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    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
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    05/09/2024 7:02 PM

Zurich Classic of New Orleans and Veritex Bank Championship picks and predictions

[Will Doctor]
This right here could be the biggest moment of his career. Is it his time? Yes!

Noah Watson is wearing a green jacket at Augusta. There's no doubt about it. The bear has come out of hibernation.

And wow, what a week in the world of golf as world number one Scottie Scheffler won the fifth elevated event at the RBC Heritage just a week after winning his second green jacket at the Masters Tournament. Scheffler to win outright at plus 475 was one of our two outright tickets we had last Tuesday for the RBC. Great to see Scheffler's ticket cash on Monday morning.

And then on the women's side of the game world number one Nelly Korda won her second major championship title at the Chevron Championship which was the first women's major of the year. I gave you one outright winner for the Chevron last week which was Korda to win at plus 500 and that cashed as well. So we've cashed three outright winners in the last three weeks.

We had Akshay Bhatti at 70 to 1. We had Scheffler at the RBC at plus 475. And then Nelly Korda to win the Chevron at plus 500.

That cashed as Korda won her fifth LPGA event in a row joining the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez. As far as where we stand through the halfway point of the season we're up 44.1 units rolling into the Zurich 2-ball in the Veritex Bank Championship which we will get into in just a moment. A little bit of a different format for today's show as we will go over the top 14 teams on the odds boards for the Zurich.

And after that I'll give you an outright, a sleeper, a scoring prediction and a best bet. TPC Louisiana and Avondale is a great site for the more fun format that the Zurich 2-ball is. This week they will use an alternating round 4-ball and 4-sums format.

The first and third rounds will be 4-ball format and the second and final rounds will be in 4-sums. You have 80 total teams in the field which will be cut down to 33 after the Friday cut. And while the Zurich is looked at as more of a fun style tournament both players on the winning team receive a 2-year PGA Tour exemption along with access to the signature events and exemptions into the players and the PGA Championship.

So still a lot on the line this week after the movie-esque weeks that the Masters and the RBC were. You have plenty of intriguing teams to follow this week. You have Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele leading the way as far as the odds are concerned.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are teaming up after Lowry convinced Rory to play over a drunken dinner. We'll get into that today. And Rory also mentioned that Lowry has been one of his biggest advocates amidst the PGA Tour and Live Golf mess.

They've been on multiple Ryder Cup teams together. So we'll tell you how we think the two Irishmen will fare this week. You have Will Zalatouris and Seth DeGala playing.

We'll get into that California duo. You have sibling teams this week like the Cootie Twins and the Hodgegard Twins. And we'll get into those.

So a lot to discuss. We'll go through the top 14, and I'll give you some picks here in a second. But first I have to let you know that today I'm joining you live from Texas Rangers Golf Club in Arlington, Texas, where the Corn Fairy Tour's Veritex Bank Championship is set to get underway tomorrow.

You have 15-year-old Myles Russell in the field this week after his top 25 at last week's LECOM Suncoast Classic. And after we do the Zurich picks, I'll talk a little bit more about the Corn Fairy Tour action going on at Texas Rangers Golf Club, and we'll give you some bonus picks for the Veritex Bank Championship. This is the Golf Preview Podcast on PreGames Network.

I'm your host, Will Docter. And I've got a guest picker with me today, and my good friend and producer, Andrew Collins. Andrew played collegiate golf.

He has played some pro golf. And this is a guy who is very in tune on professional golf and sometimes from the most hysterical angle I've ever heard. Andrew, great to have you with me.

How do you feel to be here in your hometown of Dallas to be at Texas Rangers Golf Club?

[Andrew Collins]
Listen, it's just great to be here with Doc. You know, we're looking at a great course this week. Could see a lot of low numbers, a lot of guys in the field that are about to make a huge stride on the PGA Tour.

I'm looking forward to this week and couldn't be happier to be on the podcast with Doc.

