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Burns and Horschel hot on the heels of Cantlay and Schauffele in Horses for Courses

4 Min Read

Horses for Courses

Burns and Horschel hot on the heels of Cantlay and Schauffele in Horses for Courses

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    Plenty of deserved attention will be on the defending champions Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele at TPC Louisiana and while they’ll no doubt run well again, HFC is here to help find other combinations chasing the winners post at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

    The champion California coupling (+300) set all major scoring marks last season in their second year together as a unit. Opening with a tournament record 59 in best ball (Fourballs), they became the first duo to go wire-to-wire. They also posted the best 36-hole score after 68 in alternate shot (Foursomes), before nearly equaling their course record with a 60 in the third round. No team has played the par 4s (14-under) or par 5’s (14-under) better, either. Finishing T11 on debut as a pair in 2021, they closed that event with 67, their best foursome round from four total.

    Even though Billy Horschel is a native Floridian, he annually feels at home at TPC Louisiana. The 2013 champ on his own ball has paired with Louisiana native Sam Burns over the last two editions. Last year they fell two shots short of the winners in solo second after a T4 from 2021. Burns, who played his golf at LSU, won three weeks ago at Austin Country Club, another Pete Dye design. The duo (+1400) has a better aggregate (45-under to 44-under) than the Californians over the last two seasons so if you're not into chalk, look here.

    A pair of former winners in this format, Ryan Palmer and Scott Piercy (+6600) combine in the 2023 event for the first time. Ryan Palmer has cashed three top 10 paydays from his five visits, but none bigger than his win with Jon Rahm (not entered) in 2019. He added T7 in defense in 2021 and was T4 on debut with Jordan Spieth (not entered). Just for good measure he played with Scottie Scheffler last year and cashed T18. Piercy's only top 10 from four tries was his victory with Horschel in the second edition. The pair posted T13 in defense in 2019.

    Oddsmaker's Extra

    Sam Ryder and Doc Redman (+5000): T3 2022 and T17 2021 in two appearances. Posted an impressive 10-under in Foursomes last year. Opened with 61 before cooling with 69 in Round 3. All four Foursomes rounds are under par.

    Taylor Moore and Matthew NeSmith (+3300): Debut partnership last year got off to a flying start as they shared fourth. Opening with 60, which would have tied the old record, and adding 64 in Round 3 saw them rack up 20-under on their better ball (Fourballs). The improvement in Foursomes (alternate shot) came in Round 4 where they posted 68 after signing for 73 in Round 2.

    Aaron Rai and David Lipsky (+4000): One of six twosomes at T4 last year, the pair sat 23-under after 54 fantastic holes. Their 61-64 best ball sandwiched 67 in alternate shot but a final round 72 stalled them out. Bogeys on two of their final four holes Sunday soured an excellent previous 68 holes.

    Justin Lower and Dylan Wu (+8000): T10 on debut, they only squared three bogeys (one double, two bogeys) for the week. Sadly, the double was on the back nine on Sunday and killed their momentum. Posted 17-under best ball over 36 holes.

    Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney (+20000): One of just two teams who have played together in every event here. Their five visits are highlighted by T5, T9, and T11. Last year 5-under wasn't good enough as they missed the cut by two. Veterans will know every nook and cranny of this property.

    Kevin Tway and Kelly Kraft (+15000): The other team to enter all six will be looking to make their first cut since T13 in 2019. On debut in 2017 they cashed T3 after a closing 61 in Fourballs.

    New Pairings of Note:

    Keith Mitchell and Sungjae Im (+1200): Both making their fourth start here but the first time together. In six previous attempts they have combined for three missed cuts and only one top 10 (Mitchell T4 2021). Im's best finish is T14 last year.

    Richy Werenski and Scott Brown (+25000): Werenski's best is a third in 2021. Brown lost a playoff with Kevin Kisner in the debut event and shared fifth in 2019.

    Tyler Duncan and Hank Lebioda (+8000): T14 or better from Duncan in three of four visits including a T7. Lebioda has cashed in two of three with T5 and T18 on his resume.

    How it works:

    The field of 80 teams will have one day of Fourballs and Foursomes to determine the top 33 teams and ties who will advance to the weekend.

    Better ball (Fourballs) will be in play on Thursday, while Friday will use the alternate shot format (Foursomes).

    Teams advancing to Rounds 3 and 4 will use the same order on the weekend to determine the winning team.

    Each winning team member will receive 400 FedExCup points plus half of $2.485 million.

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