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2024 Zurich Classic PGA Power Rankings: Top 10 Teams To Watch

Take a breather, Scottie Scheffler is not going to win this one. 80 2-man teams are headed to the Zurich Classic to take on TPC Louisiana in one of the more unique formats that we get all season long...team golf! Despite it feeling like an off week, this event has provided numerous dramatic finishes over the years.

Davis Riley and Nick Hardy are the defending Champions and this week literally made their year in 2023 and secured their Tour cards for the future. This is a fun event to bet and track throughout the week. We will see some ridiculously low rounds during the best ball portion and things can go haywire fast when they play alternate shot. Sit back, relax, and I have you covered for the teams that you need to be looking out for.

As always with this article, my primary goal is to provide a place to start your research and preparation for the incoming week. I have carefully evaluated the field to project course fits and past results in team golf formats. This will give you a glimpse at how my brain operates when it comes to handicapping this unique event. Here are my top 10 teams to watch and a brief write up for my reasons why.

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#10. Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander

A few weeks ago, Sam Burns texted his annual partner Billy Horschel and told him the bad news that he wouldn't be playing in the Zurich Classic this year. Sam's wife is due with their first child, forcing Billy to look elsewhere. He landed on Tyson Alexander who is coming off his best finish of the season, a T14 at the Valero Texas Open.

What a great come-up it is indeed for Alexander who gets to play with Horschel. He has come close on multiple occasions to winning this event with Sam Burns and is rounding into form. Horschel just shot the course record at Corales to get himself back in the winning circle this past weekend. Both are hoping to carry their form to New Orleans.


#9. Davis Riley and Nick Hardy

Let's be honest, both of these players are genuinely on the struggle bus lately. They have missed a combined 8 of the last 12 cuts on the PGA Tour. Both Nick Hardy and Davis Riley are desperate for a shot of adrenaline into their 2024 season and they are hoping that positive vibes at the Zurich Classic are just what the doctor ordered.

As a team, they are defending champions at this event which is the primary reason they made their way into the rankings. They shot a score of -30 last year as a team which was the best number we had seen in a number of years. Riley showcased his love for this event in 2022 by finishing in 4th with Will Zalatoris. He then came back in 2023 with Nick Hardy and the rest is history. Can you bank on these guys just owning team golf or is the form to much to be concerned about?


#8. Keith Mitchell and Joel Dahmen

You're frontrunners for the team most likely to have a good time on Bourbon Street has to be Keith Mitchell and Joel Dahmen. This will mark their first time competing together but Keith Mitchell has played really well in this event during previous stints with Brandt Snedeker and then last season alongside Sungjae Im.

Dahmen seemed to briefly right the ship in March but it's Mitchell that has been playing wonderfully this spring. He's been unusually consistent and played near the top of several leaderboards. This team will be flat-out fun, and that is worth something in my book. I wonder what their walk-up music is going to be?

#7. Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith

Team #7 in my rankings this week holds a special place in my heart. Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith both graduated together from my alma mater, Kent State University. The golf program at Kent State has a rich history and has been lucky enough to garner several high profile Canadian players through the years.

This will be their first time playing this event together, although they did partner up during the most recent Presidents Cup. Pendrith has had a rough season both OTT and has been loose with his irons on approach. It will be comforting to match up with a player who is consistently great at both of those things like Corey Conners. Let's see if the Golden Flashes can rekindle some lightning from their college days.


#6. The Fitzpatrick Brothers

After an impressive T19 at last years Zurich Classic and plenty of Full Swing coverage around their experience, Matthew and Alex Fitzpatrick are set to team up once again in 2024. I have a lot of respect for Matt for providing this opportunity for his younger brother. This event has the chance to earn him a PGA Tour card should they win, creating a life-changing moment for the younger brother.

Matt Fitzpatrick is coming off a bit of a letdown trying to defend his tartan jacket in Hilton Head last week. Alex on the other hand has been quietly rising up the ranks. For the first time, he is inside the top-150 players in the OWGR. Alex has finished T21 or better in six of his last nine starts on the European Tour. It's a big week for the Fitzpatrick brothers, and they have a lot on the line to play for.


#5. Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin

For our second all Canadian pairing, Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin are checking in at the #5 spot in the rankings. The duo finished in solo 2nd place at this event last year and posted a final round 63 which was the best in the field. They did everything they could to apply pressure to Riley/Hardy but came up just short in the end.

Adam Hadwin has been plotting his way around nicely this season, but it's Nick Taylor who has really taken the reigns as the top Canadian on the PGA Tour. Taylor now has three wins since 2020, and has proved to be one of a small handful of players who have risen to the challenge of battling it out with Scottie Scheffler on a Sunday when he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open. These two players can get really hot and feed off one another.


#4. Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama

Whatever IT is, Collin Morikawa found IT. He has been coy about discussing what it was, but a subtle change he made the week prior to Augusta National has Morikawa back to Ballstriking the face off the golf ball. It's a good sign headed into Zurich Classic week, an event which Morikawa has consistently played with subpar results.

He's been lackluster with a high profile list of partners as well. He missed the cut with Max Homa last year and with Matt Wolfe in 2021. Morikawa and Viktor Hovland finished T29. He'll try again this year, with Kurt Kitayama stepping in alongside him. Kitayama has been lurking on the 2nd and 3rd pages of leaderboards consistently but has failed to make a Sunday charge. It's an interesting pairing with 2 players in great form with their irons and should have ample opportunities to make birdies.


#3. Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala

I love this team. Two young studs that you know are going to go out there and pull off some amazing golf shots. Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala will have a deep crowd with them. There are great American counterpart teams like Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay but if you want to watch high-level golf with a little entertainment flair, go follow Zalagala!

We've been on a rather exhausting run of golf post-Masters. This is a hard narrative to always connect the wires with but I feel confident that your backing two players hungry and giving maximum effort to win if you take this team. Their skillsets are very different, but I think they could actually complement

one another nicely.


#2. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay

In the second spot on the list, here we have former event Champions and the best duo of players in the entire field. Why aren't there #1? Well, this pairing is just dusty. I sense very little fire in this group, like a 15-year couple now forcing themselves to muster up some gas for date night.

That said, they will almost undoubtedly finish inside the top-5. Schauffele has been arguably the 2nd most consistent player on the PGA Tour season and Cantlay seems to be rounding into form after a nice showing at the Heritage. I love this team in a Ryder Cup, even a Presidents Cup, but I just feel like it will be hard to replicate the intensity required to win for the Zurich Classic after both players had disappointing finishes to the Masters.


#1. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry

If Rory McIlroy can keep Shane Lowry from enjoying his time in New Orleans a little too much...then this time is going to win! This is a comfortable pairing of two veteran European Ryder-Cuppers. Lowry can afford Rory McIlroy the ability to set up and send it off the tee box. His positive attitude will render results on and around the green.

I think both players can build fuel off one another. It would be a fun one for them to win together, something neither has done in their careers with this type of format. Neither player has much history at this event and I am crazy enough to believe that it could be a good thing. Fresh minds, fresh spirits, and a chance for each player to kick start their season by getting the collective "WIN" monkey off their back. Long live Rory and Shane!

Also, nothing beats a drunken lunch.


Best of luck this week Rotoballer family!


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