[Will Doctor]
Now, Collins, Zurich Classic, you know, this is a tournament, like I said, people kind of look at it as more of a fun tournament. But guys are dialed in, right? A lot of exemptions on the line.

Guys are focused.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, so we've got to make sure we maintain this card here. So these people are really, you know, it might be a fun event for some people, but for some other people it's also a very serious event, you know, trying to maintain keeping their card, you know, keeping the numbers up, the rankings. So we're looking forward to the week.

[Will Doctor]
All right, Andrew, let's get to these favorites for the Zurich Classic. We start with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Shoffley at plus 490 on FanDuel. Before I get to my take, let's hear your thoughts on Cantlay and Xander rolling into this week.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean, I think Cantlay and Xander are a great pairing, especially the alternate shot. They can both, you know, shape the ball both ways. It seems like they've got a good collab going, a good vibe going.

[Will Doctor]
You know, I think they're— Both from California, played Ryder Cups together. Correct. But this is a pairing, you know, that is playing three weeks in a row.

You know, Cantlay and Xander both played in the Masters. They both played in the RBC. You know, Xander said it best about a year ago, you don't bet on the player who's playing on his third week in a row.

So I think because of that, for me, Andrew, I've got to be out on Xander and Cantlay this week.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean, I would have to agree. I'm glad that, you know, they have a good relationship off the course and on the course. But I'm going to go ahead and say I'm out on that one as well.

Three weeks in a row, he's probably ready to, you know, take a nap.

[Will Doctor]
A little bit of rest.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, it's time to decompress a little bit.

[Will Doctor]
Okay, so no Cantlay or Shoffley for either of us. We move to Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry at plus 800 on bet 365. And, you know, this is a duo, Andrew.

I feel like the public is going to be all over. But personally, I'm out on McIlroy because, you know, between the poor ball striking, his driver swing and his iron swing are the exact same right now. As a swing guru and yourself, you know that guys can struggle a lot when they get as shallow with the driver as they do with the irons.

[Andrew Collins]
No, absolutely. It's a ball striking factor, but it's also, you know, trying to keep your mental intact. I feel like Rory has a lot of ebbs and flows, a lot of ups and downs, and it's going to be sometimes hard for him to stay level headed out there.

Now, Shane Lowry, on the other hand, definitely think that he'll be leading the team of that. He's been playing good golf. Playing good, level headed, good player, and doesn't get too far ahead of himself.

But I think I'm going to be out on that one as well.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, I'm out on Rory and Shane Lowry at plus 800 as well. We move to Will Zalatouris since he hit the gala at 10-1 on DraftKings. This is going to be a popular duo this week, huh, Andrew?

[Andrew Collins]
Absolutely. You know, this is the outright winner for me. Zalatouris, you know, absolute unbelievable ball striker right there.

The gala, same there. Great ball striker. You know, kind of when it comes to alternate shot, we're going to be seeing some really good shots on the fairway, but it matters with the putter.

You know, hopefully Zalatouris can get something going hot. But that's my favorite right now.

[Will Doctor]
Okay, so you are on Will Zalatouris since he hit the gala at 10-1. You know, this is a great ticket this week. The gala's game is in a great spot, coming off a second place finish at the RBC.

I would say, and once again, you mentioned Zahith being a great putter. He's really going to carry the load with the Zalatouris and the gala team. Zahith, you know, one of the best putters on tour right now that compliments his ball striking so well.

I'm a little bit worried about Zalatouris. Number one, you look at Zalatouris' last four weeks. He did perform very well at the Masters, finished ninth at the Masters, but outside of that, hasn't performed his best over the last month.

And number two, when you talk about guys playing three weeks in a row, a guy that worries me playing three weeks in a row is Zalatouris, based off the injury he sustained to his back last year. I think he needs a little bit more rest coming off two signature events. But once again, that's a great winning pick.

