Golf Tips: Your best bets for the Zurich Classic and ISPS Handa Champs this weekend

Ben Coley from Sporting Life casts an expert eye over this week's golfing action.

Viktor Hovland Houston Open November 6, 2020


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Golfing fans are spoiled for choice this weekend as both the Zurich Classic and the ISPS Handa Championship take place from Thursday to Sunday.

A pairs event like the Zurich Classic on the PGA Tour is a pretty rare thing, and expected to be plenty of fun, with lots of birdies on the Thursday and Saturday, but down to business on Friday and Sunday.


Paddy’s got our golfing guru, Sporting Life’s Ben Coley, to guide you through his hot tips for the action in both these competitions, over the weekend. Lets see who he’s tipping…

Zurich Classic of New Orleans 2022

Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 April 
TV: Sky Sports Golf Red Button, Sky Sports Golf & Sky Sports Main Event

Outright Winner: Hovland/Morikawa

I think the favourites will take a lot of beating, so they get the vote from me, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland. Both of them made their debut in this event last year, but they were massively hamstrung by their partners – Matthew Wolff for Morikawa was so badly out of form, and Hovland did his mate a favour playing with Kris Ventura, fellow Norwegian. 

This time they team up, they’re the strongest team ever to have played in this ever. They both arrive in form, Morikawa flushed it all week last week, Hovland played well in the Masters. There’s loads to like about them and I think their ball striking will take them a long way and make them the team to beat in an event which has been pretty kind to the favourites.

Each Way Bet: Kizzire/Poston

If there is a slightly bigger price, in terms of the betting, that can perhaps throw it up to them, its Patton Kizzire and J T Poston. Kizzire went close to winning this with Jason Dufner in 2017, Dufner not known for his putting which tends to be extra important in team competitions. Poston on the other hand is an absolute dynamite putter, and he was third at the weekend – so they’re in form, they’re a good price and a good each way bet.

Long Shots: Laird/MacIntyre & Streb/Merritt

I like the look of the Scottish pair Martin Laird and Robert MacIntyre. This is a huge opportunity for MacIntyre, who doesn’t have full status on the PGA tour, but were he to win this week alongside Laird, he will have his PGA Tour card. I think they’ve got a chance as well, Bob’s playing really well – he’s so aggressive that team golf like this should be ideal. And Laird’s been hitting well all year, and at this course he’s got two top 10s with two different playing partners – neither of whom I think are as good as MacIntyre. I think they could go really, really well.

At a similar sort of price, Troy Merritt and Robert Streb. They won’t win many prizes for being flashy golfers, these two, but they are rock solid. Very, very similar games, and they’ve both got good form at this course as well – Merritt’s been 4th and 12th in his last two individual starts; Streb played really well last time, and has a top 10 finish a couple of weeks ago. So they’re a bit under the radar because they don’t have a particularly fancy name, but I think they’ll go really well at a course where they’ve got plenty of form in the bank.

ISPS Handa Championship (Spain) 2022

Thursday 21 – Sunday 24 April 
TV: Sky Sports Golf & Sky Sports Main Event

Outright Winner: John Catlin & Connor Syme

I don’t think the favourites are particularly interesting this week. I’ll take John Catlin and Connor Syme. Catlin is a three time winner on the DP World Tour, all of those since Autumn 2020 – so the last two years, he’s been a real force at this level. And he’s all about precision, we’re on a really short golf course here, sub-7000 yards, which is pretty rare. Catlin will love that, and he’s sharper than quite a few as well, because he played on the Asian Tour last week and finished fifth, so everything’s in place for a man who knows how to win. Connor Syme has not yet won on the DP World Tour, but he’s certainly capable. All of his form comes on these shorter, more technical golf courses, and he’s got form here from qualifying school.

Long Shots: Nino Bertasio & Lorenzo Gagli

Lorenzo Gagli‘s  a massive price because his form doesn’t look that great, but he’s made three cuts out of four this year, he’s been playing on big, long, golf courses, and he’s one of the shortest hitters around. Going to the shortest course so far this season, provided his long game is in good shape – which it is – he can be competitive all of a sudden out of nowhere, so watch for some improvement from him, and it could just be enough to sneak inside the places.

For Nino Bertasio, I think it’s time he was stepping up and winning at this level. He’s one of the best iron players on the circuit, he’s got loads of good form in Spain – he’s made 14 of his last 15 cuts in Spain. At this course about seven or eight years ago, he shot a final round 64 at qualifying school. Without that round he wouldn’t have got onto the European Tour, he’s been there ever since. He arrives in really good form, top 30 finishes the last twice we saw him.

Ben Coley’s Zurich Classic Tips

Ben Coley’s ISPS Handa Championship Tips

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change


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