What they said: The leading pairs at the Zurich Classic talk chemistry ahead of the first round

Ahead of the opening shots at TPC Louisiana the various combinations discussed their potential for success in the PGA Tour’s unique event.

What does it take for two to become one in golf?

It's a question that has vexed many a Ryder Cup captain down the years, but rarely have the players themselves had to deal with the issue outside of that event and the Presidents Cup.

When the Zurich Classic of New Orleans changed from an individual tournament to a pairs event in 2017 that dynamic changed.

Ahead of this year's tournament the players have been discussing the reasoning behind their choice of partner and, while it is mostly true that friendship is the prompt, they also revealed that science, psychology and history is used to make the most of the initial link up.

Can we learn anything from their words? Possibly, let's take a closer look.

Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer

Rahm: "One of the reasons why the partnership worked so well is because we play similar game. We like to see the ball go left-to-right for the most part, so I think it matches up really well. It's a ball-striker's golf course, more so this year because the greens are a little bit firmer. So it should suit our strengths very well. You can strategise, but at the end of the day you still need to execute and hit the shots."

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Palmer on using different balls on different holes in foursomes: "That's where you've got to try to work with each other. It's not that big a difference, we're both pretty good at this game and the ball really doesn't matter for us this week."

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Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith

Smith: "We've had some success together in the past. I think we finished second in a World Cup probably two or three years ago now. We just really enjoyed ourselves on and off the golf course, kept it pretty chilled out.

Leishman: "I work with some stats guys that help me out. They've pretty much told me what tees work for me, so Cam can tee off the other ones. So I'm going to tee off the first and Cam will take the evens. Think that should work pretty well for us, it will let Cam hit more drivers, I'll hit more iron shots and I feel like that will play into both of our strengths."

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Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay

Schauffele: "Pat and I are good friends, we play almost every week at least once and we figured it was a bit of a no-brainer. We definitely meshed in the Presidents Cup, clicked really well and our games matched up and our mentalities aligned."

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Cantlay: "We have a similar demeanour, pretty even keeled and don't get caught up in too much, whether it be good or bad. You all seem to write articles saying we're under the radar or unsung or whatever. I think we get along really well because we think about life and golf very similarly. Pretty solid tee to green and on the green. Nothing too flashy."

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Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff

Wolff: "It's been a long time in the making. I've been playing with him for so long. We've been playing high school golf, junior golf and college golf together and now we're at the biggest stage. It's pretty cool."

Morikawa: "Matt's an awesome guy, we feed off each other's energy, you guys have seen it when we've played with each other in normal groupings. Obviously at the 3M Open we played both really well at the end, Matt making eagle on the last hole. Good chemistry."

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Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

Rose: "I actually feel like there's a lot of pressure on us because, reading between the lines, Henrik phoned me up and said, 'Hello, partner, should we give it one more try?' So I guess, let's see, I feel like I better bring all I've got this week."

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Stenson: "Yeah, bring all you got. In any team out there this week, everyone's going to try their hardest. There's certainly that element that you don't want to let your partner down, but you do that by trying to do your best and trying to play as freely as you can. We're both going to miss and no one's doing that intentionally, so just move on and get on with it. We know each other and trust each other. I think that's been obviously key to our success as well in the Ryder Cups."

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Tony Finau and Cameron Champ

Finau: "I would say the biggest factor, as a team, is just the emotions involved. You're not playing for yourself any more. You've got a teammate now, and his caddie and your caddie, so you it's a real team. Four guys out there inside the ropes and you guys are all cheering for each other. Emotionally it's a little different."

Champ: "I have a lot of respect for him, his family, and what he does a lot of outside of golf. We have very similar backgrounds, kind of how we got brought up in the game, how we got through it. That's kind of where we meshed well together. I respect him greatly."

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READ MORE: Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay: the dream team ready to zap Zurich rivals

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