Round 1 of the Zurich Classic is ready to tee off in lower than 24 hours. With such an unorthodox match, our technique adjustments a bit. I’m sometimes a proponent of taking a number of longshots when it comes to the first-round chief market. However, with solely 80 groups in the sector, I’ll shift my focus to the mid-range and supply an extra choice.
When you consider group occasions, the QBE Shootout could also be one other match that you just take a look at. Sea Island residents Harris English and Matt Kuchar have gained that match thrice. Not solely are each from Georgia, however each are extraordinarily competent on the greens, which I consider might be key this week.
While you could have Kuchar and English dominating QBE Shootout headlines, for Zurich Classic functions, that honor goes to the duo of Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown. Both are members out at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina and play cash video games collectively at any time when they aren’t taking part in for the large cash on the PGA Tour. Expectedly, Kisner and Brown have been extraordinarily profitable in this match. A playoff loss in 2017 has been adopted up with a T-15 in 2018 and a T-5 in 2019.
Factoring this in, group chemistry, whereas subsequent to unimaginable to quantify, ought to play a task to some extent. Those who’ve performed quite a few rounds collectively and perfected the artwork of “ham and egging” it is going to catch my consideration. This is particularly vital when focusing on Round 1 leaders, as best-ball would be the format on Thursday.
The oddsmakers at (*1*) have priced up the first-round chief market. At the highest are match favorites and defending champions Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm at +1200. Also at +1200 are Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. Cantlay and Schauffele are good associates and teamed up on the 2019 Presidents Cup the place they went 2-0 in alternate shot, however 0-2 in best-ball.
End of Round 1 Leader (Odds through PointsBet):
+4000: Dylan Frittelli/Kevin Streelman, Talor Gooch/Max Homa, Branden Grace/Harold Varner III,Viktor Hovland/Kristoffer Ventura, Chris Kirk/Brendon Todd, Jason Korak/Pat Perez, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel, Brendan Steele/Keegan Bradley, Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose
+5000: Scott Brown/Kevin Kisner, Roberto Castro/Cameron Tringale, Brice Garnett/Scott Stallings, Doug Ghim/Justin Suh, Lucas Glover/Chez Reavie, Tom Lewis/Thomas Pieters, Graeme McDowell/Matt Wallace, Alexander Noren/Henrik Norlander, Joel Dahmen/Lanto Griffin
To Lead After Round 1 (Odds through PointsBet):
The dangerous boys of social media have teamed up for this 12 months’s Zurich Classic. A well-liked duo amongst the folks on the web, Gooch and Homa also needs to be a preferred wager this week. Not solely are they associates off the golf course, however I consider their particular person video games on the golf course ought to thrive in the group setting.
Both are extremely efficient with their irons, rating contained in the top-10 in the sector in Strokes Gained: Approach over their final 24 rounds. Both additionally have a tendency to be streaky with their putters, which could be a excellent factor or doubtlessly deadly, relying on once they determine to make their putts.
Gooch has proven the power to get out of the gates slightly rapidly, as he ranks T-33 on the PGA Tour in Round 1 scoring common. Combine that with the consistency that Homa has proven all through this season and I anticipate them to excel in the best-ball format and hopefully in Round 1.
If you need to speak about group chemistry, it is best to begin with Hovland and Ventura. Competitors in junior golf and teammates at Oklahoma State University, Hovland and Ventura have been taking part in golf collectively for almost all of their younger lives. They have performed numerous rounds collectively and will know one another’s recreation, strengths and weaknesses, higher than most groups.
Hovland has already made a reputation for himself on the PGA Tour. He’s a ball-striking machine and jogs my memory of a younger Rory McIlroy. Hovland has the power to catch fireplace and reel off birdie after birdie, but additionally has the power to make an enormous quantity out of nowhere.
Ventura alternatively continues to be making an attempt to get his ft beneath him. There have been glimpses of his potential and perhaps per week taking part in alongside Hovland is what he wants to return to type. Ventura’s largest asset is his putter. If Hovland finds hassle in Round 1, I’ve religion in Ventura’s potential to roll in momentum-saving putts to regular the ship.
We’ll spherical out our first-round chief picks with one other sturdy friendship. A decade faraway from successful the QBE Shootout, Steele and Bradley will look to win one other group occasion collectively. When scanning the chances board, this duo instantly jumped off the display as each have the power to go low in Round 1.
Bradley at the moment ranks T-17 in Round 1 scoring common and Steele will not be far behind at thirty first. Bradley’s ball-striking numbers can go up towards anybody’s in the sector. His placing, not a lot. Historically, the putter has been Bradley’s downfall, however in his previous 4 begins, he’s really gained 1.8 strokes on the greens. This fails to paint the total image, as Bradley has gained 8.0 strokes placing in Round 1 alone throughout this stretch, which means he sometimes runs the nicely dry on Thursdays.
While Bradley’s kryptonite is placing, Steele’s is his iron play. The numbers are a bit skewed as most of his (actually) poor strategy rounds appear to happen over the weekend. On paper, Steele and Bradley are the proper “ham and egg” group with the tendency to run scorching in Round 1. Sign me up.
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