DraftKings preview: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
April 20, 2021
By Reid Fowler, DraftKings for PGATOUR.COM
- April 20, 2021
Daily Fantasy preview for the Zurich Classic
The PGA TOUR takes a break from stroke play for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. The course is a par 72, measuring 7,425 yards and continues on Bermuda grass this week.
Last year, the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, but this will be the fourth year of the team format. There are 80 teams of two in the field this week, and the top 35 teams and ties will make the cut. Teams will play best ball during the first and third rounds, while the second and fourth rounds will be alternate shot. This week will be a touch different when it comes to DraftKings scoring. In a team event like this, every golfer in the field will be available to roster, similar to a stroke-play event, but only one player from that team can be in your lineup. Each player from that team will receive the same points for each round this week, no matter the format. The defending champions are Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer.
TPC Louisiana will be the second Pete Dye course in a row, which means Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green will be a priority this week. With that said, there are minimal stats when it comes to team events other than how players/teams played in this event over the past three years, and how well teams potentially played in events like the QBE Shootout. The issue with trying to parse through the data mentioned above is the efficacy and accuracy of the stats and which golfers from those teams were playing well or not playing well. All of this is a long-winded way of saying stats might not help us as much as they usually do every week. Even though the format is different, players and teams will still need to be great with their ball-striking and ride a hot putter, similar to all Dye courses. They’ll also need to stay aggressive on the best-ball rounds when scores should be going low.
Players don’t necessarily have to come into this week with great form; we’ve seen Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown do well here, finishing T5 in 2019 and T15 the previous year and not come in with great form. Past finishes at TPC Louisiana when it was a stroke-play event, past Pete Dye success and, of course, current form are other ways to help us decide which teams to chase this week.
GOLFERS TO CONSIDER
Billy Horschel/Sam Burns +2200 to Win ($10,500 on DraftKings)
Both players were positive in Tee-to-Green last week at the RBC Heritage, a Pete Dye course. Horschel recorded a top 25 at Harbour Town and just won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club, another Dye course. Burns is starting to look like how he played leading into the Genesis Invitational earlier this season when he finished third. Last week, Burns gained 6.36 strokes Tee-to-Green (12th in the field), 3.1 of which came from his irons. Burns is also returning to New Orleans, where he played his college golf at Louisiana State University. Both guys are excellent Bermuda putters, and Horschel has already won this event in 2018 with Scott Piercy.
Jason Kokrak/Pat Perez +6600 to Win ($8,300 on DraftKings)
It wasn’t long ago that we saw Perez and Kokrak dominate the charity challenge at Sedgefield CC, beating Charl Schwartzel and Brendan Grace. All kidding aside, these two are good friends and could be great partners this week given how well their games match up. Kokrak is playing unbelievable, with three top 10s in his past four events, and ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his previous 12 rounds. Although Perez isn’t playing like his teammate, he finished runner-up here in 2018 with Jason Dufner. Perez can help out his teammate on the greens, where he’s much better than Kokrak on Bermuda. Perez has gained Off-the-Tee in six of his past seven measured tournaments and can get scorching hot with his putter when he (or his team) is playing well.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.