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Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Preview

This week's PGA Tour event offers something a little different and a deviation from the usual week-in-week-out individual stroke play events on our screens.

Playing as a two-man team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans takes place at TPC Louisiana and was revamped for the 2016/17 PGA Tour season. As with last year, there will be four alternating rounds of foursome and fourball action with 400 FedEx Cup points on offer for each of the winners.

We love innovation here at Hole19 - such as the walk-on music which will greet each pair as they reach the tee - and, by all accounts, the inaugural running of the new format was well received in 2017.

The Venue

Course: TPC Louisiana
Yardage: 7,425 yards

This Pete Dye-designed golf course has been part of the Tournament Players Club network since 2005. Located in Avondale, Louisiana, it first hosted the Zurich Classic in the same year and is a beautiful championship-style course set over 250 acres of wetland along the Mississippi Delta.

With 103 bunkers in play, quite a few of these could be extremely penal. The Oak and Cypress tree-lined fairways place a premium on accuracy off the tee, while the golf course's water hazards are menacingly positioned to snare any errant golf shots.

Have a look at what TPC Louisiana has to offer below:

The Field - Standout Teams

The current second and third-ranked players (based on Official World Golf Rankings) Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth both make the field this week at TPC Louisiana, but they pair with Bud Cauley and Ryan Palmer respectively.

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm have both added the Zurich Classic to their 2018 schedules, with the former buddying up with compatriot Rafa Cabrera-Bello to form an eye-catching all-Spanish duo. Rahm - a recent winner at the Open de Espana - has opted to accompany a fellow 2017 tournament winner in Wesley Bryan.

Catch Rahm's Open de Espana final round highlights below:

The Olympic champion Justin Rose pairs up with silver medallist Henrik Stenson, the man who pushed him closest during golf's return to the Olympic calendar back in 2016.

Tommy Fleetwood has also included this event in his post-Masters / pre-Players calendar and pairs with Scot Chris Paisley. Both men were winners back in January and will come to the Zurich Classic with high hopes of a good showing.

2017 U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka begins his return from a wrist injury this week and, given a lack of potential partners, he plays with a golfer seeking his first win for ten years - fellow Florida resident Marc Tunesa.

Who Wins it?

You could say that picking the winner of a team event is doubly difficult but we will be keeping a close eye on the pairing of Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar.

Both men will be looking to increase their Ryder Cup chances and excelling in the interchanging Fourball/Foursome format will be sure to catch the eye of U.S. captain Jim Furyk.

Bubba is coming off a T-5 at the Masters and a win at the WGC - Dell Technologies Matchplay event in his previous outing. 'Kkuuuccchhh' is solid and, without being spectacular to this point, he has a few top tens to his name this year already.

He also has this hole-in-one at Augusta.....

Are you excited to see this new format in play again at the Zurich Classic? Who wins it for you? Let us know below.

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