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Steve Palmer's Zurich Classic first-round leader tips & specials best bets

Doug Ghim and Justin Suh may enjoy themselves along rain-softened terrain

Cameron Smith is eyeing up a second Zurich Classic title
1 of 1

Golf tips, best bets and player analysis for the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on the PGA Tour.

When to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 7pm Thursday

Best bets

Doug Ghim & Justin Suh first-round leaders
1pt each-way 55-1 Betfred

Cameron Smith & Marc Leishman to beat Collin Morikawa & Matthew Wolff
1pt 4-5 Betfair (draw no bet)

Billy Horschel & Sam Burns to beat Chris Kirk & Brendon Todd
1pt 4-5 Betfair (draw no bet)

Louis Oosthuizen & Charl Schwartzel to beat Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson
1pt 20-21 bet365

Preview

The first round of the Zurich Classic is a best-ball competition which encourages aggressive golf - and the naturally attacking combination of Doug Ghim and Justin Suh could make an impact.

Ghim and Suh are in the last group off from the tenth tee, but given the weather forecast is for a relatively chilly morning followed by a sunny, pleasant afternoon - with hardly any breeze blowing all day - the later starters have nothing to fret about.

Ghim, a former world number one amateur, has made the cut in seven of his last nine PGA Tour events and this year has moved up from 387th in the world rankings to 221st.

Suh, a superstar at college who was expected to make waves on the PGA Tour in the same fashion as Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff, is a magnficent iron-player who may pepper the pins at TPC Louisiana. Suh also topped the world rankings as an amateur.

Rain in the weeks leading up to the Zurich Classic means the course is soft - and the lack of wind has exposed the track to low scoring. Ghim and Suh are a pair of birdie machines who can thrive in the best-ball format of Thursday and Saturday.

Three 72-hole match-bet options appeal as extra investments - two of them on offer with the tie-no-bet assurance. Cameron Smith, who has finished in the top 20 in his last five strokeplay starts, will have high hopes of a second Zurich Classic pairs title. Smith joined forces with Jonas Blixt to win the 2017 edition and this time he has his good friend Marc Leishman, fifth in the Masters last time out, alongside him at TPC Louisiana.

The Australian pairing can defeat Morikawa and Wolff. Morikawa flopped in the final round of the RBC Heritage on Sunday, while Wolff has been largely abysmal this year.

Billy Horschel, a two-time Zurich champion, can combine with Louisiana lad Sam Burns to outscore Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd, while South African duo Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen are preferred to Justin Rose and a badly struggling Henrik Stenson.


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Ghim and Suh are a pair of birdie machines who can thrive in the best-ball format
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