2023 Zurich Classic Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, Busts, and Holes to Watch at TPC Louisiana

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Signage at the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana

Coming off an exciting week of action at the RBC Heritage, a tourney in which Matt Fitzpatrick bested Jordan Spieth on the third extra hole of a playoff at Harbour Town, the PGA Tour shifts gears this week with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the only team event on the schedule.

Contested on Pete Dye’s 7,400-yard layout at TPC Louisiana, this year’s Zurich Classic features eight of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, including defending champions Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who are favored to win for the second straight year.

Also in the field are the duos of Collin Morikawa and Max Homa, Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell, Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim, and Sam Burns and Billy Horschel. RBC Heritage winner Matt Fitzpatrick will also tee it up alongside his younger brother, Alex, who turned pro last year.

If you’re unfamiliar with how scoring works at the Zurich Classic, you can check those out using this link. And then come on back to see how we think this team tourney might play out.

2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans predictions

2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans predictions
2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans predictions | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

Here are a few predictions for the 2023 edition of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana from Sportscasting golf experts Luke Norris and Jack Dougherty.


Luke Norris: Sam Burns/Billy Horschel

Most, including my tag team partner below, believe the easy pick here is Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele to defend their title. And that’s undoubtedly a very good call, especially given how each of those top-five players has been performing lately.

But I’m going to take a different route and go with last year’s second-place finishers: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel. Sure, outside of the WGC-Match Play, Horschel hasn’t been playing great golf lately. However, he’s fared quite well at TPC Louisiana over the years. In fact, he’s the only player in this field that’s won this event as both an individual and as part of a team. So that’s fun.

A year ago, Horschel and Burns shot 62-68-63-68 to finish at 27-under, which would have won every other edition of the Zurich Classic. Of course, Cantlay and Schauffele set the tournament scoring record and won by two. If Horschel can get his irons in check, this duo will be right back in contention come Sunday.

Jack Dougherty: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele

I actively try to avoid picking the betting favorites in this column, but I just can’t find a way to fade this duo of superstars. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are arguably the two most talented players in the Zurich Classic field, and they just happen to be on the same team.

Cantlay and Schauffele won this tournament last year with a score of 29-under par. Only one team finished within five strokes of them (see above), so they deserve to be such heavy favorites this year.

Biggest sleepers

Luke Norris: David Duval/John Daly

Now, do I really think David Duval and John Daly are going to win this golf tournament? Of course not. But I just wanted to make everyone aware that this pairing is an actual thing. And if, by chance, they can put together a few solid rounds, it would make for some absolutely fantastic television.

If I were picking a team that I genuinely believe will actually contend, I’d roll with Sam Ryder and Doc Redman. But where’s the fun in that?

Jack Dougherty: Victor Perez/Thomas Detry

If you’re a casual golf fan, you likely have never heard of Victor Perez or Thomas Detry. Well, allow me to introduce you.

Perez is a DP World Tour player who pops over to the PGA Tour for a handful of tournaments every year. He won the 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, beating out Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, and others along the way.

Detry is a former DP World Tour member who joined the PGA Tour full-time this season. In 15 starts as a rookie, the Belgium bomber has recorded three top-10 finishes and a runner-up. He’s been one of the best birdie-makers in golf this season.

This international duo has the firepower to contend for a win this week.

Most likely busts

Luke Norris: Matt Fitzpatrick/Alex Fitzpatrick

I honestly don’t quite understand why the Fitzpatrick brothers are one of the favorites here. Sure, Matt is easily one of the best players in the world and is coming off a nice win at Harbour Town. But Alex, who may turn into a fine pro down the line, is the 705th-ranked player in the world and has just one PGA Tour start to his name.

Sorry, I just don’t see this happening. Will they make the weekend? Maybe. Are they winning the tournament? Absolutely not.

Jack Dougherty: Collin Morikawa/Max Homa

The star-studded duo of Collin Morikawa and Max Homa is second on the odds board at +750 to win the Zurich Classic, but I just don’t see it. Morikawa has a missed cut and a T29 here in two starts, while Homa has finished better than 20th just once in five starts at TPC Louisiana.

Both of these guys have played a ton of golf this season with the new schedule centered around elevated events, so I could easily see them mailing it in this week.

Make-or-break hole

Signage at the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana
Signage at the PGA Tour Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana | Jennifer Perez/PGA Tour

Luke Norris: No. 18

While TPC Louisiana is famous for its compelling par-4s, I’ve gotta go with the par-5 18th here as I just love a lengthy finisher. And this hole certainly has that length as it runs as long as 585 yards, which means even the longest hitters have to think twice before going for this green in two.

Throw in the water that runs the entire right side of the hole, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic finishing hole that will undoubtedly play into the outcome of this tournament.

Jack Dougherty: No. 17

The par-3 17th at TPC Louisiana is a treacherous-looking hole that measures over 200 yards from the back tees. Players must avoid the water down the entire left side of the green, and bailing out to the right sets up a tough up-and-down. Par is always a good score on this penultimate hole.