Tuesday, April 20, 2021
There's no Dustin Johnson, or Phil Mickelson, Bryson Dechambeau, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Books Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth or Sergio Garcia. Not even Stewart Cink.
But the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which has slipped into the category of being a rare team event in recent years, does have the defending champs, Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer, and several other notables in the top 20 shooting for the major share of the $7.4 million purse. There's Viktor Hovland with young Kris Ventura, Justin Rose with Henrik Stenson, Collin Morikawa with Matthew Wolf, and Xander Schauffele with Patrick Cantlay. But does that lineup lead to fan interest, either on-site on on TV?
In my opinion, it doesn't. There's no real reason to root for a team, unless you're a family member or a friend, or you have a bet of some kind. Doesn't make for fat TV ratings.
There are three Gators/Seminoles who will try to get the combined Florida college group its fifth Tour victory of the season. Billy Horschel is paired with Sam Burns, and Matt Every with Charlie Beljan for the Gators, and Hank Lebioda with Bronson Burgoon for the Seminoles.
Cink didn't have to do much to hold onto his lead in the RBC Heritage, winding up at a record 19 under par after a final-round 70. Harold Varner III and Emiliano Grillo tied for second at 15 under. Grillo is idle this week but Varner is partnered with Branden Grace.
Horschel tied for 25th at 8 under after a final 72, and he was joined by Gator Camilo Villegas, who closed with 71. Seminole Daniel Berger tied for 13th at 10 under after a Sunday 70.
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