Power Rankings: Watch Out for Siblings (and Ireland) and Zurich Classic's Team Event

The Zurich Classic has returned to New Orleans for the annual two-man team event. Here are the duos our model likes this week.
July 17, 2023; Hoylake, ENGLAND, GBR; Rory McIlroy (left) and Shane Lowry (right) smile on the
July 17, 2023; Hoylake, ENGLAND, GBR; Rory McIlroy (left) and Shane Lowry (right) smile on the / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Power Rankings, a weekly feature on SI Golf from our partners at KeyCompete. This week the PGA Tour drops into New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. Here’s how our model sees this week shaping up:

2024 Zurich Classic Preview

Nestled in Avondale, just outside New Orleans, TPC Louisiana was designed by Pete Dye in 2004. Known for vibrant wildlife, sprawling wetlands and majestic cypress trees, the course is a par-72 charmer that stretches over 7,425 yards.

The course cleverly utilizes the natural landscape, incorporating more than 100 bunkers and undulating Bermuda greens. This event is once again a break from traditional stroke play, where two-man teams will play alternating-rounds of four-ball (rounds 1 and 3) and alternate shot (rounds 2 and 4). Here are the teams our model likes this week:

KeyCompete 2024 Zurich Classic Power Rankings

1) Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (+700) - A formidable Irish team, McIlroy's long drives and Lowry's exceptional short game make them our favorites. They seem especially equipped for four-ball, and their ability to perform under pressure, coupled with their strong friendship, make them the pair to beat.

2) Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (+450) -  They’re frequent partners in team competitions, and Schauffele’s precision paired with Cantlay’s consistency make them a threat here as well. 

3) Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris (+1000) - Theegala’s impressive adaptability and Zalatoris’s powerful tee shots make this young team a good bet on paper. Interested to see how the click in foursomes.

4) Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama (+1600) - Morikawa’s elite iron play and Kitayama’s rise make this team intriguing. Their combined skills could mesh well, especially in alternate shot.

5) Nicolai Hojgaard and Rasmus Hojgaard (+2200) - The Danish twins have similar playing styles and an innate understanding of each other's games that provides a unique advantage.

6) Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin- (+4000) - A Canadian pair flying under the rade from some of the flashier duos, their consistent play and mutual compatibility make them as strong bet. Solo runner-up here last year.

7) Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith (+2800) - Another Canadian duo and former college teammates at Kent State, Conners and Pendrith combine stellar driving accuracy and length. 

8) Matt Fitzpatrick and Alex Fitzpatrick (+2500) -  The brothers from England not only share a surname but also a deep understanding of each other’s games. Matt, a U.S. Open champion, and Alex, a rising star, could leverage their rapport.

9) Keith Mitchell and Joel Dahmen (+4000) - The runaway favorites to have a good time on Bourbon Street. But they also have a solid history here, albeit with different partners. 

10) Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander (+5000) - Horschel and Alexander bring experience and grit. Horschel’s track record in team events paired with Alexander’s solid all-around game could surprise. Horschel is also fresh off a win in last week’s alternate-field event.

 About Last Week

Not enough can be said about Scottie Scheffler’s current dominance, as he prevailed on a rain-delayed Monday for his fourth title in five starts, and another $3.6 million payday. Sahith Theegala moved up for a solo runner-up that should give him some nice momentum this week.

KeyCompete moved its season record to 69-50 on match-up bets.


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Jim Stracka

JIM STRACKA

Jim Stracka is currently serving as the President of StrackaLine and Golf Intelligence. StrackaLine provides greens and yardage guides for every course in the world. Golf Intelligence provides GPS, elevation, and scorecard data for other golf technology companies. Stracka has also held executive roles in various companies in the golf industry.