Charl Schwartzel of South Africa hits off the second tee during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Saturday, April 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
- Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel lead by one shot over two duos heading into the final round of the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
- Eight tandems are within three shots leading to a wide open Sunday
- See the updated odds at TPC Louisiana below for Sunday’s final round within the story below
The South African major champion duo Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel fired a 9-under, 63 on moving day to jump to the top of the leaderboard at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Their lead is precarious, however, as they have just a one shot edge on Tony Finau and Cameron Champ along with Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, who we were high on before the tournament began.
Though they’ve won major titles, at the 2010 Open Championship and 2011 Masters, Oosthuizen surprisingly has never won in the United States while Schwartzel has just one other victory on US soil to his credit (2016 Valspar Championship). The pair has had success at this championship in the past, finishing third in 2018. Further behind them are defending champions and pre-tournament favorites Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer, who are four back and in need of a big Sunday to catch up.
After Thursday and Saturday’s Four-Ball format was much simpler, allowing for plenty of birdies, the final round format is the same as it was on Friday, which is alternate shot. That format is much more volatile and low scores are very difficult to come by, so a furious Sunday charge may be very difficult to pull off.
Updated 2021 Zurich Classic Odds
|Pairing||Position||Score||Odds at FanDuel|
|Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel||1st||-19||+280|
|Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman||T-2nd||-18||+340|
|Tony Finau/Cameron Champ||T-2nd||-18||+380|
|Bubba Watson/Scottie Scheffler||T-4th||-17||+750|
|Viktor Hovland/Kris Ventura||T-4th||-17||+1000|
|Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer||T-9th||-15||+2700|
|Thomas Pieters/Tom Lewis||T-6th||-16||+3100|
|Keegan Bradley/Brendan Steele||T-6th||-16||+3300|
|Tyler Duncan/Adam Schenk||T-6th||-16||+4500|
|Billy Horschel/Sam Burns||T-9th||-15||+5000|
Odds as of April 24th at 7:30pm EST
Cameron Smith Looking For Second Win In Four Years At This Event
Though they start one shot back of the leaders, Cameron Smith is poised to take his second New Orleans crown in four years with partner Marc Leishman winning it for the first time. They had nine birdies and nine pars Saturday to post a sizzling 9-under, 63. Their second round in the alternate shot format was a respectable even par, 72, and they’ll need a score slightly better than that to get it done Sunday.
.@marcleish is sporting a new look at the Zurich Classic to match his partner Cameron Smith. 😂 pic.twitter.com/SHPai5fbvl
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) April 24, 2021
Both Aussies have been much more consistent leading into this week, with Smith posting five straight top-17’s in stroke play and Leishman recording a T-5 in his last start at the Masters.
Though the South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are more than capable of winning, they just haven’t had as much success stateside as they should’ve in the past. Just as we thinking pre-tournament, going with a player who’s won this event already in Smith is more prudent, especially with him and his partner sporting slightly longer +340 odds.
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Best Live Value Picks for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
- Bubba Watson/Scottie Scheffler (+750): This tandem starts two strokes back, and they have been lurking all week. Had a very strong showing Friday, posting a strong 3-under, 69 which included six birdies in alternate shot. That round was one shot off the best of the day. Watson has tasted success at this venue too, as he won ten years ago, albeit in an individual competition.
- Viktor Hovland/Kris Ventura (+1000): They’re also two strokes behind, and they too shot a wonderful 3-under, 69 on Friday with five birdies and just one misstep, a dreadful double bogey. Hovland has already won twice on tour and Ventura is winless. That pushes their odds higher than the rest of the teams in the top-5, but you’re getting great value for a duo that has shown they can play well in alternate shot.
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Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statistician for the SC with Jay Onrait Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.