That's a great winning pick.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean, I think the gala's hitting it really well, so it'll be interesting to see how the weekend carries out. But yeah, if Wilkin hit it down the fairway, which he usually does, hit a lot of greens, looks like he'll have someone to play the putter.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, come in and make the putts in the way that the gala can. Okay, so Collins is out right. Andrew Collins is out right.

He's going to be Will Zalatouris since he hit the gala at 10-1 on DraftKings. We'll review that a little bit more when we get to the out rights. Now we're on to Kirk Kitayama and Colin Morikawa at 16-1 on DraftKings.

You know, Kitayama not playing great at the moment, and Morikawa has not had much success in two starts at the Zurich. I know Morikawa's recent play has been impressive, but I don't see Morikawa as the type of guy who's going to carry Kitayama with the putter.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, didn't he? He came off the what? Tied third Masters?

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, no, Morikawa played very well at the Masters. Top ten finish.

[Andrew Collins]
Top ten finish. I mean, you know, he's a great ball striker for sure, so is Kitayama, but as far as carrying the team and trying to get a win out, I'm not really necessarily seeing that one, Doc.

[Will Doctor]
I'm not seeing it either. We are out on Kirk Kitayama and Colin Morikawa at 16-1 this week. This next pairing on the favorites, very exciting brothers.

You know, we've got two set of brothers in the field this week, Rasmus Hojgaard and Nikola Hojgaard, and then Parker Cootie and Pearson Cootie. Right now we're talking about Rasmus Hojgaard and Nikola Hojgaard at 25-1 on MGM. You know, this is an exciting duo, Andrew, as far as the world of golf and new young guys on the block.

[Andrew Collins]
No, absolutely. These guys are absolute stripers. It's fun to watch both of them.

It's like the Cootie twins. They're both playing so good. You know, I can definitely say that I'm in on this pick.

We saw some good performances at the Masters right there. If he can hold together, you know, coming down the stretch on some important days, Saturday, going down the back nine, especially Sunday. You know, hopefully trying to keep these big numbers away.

I'm thinking I'm looking at a, could be a potential winner, but I like this pick a lot.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, like you said, Nikola played great at the Masters, finished tied for 16th. He was right there in the mix through three rounds. Rasmus is a little bit more of the question mark right now.

He struggled a bit on the DP World Tour this year, but this is a team. You know, I was excited when I saw the two of them signed up, and they will definitely be on my card this week. So, we'll get back to discussing Rasmus and Nikola Hodgegard in just a bit.

We've got a couple more favorites to go over here on the odds boards. Tom Hoagie and Maverick McNeely at 28-1 on FanDuel. Of course, Hoagie finished 13th at the Zurch last year.

When you're talking about the stats on tour right now, when you're talking about the best iron players on tour, we hear a lot about how Scotty Scheffler is the leader in every strokes game category. When it comes to approach, when it comes to iron play, it's actually Tom Hoagie who's number one on tour and approach. This guy, Fort Worth-based guy playing out of Miravista.

I like Tom Hoagie a lot this week.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean, as you should. You know you've played a lot of rounds with him. Tom Hoagie is an excellent ball striker, especially if you can get it around Riviera, you can get it around most places.

[Will Doctor]

[Andrew Collins]
Especially when the wind picks up, this guy knows how to play in the wind.

[Will Doctor]
Now, he's playing with McNeely, Collins.

[Andrew Collins]

[Will Doctor]
Now, Maverick started the year temporary status on the PGA Tour, finished ninth at the Players, which cemented his card for the rest of the year. How do you feel Hoagie and McNeely are going to mix this week?

[Andrew Collins]
I think you've got a veteran in the field, and you have a guy who can get real hot and streaky.

[Will Doctor]
And Maverick.

[Andrew Collins]
Maverick, that's correct. You know, reeling off around six birdies in a row is something I've seen on his card pretty frequently. So, he can get hot when the time's right.

