Zurich Classic 2024: Odds, predictions, picks for PGA Tour team event

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is unlike any other event on the PGA Tour.

Instead of individual stroke play for 72 holes, this tournament employs a team format that features two players each.

For Thursday’s first round and Saturday’s third round, teams will play Four-ball, which means each player will play their own ball. The best score among the two players is then taken on each hole for the team. Then, for Friday’s second round and Sunday’s final round, teams will compete in foursomes—also known as alternate shot—so only one score is tallied per hole.

Of the 80 teams in the field, the top 33 and ties make it to the weekend. The winning team receives 800 FedEx Cup points—400 to each player—and two-year exemptions on the PGA Tour. However, the victors do not receive invitations to The Masters the following year, nor do they obtain any Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans Odds:

Here are the current odds for the teams to win, per DraftKings:

  • Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele +500
  • Rory McIlroy & Shane Lowry +800
  • Will Zalatoris & Sahith Theegala +1100
  • Collin Morikawa & Kurt Kitayama +1600
  • Tom Hoge & Maverick McNealy +2500
  • Matt Fitzpatrick & Alex Fitzpatrick +2500
  • Taylor Pendrith & Corey Conners +3500
  • Rasmus Højgaard & Nicolai Højgaard +3500
  • Taylor Montgomery & Ben Griffin +4000
  • Sepp Straka & Ben Griffin +4000
  • Nick Taylor & Adam Hadwin +4000
  • Keith Mitchell & Joel Dahmen +4000
  • Brice Garnett & Sepp Straka +4000

Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Brothers Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick will once again compete in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Getty Images

Zurich Classic of New Orleans Predictions

An all-Irish duo of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry highlight this year’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans. But so do Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele—the only team that comprises two players ranked within the top 10 of the OWGR.

Three sets of brothers will also compete, including the Fitzpatrick’s, who tied for 19th a year ago here. Netflix’s season two of Full Swing underscored their triumphs and tribulations from this event through The Open Championship last season.

The other brothers in this week’s field include the formidable Danish duo of Nicolai and Rasmus Højgaard and Americans Pierceson and Parker Coody. As such, the 2024 Zurich Classic marks the first time in PGA Tour history that two sets of twins will compete in the same event.

Cantlay, Schauffele contend but fall short again

Cantlay and Schauffele arrive in the Bayou as the odds-on favorites, and rightfully so. They form the best team on paper, but Cantlay has not had a terrific 2024 campaign.

The former UCLA Bruin currently ranks 91st on tour in overall strokes gained and 149th in strokes gained, approaching the green this season. He only has two top-10 finishes as well.

Cantlay’s iron play has sorely let him down, but perhaps he discovered something last week at Harbour Town. He tied for 3rd at the RBC Heritage and ranked 5th in strokes gained approaching the green on a golf course that places a premium on iron play. That marked his best finish since the Genesis Invitational, where he held the lead for most of the tournament but ultimately tied for 4th.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay with the trophy after their win at the 2022 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Schauffele has had a marvelous season, ranking second behind Scottie Scheffler in overall strokes gained. He tied for 18th at the RBC Heritage, but prior to that, he recorded three straight top 10s, which includes a tie for 2nd at TPC Sawgrass and a solo 8th at Augusta National.

It would not surprise us if this duo went on to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans once again. After all, they did so in 2022 with an incredible score of 29-under par. But these two golfers have struggled to finish the job this year when the light has shined brightest. We envision that narrative persisting, especially since they arrive as heavy favorites with all eyes watching them.

The Winners: A pair of young American stars

We like the team of Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris to prevail this week in Louisiana. They arrive with the third-lowest odds at +1100, a solid price for these young stars.

Theegala, fresh off a solo second finish at the RBC Heritage, already has five top 10s this season. He has an innate ability to shape whatever shot he desires and ranks 13th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting. That, coupled with Zalatoris’ pedigree of being a terrific ball-striker, leads us to believe that Theegala and Zalatoris will triumph.

Plus, these two have a great camaraderie with one another, as emphasized by Theegala’s remarks after his solid week in Harbour Town.

“I’m super excited. I just want to win really badly with Will. I’m pumped that he agreed to play with me and know he’s going to carry me a little bit, but we’re just going to have such a good time, and I think our games mesh really well,” Theegala said Monday.

Sahith Theegala, RBC Heritage

Sahith Theegala walks off the 18th green during the continuation of the final round of the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

“We’re going to give each other some crap if we hit bad shots and give each other plenty of love for the good shots. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think really just going to try and take it down.”

Interestingly, Theegala and Zalatoris have each won once before on the PGA Tour. Theegala’s maiden victory came at the Fortinet Championship last September, while Zalatoris prevailed for the first time in August 2022 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

They know what it takes to win. But the circumstances change somewhat this week, as these players enter unfamiliar territory playing on a team professionally. Neither has competed in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, but Zalatoris did compete in the 2017 Walker Cup as an amateur at the Los Angeles Country Club.

Still, these two entertaining Americans will rely on each other’s strengths to win the Zurich Classic.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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