Zurich Classic betting favorites Jason Day, Adam Scott miss the cut

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Zurich Classic betting favorites Jason Day, Adam Scott miss the cut

PGA Tour

Zurich Classic betting favorites Jason Day, Adam Scott miss the cut

By

AVONDALE, La. – Presidents Cup staples Jason Day and Adam Scott had never teamed up prior to this week’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

They entered TPC Louisiana as the betting favorites in Las Vegas and at the request of Presidents Cup International team captain Ernie Els, who was hoping to check out a few potential pairings and use this week as advance prep for the upcoming matches at Royal Melbourne.

The Australians could very well still team up together against the Tiger Woods-led American squad in December, but their first go-round resulted in a surprising missed cut Saturday at the Zurich Classic.

“I mean, there’s no excuses,” Day said. “We did have the tougher side of the draw, but there’s no excuses. We just needed to come out and play well and unfortunately I think we just didn’t have the momentum going.”

Day and Scott were in position to make the cut down the stretch but stumbled late in Round 2 alternate-shot Saturday morning. The Aussie duo made bogey at No. 16 and No. 17 and missed the cut by one stroke at 7 under. Scott missed a par putt from inside three feet at the par-3 17th, after which a birdie at the par-5 18th still wasn’t enough to advance.

“We missed greens from the fairway and then our short games were under pressure,” Scott said. “It’s tough to get the rhythm going, and we were grinding hard and didn’t quite get it going. It wasn’t anything horrible, and then ultimately under pressure coming down the last few.”

It’s not uncommon for the great-on-paper teams to fall short in the new team-format Zurich Classic – Jason Day and Rickie Fowler missed the cut in 2017 and 2018 headliners Jordan Spieth (playing with Ryan Palmer) and Justin Thomas (Bud Cauley) were also home for the weekend.

Day and Scott also weren’t the only powerhouses to miss the cut this year after Thursday’s 7-hour, 33-minute rain delay threw the schedule completely out of whack.

Playing together for the third consecutive time, Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay got off to a good start but shot 3-over 75 in Round 2 alternate-shot to finish at 4 under. Pat Perez/Jason Dufner and Tony Finau/Kyle Stanley were also unable to advance.

The unique Zurich Classic format is a huge part of the tournament’s appeal, but the nature of alternate-shot and team chemistry can lead to some seriously unpredictable leaderboards.

Alex Cejka and Alex Prugh have a combined Official World Golf Ranking of 956 and were one shot off the lead Saturday afternoon while the second-place teams entering Round 3 were Peter Malnati/Billy Hurley III and Rory Sabbatini/Brian Gay.

There was some sense of order at the top of the leaderboard, with Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer leading the field at 15 under following second-round alternate shot.

For Day and Scott, however, the on-course play was only part of the goal at the Zurich Classic. They’ll be counted on by Els as team veterans to help shift the Presidents Cup culture, a process that continued this week with group dinners and after-hours bonding in New Orleans.

“It’s about starting to grow a culture amongst the international players and showing everyone who’s coming up the importance of this tournament,” Scott said. “When you’re going up against the Americans, which it seems like their team gets stronger every two years, you just can’t be blasé and think you’re going to show up and compete.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home