So, you put Hoagie in the mix with him, you never know what's going to happen.

[Will Doctor]
I think it's a good pick this week, 28-1 for Hoagie and McNeely. They're not on my card, but listeners, you've got the green light to go ahead and punch Hoagie and McNeely at 28-1. I do like that ticket this week.

We're on to Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Fitzpatrick at 33-1 on BetOnline. I'm sure a lot of you watched Full Swing 2, Episode 4, documented kind of how Alex Fitzpatrick is coming up the ranks of golf in the shadow of his brother Matthew, who is a U.S. Open champion. Alex, give him credit.

He's had success on the DP World Tour. A little bit of success out here on the Corn Fairy Tour, but hasn't maybe quite lived up to the name of Matthew Fitzpatrick yet.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, no, it's just going to be an interesting duo to see two brothers go head-to-head, especially one being the younger one. But it looks like Alex has been playing pretty well. Obviously, Matt Fitzpatrick is tracking every bit of data he can, making sure that he's all ready for this weekend.

The thing about him I see is his putting can sometimes get streaky, and maybe Alex can substitute that.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, an interesting story from Matthew Fitzpatrick earlier this year. Before the players, Matthew said that he had been playing with an extra weight in his driver throughout the year. A rep from Titleist put a swing weight on his driver sometime around the Masters last year, and then he played with it throughout the year.

He went from one of the best drivers on tour to one of the worst drivers on tour. As a former player, how do you go an entire year with an extra swing weight on your driver? Is that something that goes unnoticed?

[Andrew Collins]
No, I think it's definitely something that goes noticed. You put an extra swing weight in the driver, you're going to see different flights. You're also tweaking your driver head a little bit, so you don't know exactly how it's going to perform.

But with that being said, this guy is a guru, a club guru. He's willing to try whatever it takes. So all the experiments that he's willing to do might work, might not, but hey, he's willing to give it a try.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, Matthew, multi-time PGA Tour winner, U.S. Open champion, writes down everything. If you're looking for a guy to model your journaling after, it's got to be Matthew Fitzpatrick, absolute statistical guru. But that said, we are out, I think, collectively on Matthew and Alex Fitzpatrick at 33-1 this week in New Orleans.

Next two are a couple Canadian duos. We start with Corey Connors and Taylor Pendrith at 34-1 on FanDuel. Neither one of these players having much success this year.

Connors is neck and neck with Adam Hadwin as far as who's going to take the last spot on the Canadian Olympic team. They've got a lot to play for the rest of this year. Once again, this is Corey Connors and Taylor Pendrith at 34-1.

I've got to be out on them just because of recent play. Connors nor Pendrith have played that great this year. Andrew, are you seeing anything else as far as those two?

[Andrew Collins]
Not necessarily. Connors is a great ball striker, but I also just think I'm going to be out on this pick. That's kind of where I stand.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, that's it. We're on to another Canadian duo. Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin at 40-1 on DraftKings.

Nick Taylor, you look at his resume over the last year. I'm uber impressed with what he's been able to do. He won the RBC Canadian Open in his home country last year.

That was electric. Then he turns around and wins the Phoenix Open. When someone wins two tournaments with the electricity and the attention that the RBC Canadian Open and the Phoenix Open have, I expect Nick Taylor as someone who could possibly contend in majors here coming up.

[Andrew Collins]
I totally agree with you, Doc. That guy, he's steel. He's got the nerves of steel right there.

He's ready to win. You can see it on his face. He's ready to beat that next big guy, whether that's your Sheffler or your Morikawa, Zander.

He's ready to take that spot. I definitely like that pick a lot.

[Will Doctor]
He's going to go off with Hadwin this week. I like Adam Hadwin. Won the Valspar back in 2017.

It's amazing that that's still his only PGA Tour win. Taylor and Hadwin remind me a lot of Hoagie and McNeely this week. I think if you're fans of Nick Taylor or Adam Hadwin, I think this is a great pick.

