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  • Zurich Classic Tips: Will Zalatoris And Sahith Theegala Team Up Against Star Studded Line Up

Zurich Classic tips: Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala team up against star-studded line-up

The PGA Tour gives pairs golf its hour in the sun this week, and there’s a high-quality field for golf pundit Martin Colwell to consider before sharing a shortlist of his most likely contenders.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans key stats:

  • When: April 25-28 2024
  • Where: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, New Orleans 
  • How long: 7,425 yards - par 72
  • What to expect: Foursome and fourball on alternate days, plenty of water hazards and large bunkers to catch errant shots
  • Who won last year: Nick Hardy and Davis Riley (-30) 

There’s some dream pairings in this 80-team line-up, but history tells us that the biggest names do not always equate to the best two-man teams (just ask Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, who were thrashed 9 and 7 by Viktor Hovland and Ludwig Aberg in last year’s Ryder Cup).

Reigning champions Nick Hardy and Davis Riley, would have teed off as rank outsiders along the likes of fourth-placed Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele a year ago,while strongly-fancied heavyweights Max Homa and Collin Morikawa did not even make the cut.

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is not played in the Ryder Cup's matchplay format, but is a four-day tournament where foursomes (alternate shots) and fourballs (better score counts) alternate on a daily basis, which usually means low scoring on one day and higher scoring the next.

The format appears to suit Schauffele and Cantlay, who had also won this tournament in 2022 and were 11th the previous year, so it is not surprising that they are set to tee off as our 4/1 favourites this week. 

However, neither golfer has won since that success and so such skinny odds do not seem to represent appealing value, despite the fact that Cantlay finished third at last week’s RBC Heritage on a course he loves, while Schauffele has also been in good form recently without winning.

We then have the stellar pairing of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry at 7/1, and the Irish duo are sure to be a popular pick. They could outclass most of this field if they click, of course, although Rory is a bit off his game at present, while Lowry’s struggles with the putter continues. 

Next in the betting, and arguably representing better value are Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala at 9/1, with both having shown decent course form in the past. 

Theegala was runner-up last week to Scottie Scheffele, and has also put in a number of excellent performances on tour this season, including top-10 finishes in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship. 

Zalatoris made the top five at the Genesis and the Arnold Palmer, as well as coming ninth at the Masters, so this pairing looks sure to be in the mix if they can both recapture that recent form.

Suggested bet: Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala (8/1) each-way in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans


Colin Morikawa teams up with Kurt Kitayama this time and they are 14/1 in the betting. Morikawa has been in good form these past two weeks, contending both times but then drifting off a little on the home stretch on Sunday. Kitayama has been out of sorts recently, but these two are top ball strikers on their day and could marry up nicely in this format.

Billy Horschel won the alternate Corales Puntacana Championship on the USPGA Tour last week, and could be hitting form at the right time to replicate his placed three finishes with various partners in the past five years at this tournament. This week joins forces with Tyson Alexander here, and the value of their 40/1 price appears to hang on how Alexander performs.

At 22/1, Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard appear to be the strongest of the three sets of brothers pairing up here, alongside Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick (25/1) and Parker and Pierceson Coody (95/1). 

The Danish twins know each other's games inside out, and although Nicolai appears to have the better standing these days, both have won on multiple occasions on the DP World Tour.

The defending champions, Nick Hardy and Davis Riley, are priced at 55/1 in the betting, and will need to play better as a team than they have been recently as individuals if they want to defend their title successfully.

Hardy has missed more cuts than he has made this season, with a best-placed finish of 25th at the Texas Open. while Riley has endured similar struggles, although he did shape up better when finishing tied for 14th at last month’s Houston Open.  

While they appear to be facing a stronger field this year, they probably went into last year’s event in similar shape, and they proved then that they clearly have the ability to put themselves in contention, no matter who their more illustrious rivals are.

Suggested bet: Davis Riley and Nick Hardy (55/1) each-way in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans


Keith Mitchell and Joel Dahmen could make up a formidable duo, and I can see this team gelling well on this course. Mitchell has placed in this tournament twice in the past three years, while his partner has been in better shape in 2024 than in previous years, so their 40/1 price tag looks reasonable each-way value.

Also lurking at what could be a generous price are Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, who were the runners-up here a year ago. The Canadian pairing have a great relationship, having lived in the same house when they were younger, and 40/1 looks a decent price for them to carry that understanding onto the course again here.

Suggested bet summary:

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