Jordan Spieth produced a Sunday Masterclass to win the RBC Heritage in surprising fashion. The PGA Tour now moves on to the Zurich Classic, a team event that could spring just as many shocks. Here is a quick look at five pairings who could be primed to make a run at winning the event this weekend.
If you followed my betting picks last week, we had Matt Kuchar (+6000) to finish inside the top 5 at +625. We’ll be hoping for more success at the Zurich Classic.
Colin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland
It goes without saying, but this pairing is the stuff of dreams. As a result, they’re the most expensive team in the field, but that shouldn’t take away from their value. They lead the field in shots gained tee-to-green and in shots gained total. Viktor Hovland has been slightly wobbly around the greens, but Morikawa should be able to compensate for that.
The appeal of getting two of the hottest young names in golf is too good to pass up, and Hovland did come 25th here in 2021.
Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley
I’ve been a Will Zalatoris fan since he made his PGA Tour debut. He lured me in with the Happy Gilmore caddy meme, and kept me with his sensational ball-striking. His putter has been the one thing holding him back, but enter Davis Riley.
Outside of a dismal 5 strokes lost at the Valero, Riley has been streaky with his putter. He came second at the Valspar where he gained 7 strokes on the green, and he actually ranks 4th in the field in putts from 15-20 feet.
He may not be the complete package just yet, but if he can find putting neutrality, then he’s someone who can complement Zalatoris off the tee and help him from range on the green.
Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira
These two were paired together on Sunday at the RBC Heritage, are both Chilean, and will be teaming up again next week. Niemann is criminally underrated and looked solid for most of the weekend at the RBC, while Mito has become the apple of most DFS’ players’ eye as an appealing cheap option who lacks experience but continues to mix it with the big boys.
We’re betting on the chemistry between the two. In Tokyo, when competing for their country at the 2020 Olympics, Mito came 4th and Niemann was right behind him in 10th. You’re getting a pair of fantastic ball-strikers who can rack up the Birdies around a course where going on Birdie runs is going to be key.
Shane Lowry & Ian Poulter
Another chemistry play but with a little more substance. Shan Lowry has really broken out over the past few weeks. His brilliant weekend at Augusta was followed by a weekend at the RBC Heritage that almost translated to a win had it not been for a collapse. Pairing him with a player like Ian Poulter, who has been a staple of the European Ryder Cup team since forever is one thing, but pairing him with a man who putts better than the majority of the field makes for a dangeorus combination.
Sergio Garcia & Tommy Fleetwood
Sergio had been slumping before the Masters. He then gained 6.8 shots on approach and broke an improbable streak of five consecutive events where he lost shots on approach. If he’s well and truly back and can find some form with the putter, then look out.
Fleetwood has been on a bit of a run himself and is now playing for his tour card. While this event is a little different, keeping up that form up is vital.
Interestingly, the two were a team back in 2019 and came second. Fleetwood has gotten much better since then and Serg seems to be finding some form. Don’t write them off.
Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire