2016 PGA Tour: Zurich Classic Preview and Pick
The 2016 PGA Tour rages on this Thursday, as the 2016 Zurich Classic gets underway at TPC Louisiana. It’s going to be a wild stretch, as defending champ Justin Rose works up against a solid field that boasts two key contenders in Jason Day and Rickie Fowler, among others.
The TPC Louisiana isn’t easy on the long ball, as it stretches out to a cool 7,425 yards and boasts a par-72 design. Despite the rough distance, it’s not the most difficult course imagined and even the hardest parts of the course appear to be safely reachable.
In other words, some golfers that struggle with range and long ball accuracy could trip up here, but high scores may not be strange to see, overall. It could, however, make for a very interesting finish with the top talents featured in this tourney (see below).
Justin Rose is understandably among the top favorites (second), but with such a bloated field, this is anyone’s tourney to win. Jason Day remains hot and gets the nod with the best odds. Rickie Fowler has just as good of a chance as Day or Rose here, but he rounds out the top favorites as the only other golfer with anything better than 20/1 odds.
- Jason Day (11/2)
- Justin Rose (17/2)
- Rickie Fowler (10/1)
Day hasn’t really cooled off since a strong 2016 start, as he claimed the Arnold Palmer Invitational not too long ago and has safely placed inside the top-25 in six of his last seven tournaments. He’s probably the best golfer, hands down, in this tournament. Naturally, if he brings the good stuff, this one is his.
Rose can’t be tossed aside like a used dish cloth, of course. He claimed this very event in 2015 and rules this very course (three top-10 finishes here). Rose doesn’t have a tourney win or even a top-5 finish under his belt yet this season, but he could be working toward it. He has a strong four top-10 finishes and has placed 17th or better in five straight events.
Let’s not forget about the ever vivacious Fowler, who is known as much for his off the green antics as he is on it. The 27-year old has enjoyed a stellar 2016 run to this point; one that has included five top-10 finishes and two stops inside the top-5. He has yet to get a tourney win this year, but he’s closing in on a first place trophy after finishing 10th or better in four of his last five events. He did fall apart at The Masters, but could be in for a nice bounce-back performance this weekend.
- Daniel Berger (25/1 odds)
- Billy Horschel (20/1)
- Smylie Kaufman (25/1)
- Charley Hoffman (35/1)
- Charles Howell III (50/1)
Berge is probably the top sleeper to keep an eye on, as he has odds barely worse than Horschel, yet may have the better shot. He had a chance to win this event in 2015 and comes in hot with two straight top-10 finishes.
Horschel isn’t a bad option to consider, either, as he has a solid three top-10 runs on the year and comes in looking to be in top form after a strong 4th place finish at the Valero Texas Open. He also won here back in 2013, so he knows the course.
Kaufman is a fun bet, as his odds are reasonable and he’s really enjoyed a great 2016. He’s got three top-10 finishes and a tourney win under his belt, plus he put up a mighty fine showing (29th) at The Masters. He can run hot and cold, but he’s overall been quite strong and could be due for another win.
Hoffman may not be the best bet to go two straight, but he did win last week’s tournament and has made 6 of 8 cuts here at TPC Louisiana. His odds could be fun and if you trust him to win back to back tourneys, he’s obviously going to be in play.
Howell is our last sleeper we’re really interested in, as he has a second place finish here and has made it through 6 of his last 8 cuts. More specifically, he’s placed 7th and 5th in two of his last four runs. This isn’t a stacked field by any means and he’s one of the better guys near the top, so he has a legit chance to nab his first win of the season.
If you’re looking for fun odds to chase, consider Cameron Tringale (55/1) and Ricky Barnes (120/1). Tringale has a nice history at this course so he could be a viable sleeper, while Barnes has been awful here but is coming in hot with two straight top-10 runs.
We like Rickie Fowler. This is a light field, this course is good for scoring, Vegas likes his chances and he’s super due for a tournament win. The guy has had an awesome 2016 season, but still needs to grab some hardware. This is a pretty great spot for him to do it.
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