Time for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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It’s a week where anything and everything you know about the PGA Tour gets thrown out the window.

It’s time for the Tour’s only two-man team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The tournament, held at TPC Louisiana, is in its third year with this format.

This year’s field features a team of brothers (Brooks and Chase Koepka), a father and son (Davis III and Dru Love), two long-time friends and neighbors (Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly) and a handful of Major championship duos (Stenson-McDowell, Scott-Day, Oosthuizen-Schwartzel, Furyk-Duval and Els-Immelman).

Now comes the tough part, deciding which two-man team will click together over four days in two formats. The teams will play best-ball rounds on Thursday and Saturday with alternate shot rounds set for Friday and the Sunday finale.

And lest you think it’s just a fun-type outing, remember that 400 FedEx Cup points will be awarded to each player on the winning team.

With all of that in mind, we’re going down the betting list a little … nope, a little more… we’re almost there… just a little bit more. There they are: We’re picking the team of Koepka-Koepka (at jaw-dropping odds of 40-1) as Brooks and Chase could sneak up and win this thing.

To say they know each other’s game would be an understatement. And with Brooks having a solid year on the PGA Tour, look for Chase to know who the Alpha Dog is in this twosome and just lend a helping hand when needed. With many of the other groups, let’s just say there will be more than enough testosterone being thrown around trying to narrow down a team leader.

Brooks will be making his first start since a stellar showing in The Masters where he finished T2 so the momentum is there. The brothers did not team up last year in this event. But two years ago, in their first try as teammates, they finished T5.

Needless to say, both have seen their careers take off. Brooks is now ranked No. 3 in the world and is a threat every week he tees it up. Chase is working his way up the ranks over in Europe. This will be just the third start on the PGA Tour for the 924th ranked player in the world.

But don’t overlook the high-powered favorite teams. Take the duo of Adam Scott and Jason Day at 7-1 as an example. The Australian team is always in everyone’s thoughts when they compete individually and show up on the leaderboard. Put them together and they can spell trouble for the rest of the field as their golf swings are impressive and their attitudes first-rate.

And don’t be fooled by their happy-go-lucky charm — each has a potent killer instinct if they get anywhere near the lead.

We’ll also look at the defending champs, Scott Piercy and Billy Horschel, who the Westgate has at 18-1. A strong weekend showing in last year’s event (61-67) rallied them to the win.

Both are coming off solid efforts last week. Piercy was T3 at the Heritage Classic while Horschel was in the mix until he stumbled on the weekend and finished T45.

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About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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