But from what I see, not on either one of our cards. So nothing going on Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin for us this week. We now move to Sepp Strzok and Bryce Garnett at 40-1 on DraftKings.

This is a team that I like a lot. Once again, not on my card. You can't pick everybody.

But you look at the way Sepp's playing. Bryce Garnett, he won earlier this year in Puerto Rico. I think this is a sleeper that not a lot of people have their attention on this week, Andrew.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean, coming off a win, Bryce Garnett, how long has he been on tour for?

[Will Doctor]
Probably two, three years now. Spent some time on the Corn Fury Tour before, but definitely an established bro for sure.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, he's definitely that. So, you know, I like this grouping a lot. But with that being said, that is not on my card.

But it's something that I do like.

[Will Doctor]
You got to keep your eye on Sepp Strzok. I don't know when the time is going to come that he's going to win his third PGA Tour event. I've been uber impressed with him since he left Georgia.

You know, he won the Honda Classic a couple years ago. Came back and won the John Deere at the end of last year. Sepp Strzok, you know, a former Georgia Bulldog who's been just molded by that incredible alumni, the Georgia Sports, on the PGA Tour.

Once again, Strzok and Garnett, not on our cards this week. But look for Strzok in these upcoming U.S. Open and Open Championship and PGA previews. I think especially after seeing him finish 16th at Augusta.

He was in contention all week. He's got the size. He's got the touch around the greens.

I really like Sepp Strzok here about 50% of the way through the PGA Tour season. We move to Andrew Novak and Davis Thompson at 50-1. You can find that on Bet365, BetOnline, and Bovada.

I'm curious to how they got to 50-1 this week, Andrew. I know Davis is a good player. We've had our questions about Novak here over the past couple of years.

I think the question is, can Davis Thompson carry this team?

[Andrew Collins]
I think Davis Thompson can definitely carry his own, but you've got to look at Novak. He's been playing very well this season, so it's going to be difficult to carry that team. But I think it's going to be a good dynamic, good vibe.

[Will Doctor]
As far as Novak, I say carry because Davis has played well here over the last month. He finished 21st in Houston, 18th in Corrales last week. Novak hasn't finished better than 53rd over his last two starts.

He did play well early on, but recently Novak hasn't been doing that well, and both of these guys missed the cut at the Zurg last year. I have my doubts with Novak and Thompson.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I know. I totally stand by that as well. But I also think that Davis Thompson is just like the rest of them.

He can get hot at any second.

[Will Doctor]
He's different, huh?

[Andrew Collins]
He's very, very different, and we saw that coming off the corn that he's different.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, 100%. That's why he's got a Nike deal. He's one of the best players on tour.

But nothing going on Andrew Novak and Davis Thompson this week. We now move to Thomas Dietry and Robert McIntyre. We have two favorites left to discuss in these top 14 groupings.

First is going to be Thomas Dietry and Robert McIntyre at 55-1 on FanDuel. Listen, I've been a big fan of Robert McIntyre through his first three, four years as a pro golfer. Made a big splash last year, finishing top ten at the Genesis.

He played every major last year. It hasn't been the same, and he qualified for a European Ryder Cup team, McIntyre did. But it has not been the same story this year.

But Dietry has been impressive this year.

[Andrew Collins]
He definitely has, absolutely.

[Will Doctor]
I mean, the Belgian, kind of a la Thomas Peters, same kind of swing. Very pure move at the golf ball. Dietry, you know, 35th on the FedExCup standings coming into this week.

Second, Houston. Fourth, in Pebble. Can make a ton of putts.

But I don't think he can play well enough this week to carry a struggling Robert McIntyre.

[Andrew Collins]
That's totally correct, and I'm going to stand by that as well. So I'm going to go ahead and I'm out on that one.

