The players head to the Crescent City this week for the Zurich Classic. This year's competition is a two-man team comp with alternate shot on Thursday and Saturday and best ball on Friday and Sunday. TPC Louisiana is a 7,425 yard, par 72 layout. This is the first time the Tour has hosted a team competition since 1981 at the Walt Disney World Team Championship.
Some of the key teams are Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson, the gold and silver medalists winners respectively at the Rio Games last summer. Justin is also the 2015 champion here. Jason Day and Rickie Fowler form another formidable team. Jordan-Spieth and Ryan Palmer team up. Other key teams are Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace and Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes, Brooks Koepka, who finished 2nd to Kevin Chappell last week at the Valero, shooting a 65 on Sunday, is teamed up with his brother Chase, who plays on the European Challenge Tour like Brooks did before making it on tour. A local Alabama group features former Crimson Tide players Trey Mullinax and Bobby Wyatt, members of national championship teams at the University in 2013 and 2014.
Spike and Walter had a superb pick in Kevin Chappell, who was victorious at the Valero Texas Open with a final round 68, and birdied 18 to capture the victory @ -12. Spike and Walter liked the way he was trending and they were correct. Walter now has 3 W's on the season and Spike is on the board. Brownie had Jimmy Walker. Walker finished -5 and tied for 13th. I picked Ryan Palmer, and he was one shot back going into Sunday and looking good, but he struggled on the front, but got it together on the back with birdies on 14, 15, and 16, but was too far back and finished -7, T-6th. Still OK with the pick.
Weather: Thursday, Sunny, 83, perfect, wind 8-10 MPH; Friday, Cloudy and breezy, 20% t-storms, wind 14-22 MPH; Saturday, 87, partly sunny, 60% T-storms in spots, wind 17-24; Sunday: 81, chance of strong t-storms, 95% chance, wind 18-28 MPH.
TV: Thursday-Friday: Golf Channel: 2:30-5:30 PM CT/ 3:30-6;30 PM ET. Saturday-Sunday: Golf Channel, 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET, CBS: 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET.
Key holes, No.15 is a 490 yard par 4 that has trees and a long bunker on the left along with trees and a waste area on the right that makes the tee shot challenging. The green doesn't have any bunkers, but runs away from the players and has slopes that make any pitches or chips difficult. Par is a great score on 15. No.17 is a 215 yard par 3 that features a pond that runs down the entire left side of the hole, so too much of a draw or an overcook puts the competitor in the water. There are bunkers on the right and the green is narrow. Par is another solid score on this hole. No. 18 is a 585 yard par 5, dogleg right. There is sand along most of the left side and water in play on the right. Pete Dye extended the water out from the right so the second shot, if the player is going for the green, is a high risk-reward with the pressure packed Sunday afternoon. There is sand in front along with mounds. So challenging finishing hole for the tandems Sunday. Sunday looks questionable weather-wise and Saturday doesn't look great. Hopefully the teams can get in 72 holes. Wind will play major factor this weekend, starting Friday.
Going with the favorites here. They are 4-2 as a Ryder Cup pairing. They are both major winners, one at the U.S. Open in 2013, and the other at the Open Championship last year (2016). Going to ride these horses.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson
Brooks and Chase Koepka