lists. He’s also playing some really good golf and should soon become a much bigger name on the heels of his Sunday Masters charge. Rather than best friends teaming up, this partnership feels more like a one-week business agreement amongst mercenaries. That’s kind of fun and different on today’s PGA Tour. And, again, do not be surprised if these two end up playing together for their country in the coming years.

Sergio Garcia/Tommy Fleetwood

There’s plenty of chemistry here from shared Ryder Cup experience at Le Golf National, and that was apparent during their Tuesday press conference.

“When you’ve been through that week together, you always have those memories and you always have that togetherness that you’ve all become family for that week,” Fleetwood said. “Every week, no matter where you bump into one of your teammates, you have that together. You have that sort of to look back on. That’s been really cool for me, just that relationship, and that’s something that’s in common with all of us, week in, week out.”

The Euro squad is one of the favorites in Vegas this week and rightfully so, but Garcia and Fleetwood never played together in Paris. It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic there between the two.

Brooks Koepka/Chase Koepka

The three-time major champion Brooks annually teaming up with brother Chase at this event is one of his most endearing qualities. Chase is still grinding away in Europe and a win this week would give him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. Brooks is coming off another serious major charge, which shouldn’t surprise anyone by now. The Brothers Koepka finished T-5 in 2017 and missed the cut a year ago, and seeing them in contention with that exemption on the line for Chase would make for some high drama.

Jason Day/Adam Scott

The Aussies are the clear favorites in Vegas after both contended down the stretch at the Masters. Day’s back is seemingly an every-week storyline by now, but it didn’t seem to cause him too much trouble over the weekend at Augusta. Scott is also playing his best golf in some time and getting closer to moving back inside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since 2017. Consider this a Presidents Cup preview outing ahead of the 2019 festivities at Royal Melbourne.

Jason Dufner/Pat Perez

This is Perez’s first start back from an Achilles injury that was initially feared to be much more serious, and golf is always just a little more fun when he’s around. Dufner and Perez took home the championship belt a year ago and, quite frankly, we’d pay serious money to watch them mic’d up for a full round in New Orleans. Two of the funniest guys in golf and one of the most enjoyable pairings, except for the poor soul with his finger on the delay button in the TV production truck.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home