Teams to watch at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana

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Adam Woodard
·4 min read
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Get ready for one of the most unique events on the professional golf schedule.

Established in 1938, the PGA Tour makes its annual stop in Louisiana this week for the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, held April 22-25 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.

The Zurich Classic became a team event in 2017, with Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith as the inaugural winners of the new format. Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy won in 2018. Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm are back to defend their 2019 title after the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are eight teams worth watching this week in Louisiana.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

Cantlay and Schauffele not only rhymes, but has been a successful pairing on the course. The two went 2-2 at the 2019 Presidents Cup and are both ranked inside the top 10 (Schauffele No. 5, Cantlay No. 10).

US players Xander Schauffele (L) and Patrick Cantlay (R) bump fists during the third day of the Presidents Cup in Melbourne on December 14, 2019. (Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images)

Cameron Champ and Tony Finau

These young bombers are ready to battle in the bayou. Or rather, "send it," as they said.

QBE Shootout - Final Round
QBE Shootout - Final Round

Cameron Champ of the United States and Tony Finau of the United States look on from the first tee during the final round of the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club on December 13, 2020 in Naples, Florida. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm

Defending champs, what else needs to be said? Palmer and Rahm won at 26 under in 2019, tied for the second-best score in tournament history. Palmer has made the cut in 12 of his 13 events this season, securing seven top-25 finishes. Rahm, a new father, is also in good form, with eight top-10 finishes in 12 events.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer hold up the Zurich Classic championship trophy after the final round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana. (Photo: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff

If the Zurich Classic was the high school lunch room, this pairing would be the Cool Kids Table. Both players turned professional in 2019 after successful collegiate careers and won in their rookie seasons on Tour. Expect some fireworks from these rising stars in pro golf.

Matthew Wolff Collin Morikawa 3M Open
Matthew Wolff Collin Morikawa 3M Open

Matthew Wolff shakes hands with Collin Morikawa on the 18th green after the final round of the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities on July 07, 2019 in Blaine, Minnesota. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Talor Gooch and Max Homa

This pairing should earn the honors for First Team All-Fun. The two are good friends, which will either translate to good scores on the course or some can't-miss content. https://twitter.com/maxhoma23/status/1087118681862098944

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

Rose and Stenson boast an impressive 6-2 record in the Ryder Cup. Rose won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympic Games, beating Stenson, the silver medalist. Both players have won 20-plus professional events worldwide and each has earned a FedEx Cup title, Stenson in 2013 and Rose in 2018. But that success hasn't translated to TPC Louisiana, where the team has missed the cut (2017) and finished T-19 (2018). Don't be surprised if they make some magic this weekend.

Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson-PGA Tour-Zurich Open
Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson-PGA Tour-Zurich Open

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith

As noted earlier, the 27-year-old Smith brings some winning experience to this all-Australian group after his 2017 title. Following consecutive missed cuts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship, Leishman has reset the last few weeks with a T-28 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and T-5 at the Masters.

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman on the 5th green during the third round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on October 21, 2017 in Jeju, South Korea. (Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler and Bubba Watson

This group could be a close second to the First Team All-Fun pairing of Homa and Gooch. Watson won the 2011 Zurich Classic and will provide plenty of course knowledge to Scheffler, the 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year who's no stranger to the big moments. Two of Scheffler's three top-10 finishes this year have been at World Golf Championship events.

Bubba Watson Zurich Classic
Bubba Watson Zurich Classic

Bubba Watson watches his drive from the 1st hole during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. (Photo: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

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