The Zurich Classic is an annual golf tournament that is part of the PGA Tour. It is held at the TPC Louisiana golf course in Avondale, Louisiana. The tournament has a unique format in which players compete in teams of two, rather than individually. This adds an extra layer of strategy to the tournament, as players must work together with their partner to try and win the tournament.
Pairings in the Zurich Classic
Pairings in the Zurich Classic are determined based on a number of factors. Firstly, players can choose their own partners for the tournament. This means that many players will select a partner who they have played with before, or who they know well. However, there are also players who may choose to partner with someone who they have never played with before, in order to mix things up and try something new.
Once players have selected their partners, the tournament organizers will then use a number of criteria to determine the pairings for the tournament. These criteria include factors such as player rankings, recent form, and playing styles. The aim of this process is to create pairs that are evenly matched, and that will provide an exciting and competitive tournament.
It is worth noting that the Zurich Classic also has a cut after the second round of play. This means that only the top 35 teams (and ties) will progress to the third and fourth rounds of the tournament. In order to determine the pairings for these rounds, the organizers will use a seeding system. The top 14 teams (and ties) after the second round will be seeded and paired together, with the remaining teams being paired randomly.
As mentioned, players can choose their own partners for the Zurich Classic. This can lead to some interesting pairings, as players will often select someone who they know well or have played with before. For example, in 2021, defending champions Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer chose to play together again, while other pairs included childhood friends Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley, and college teammates Harris English and Chris Kirk.
Once players have selected their partners, the tournament organizers will use a number of criteria to determine the pairings. These criteria include factors such as player rankings, recent form, and playing styles. The aim is to create pairs that are evenly matched, so that the tournament is as competitive as possible. For example, in 2021, the organizers paired World No. 1 Dustin Johnson with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, while they also paired two of the most consistent players on tour, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, together.
After the second round of play, the Zurich Classic has a cut, with only the top 35 teams (and ties) progressing to the third and fourth rounds of the tournament. To determine the pairings for these rounds, the organizers use a seeding system. The top 14 teams (and ties) after the second round will be seeded and paired together, with the remaining teams being paired randomly. This ensures that the best-performing teams are pitted against each other in the later rounds of the tournament, leading to a more exciting and competitive finish.
It’s worth noting that the Zurich Classic has changed its format several times over the years. Originally a standard stroke-play event, it became a team event in 2017, with players pairing up and playing alternate shot and best ball formats over the first two rounds, before a standard four-ball format in the final two rounds. In 2021, the format was changed again to a pure alternate shot format in the first and third rounds, and a pure best ball format in the second and fourth rounds.
Strategy in Pairings
In the Zurich Classic, strategy plays a big role in pairings. Players need to consider their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their partner, when selecting who to play with. They also need to consider how their playing style will complement or contrast with their partner’s, and how they can best work together to score low and win the tournament.
For example, in the 2021 Zurich Classic, Cameron Champ and Tony Finau were paired together. Champ is known for his long drives and aggressive style, while Finau is more conservative and precise. By pairing them together, they were able to cover each other’s weaknesses and play to their strengths, leading to a strong performance and a tie for fifth place.
Impact of Pairings on Betting Odds
Pairings in the Zurich Classic can also have an impact on betting odds. The better the pairing, the more likely they are to perform well and win the tournament. This can lead to some interesting betting opportunities, as fans and gamblers try to predict which pairs will perform the best.
For example, in 2019, the pairing of Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer were listed as 14/1 favorites to win the tournament, due to their strong performances in previous events and their complementary playing styles. They went on to win the tournament, beating out some of the other highly-favored pairings in the field.
Role of Caddies in Pairings
Caddies also play a key role in pairings in the Zurich Classic. As players work together to strategize and plan their shots, caddies provide crucial advice and support. They also help to build a strong team dynamic and ensure that the players are communicating effectively on the course.
In the 2021 Zurich Classic, some pairs opted to use a single caddie to save on expenses, while others brought their own caddies to provide a familiar and trusted voice. Regardless of their approach, caddies played an important role in helping their players to perform at their best and achieve success in the tournament.
Pairings for Zurich Classic based on Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR)
|OWGR Rank||Player Name||OWGR Points||Country||Team Partner|
|1||Jon Rahm||9.15||Spain||Ryan Palmer|
|2||Justin Thomas||8.10||USA||Bud Cauley|
|3||Dustin Johnson||7.91||USA||Gary Woodland|
|4||Xander Schauffele||7.50||USA||Patrick Cantlay|
|5||Bryson DeChambeau||7.27||USA||Eric Van Rooyen|
|6||Brooks Koepka||7.22||USA||Chase Koepka|
|7||Collin Morikawa||6.99||USA||Matthew Wolff|
|8||Patrick Reed||6.70||USA||Patrick Cantlay|
|9||Patrick Cantlay||6.60||USA||Xander Schauffele|
|10||Tyrrell Hatton||6.31||England||Danny Willett|
Pairings for Zurich Classic based on FedEx Cup Rankings
|FedEx Cup Rank||Player Name||Points||Country||Team Partner|
|1||Bryson DeChambeau||1313||USA||Eric Van Rooyen|
|2||Justin Thomas||1197||USA||Bud Cauley|
|3||Dustin Johnson||1059||USA||Gary Woodland|
|4||Jon Rahm||1036||Spain||Ryan Palmer|
|5||Xander Schauffele||1023||USA||Patrick Cantlay|
|6||Patrick Reed||1005||USA||Patrick Cantlay|
|7||Collin Morikawa||959||USA||Matthew Wolff|
|8||Sungjae Im||949||South Korea||Si Woo Kim|
|9||Viktor Hovland||903||Norway||Kris Ventura|
|10||Tony Finau||883||USA||Cameron Champ|
Pairings for Zurich Classic based on Career Money List
|Rank||Player Name||Career Earnings ($)||Country||Team Partner|
|1||Phil Mickelson||94,715,517||USA||Jason Kokrak|
|2||Tiger Woods||120,851,706||USA||Justin Thomas|
|3||Jim Furyk||71,106,477||USA||David Duval|
|4||Vijay Singh||71,216,192||Fiji||Bernhard Langer|
|5||Ernie Els||49,362,973||South Africa||Trevor Immelman|
|6||Davis Love III||44,664,043||USA||Dru Love|
|7||Sergio Garcia||49,254,008||Spain||Tommy Fleetwood|
Pairings in the Zurich Classic are determined by a combination of player choices and tournament organizers’ criteria. This allows for a mix of established partnerships and new pairings, as well as ensuring that the tournament is as competitive as possible. The seeding system used for the later rounds of the tournament further adds to the excitement and drama of the event.