[Will Doctor]
I'm out on Dietry and McIntyre as well. Last favorites to discuss, it's Matthew Neesmith and Taylor Moore at 65-1 on DraftKings. We've become huge fans of Taylor Moore here over the last year.

This is a former Arkansas guy. Played on the same team as Niko Ovaceveria, who is now on the PGA Tour as well. Will play this week.

You know, Taylor Moore, he's played well so far this year. But like a lot of these pairings, he's going to have to carry a struggling Matthew Neesmith. So that's why we're going to have to be out on Neesmith and Taylor Moore at 65-1 on DraftKings.

All right, let's get into the Zurich Classic outrights. We'll start with you, Andrew. Who's going to be your outright winner for this week in New Orleans?

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I kind of saw it from the start. You know, Will Zalatouris and Fegala, I think it's a pairing you can't miss. You know, you've got two great ball strikers and one's a good putter.

Zalatouris is a good putter in his own right. But when it comes down to these two, three, four footers, you know, we'll definitely lean on Fegala a little bit more. But I'm seeing some good stuff coming out of this group.

And definitely looking forward to seeing what they can do.

[Will Doctor]
So, Andrew Collins will be on Will Zalatouris and Seth Fegala at plus 850 at MGM. I think it's a great ticket. I think you, you know, we have our fears with Zalatouris playing three in a row.

But hopefully the joy and the creativity that he finds in playing with Fegala and remembering those days as young junior golfers in California, hopefully they can harness that energy and have a good week for you there, Andrew. So, first outright on the board coming from Andrew Collins, that's going to be Will Zalatouris and Seth Fegala at plus 850 at MGM to win the Zurich. My pick for, my outright winning pick for the Zurich, I'm going to go with the hot hand.

I'm going to go with Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander at 50-1 on DraftKings, MGM and Bovada. You know, anytime Billy Horschel, you know, starts to get going again, Andrew, we saw him win at Corrales last week. Anytime he gets going again, I feel like he plays good golf and reels off good finishes within, you know, month, month and a half times.

Really good to see him back and he's playing with a fellow Florida Gator alum in Tyson Alexander. And this has been, I got some inside information from Tyson Alexander's caddy, Adam Parmer, who's just a wealth of knowledge. And this has been a team that has gotten together and has discussed their strategy.

They've been planning on playing this tournament for about two months. They, you know, they all rode together from Corrales to New Orleans. You know, obviously, I don't have to list out Horschel's resume.

He won the memorial. He's an eight-time PGA Tour winner that's about a major away from getting into the Hall of Fame. And I think Tyson Alexander is playing good enough to where there's not going to be any carrying the load.

Billy can hit the long straight drives and then Tyson Alexander can really get dangerous inside 125 yards. We're sitting here at the Veritex Bank Championship. He won this twice looking back over the years.

And he finished 14th of Valero a couple weeks ago there in San Antonio. So my outright winning pick for the Zurich is going to be Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander at 50-1 on DraftKings. Let's move to the sleepers for this week.

I'll start with mine, the sleeper for the Zurich Classic. It's going to be Pearson Cootie and Parker Cootie to top ten at plus 750 on BetOnline. Really simple here.

Parker and Pearson both playing great. Andrew, they played well in Corrales. Parker finished sixth.

Pearson finished 18th. I know you know a lot about these guys being from Texas, Pearson and Parker. What do you think about that sleeper this week?

[Andrew Collins]
That right there is a group that I think a lot of people should keep their eyes on. You've got two powerhouse hitters, okay? They're built like running backs.

Typically, I was playing golf with one of them. I said, you look like you should be playing a running back for Alabama. So that's the type of build we're working with here.

Not only that, they can stripe the ball and putt the ball very well.

[Will Doctor]
And they're going to be so busy competing against each other out there, they're going to forget they're even playing in a tournament.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah. No, this is a home game right here, and this is brother versus brother.

[Will Doctor]
A little north of New Orleans, but fair enough.

