The first glance: Zurich Classic

FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler returns after his maiden major title at the Masters and will team up with Ryan Palmer to lead the field at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the PGA TOUR’s only all-field team event.

International Presidents Cup teammates Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman return to Louisiana to defend their 2021 title.

FIELD REMARKS: After Scheffler’s Masters title – his fourth TOUR win in six starts – he’s looking for more at TPC Louisiana. Scheffler will join forces with fellow Texan Ryan Palmer, who has made a habit of working with some of the game’s top names. He won alongside Jon Rahm in 2019… Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland are two of the game’s young stars together… There’s plenty of European Ryder Cup firepower at the Zurich Classic, with teams like Danny Willett and Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose…Reigning FedExCup Champion Patrick Cantlay teams up with compatriot Xander Schauffele…Two-time winner in New Orleans (once as an individual and once as part of a team) Billy Horschel is back with LSU Product Sam Burns…Jay Haas will return to the PGA TOUR for the first time since 2010. He plays with his son Bill.

FEDEXCUP: Winners will each receive 400 FedExCup points.

COURSE: TPC Louisiana, par 72, 7,425 yards. The Pete Dye design includes 100 bunkers and covers 250 acres of wetlands. Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson acted as design consultants. Located just 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans, it is one of the top-scoring courses on the TOUR despite its watery layout.

STORIES: This is the fifth year that the event will be held as a team format. The duos will play Bestball on Thursday and Saturday, and alternate Friday and Sunday… The winning duos will again share the FedExCup points normally reserved for the winner (500 points) and runner-up (300 points) for 400 points each…Cameron Smith hopes his success around TPC Louisiana will continue in 2022. Smith, who has won twice this season including THE PLAYERS Championship, is a two-time winner of the Zurich Classic with two different partners… There are many close friend couples (Max Homa and Talor Gooch), couples from the same college (Harry Higgs and Austin Smotherman) , compatriots (Canadians Adam Hadwin and Adam Svensson) and couples who used to live together (Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley) what makes this event so much fun.

72 HOLE RECORD: 261, Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt (2017), Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (2017).

ALTERNATIVE SHOT RECORDING: 65, Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer (Round 2, 2019)

BEST BALL RECORD: 60, Retief Goosen/Tyrone van Aswegen (Round 2, 2017), Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (Round 4, 2017), Chez Reavie/Lucas Glover (Round 1, 2018), Marty Dou/Xinjun Zhang (Round 1, 2018) , Brian Gay/Rory Sabbatini (Round 1, 2019)

LAST TIME: Australian duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith won the Zurich Classic in a playoff against two South Africans in Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwarzel. It was Smith’s second win in the TOUR’s only full-field team event – he won with Jonas Blixt in 2017. The win came at the second playoff hole after Oosthuizen put it in the water and failed to convert a bogey attempt. It was a dramatic back and forth between the two teams that were paired in the finals. The South Africans had a one-shot lead through 54 holes but shot 71 in the alternate-shot final round. Leishman and Smith scored a 2-under-70. Each team bogeyed the penultimate hole of the tournament and scored par on the 72nd hole to go into a play-off. Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein shot from 18th to third on Sunday with an impressive alternate shot 67. Billy Horschel and Sam Burns, Keith Mitchell and Brandt Snedeker, and Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele tied for fourth. Defending champions Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm finished seventh.


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