[Andrew Collins]
Right. No home game, but it's a family game, all right? So it's time to beat up on the brother.

Now, I really like your sleeper for this week.

[Will Doctor]
Once again, to review my sleeper for this week, Pearson Cootie, Parker Cootie, to top 10 at plus 750 on BetOnline. Andrew, you're going with more of a veteran group for your sleeper.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I have to. We see the divots flying from a ways away, okay? You see Duffner out here on the range.

I'm going Duffner, Kevin Chappell, okay?

[Will Doctor]
That's top 10 at 22-1 on William Hill, 22-1.

[Andrew Collins]
That's correct. And the reason I say Duffner is the guy is an artist. He won't put the club down.

He's always searching for the next thing, and I think he might find something. And if not, I think Kevin Chappell is right there. They both can get hot, but watch out for Jason Duffner.

He's going to be back in here in the mix, and I'm excited for it.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, it was great to see when Koepka won the PGA at Oak Hill last year, I could only reminisce about the 2013 PGA Championship where Duffner just lit up Oak Hill and beat Jim Furyk in a classic showdown. Kevin Chappell, a guy who was really getting his PGA tour career off the ground back in 2019, won a couple times on tour and then faced the exact same injury that Will Zalatouris just got over, which is a couple herniated discs in his back. It'll be great to watch Duffner and Chappell this week.

I know Duffner used his career money exemption last year on the PGA tour. Unfortunately, he didn't play well enough to get his status back. He went and tried to qualify for the Live International Series, and it's just a testament to probably 44 years old Duffner now is.

Still one of the best ball strikers known to man. And he's always looking for the next thing, isn't he? Always.

Never stops. Lives in Auburn. Practices with the team.

Another paperback book read. Yeah. He definitely has Ben Hogan's five lessons in his tour bag.

Duffner does. And notepad. And notepad.

Okay, so that is Andrew Collins, a sleeper. It's Jason Duffner and Kevin Chappell, the top ten at 22-1 on William Hill. Real quick, I'll give you my scoring prediction.

29-under won the Zurg Classic last year. There was a little bit of rain in the forecast there up in Avondale last year. I'm going 32-under is going to be what I think Horschel and Alexander get to this week.

I think Billy is going to be rock solid off the tee, and then Tyson is going to clean things up inside 125 yards and on the green. So 32-under is my winning scoring prediction. What would you say about that, Andrew?

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I mean 32-under is pretty low there.

[Will Doctor]
29 won it last year. Good weather in Avondale this week.

[Andrew Collins]
Let's look at 30-under par. 30-under par. We'll take the middle ground there.

[Will Doctor]
All right. So I've got 32-under. Andrew's got 30-under.

Let's wrap things up with the Zurg Classic preview before we get to the Veritex Bank Championship. My best bet for the Zurich is going to be Sepp Strzok and Bryce Garnett to top 10 at plus 300 on BetOnline. Sepp playing extremely well coming off the 16th place finish at the Masters.

Bryce Garnett, still an under-the-radar name who won the Puerto Rico Open earlier this year. You're going to see him in all the elevated events. You're going to see him in the majors.

So my best bet for this week in New Orleans is going to be Sepp Strzok and Bryce Garnett to top 10 at plus 300 on BetOnline. What do you got, Andrew?

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I think that's a good pick. I'm not huge on it, to be honest with you, Doc. But we'll see the outcome here on Sunday.

[Will Doctor]
It's not two very well-known eccentric names. Sepp and Bryce, they operate in the same light that Scheffler does. They're under-the-radar.

They don't have a whole lot of extra stuff to say to the media. But Sepp Strzok standing at 6'2", 6'3", incredible size, great distance off the tee. And I'm just so impressed at that size that he has the hands and the craft and the finesse around the greens.

And that's why I feel like when I watch Sepp, I feel like I'm watching another version of Ernie Els. Just this powerhouse of a talent off the tee that has the short game to win majors. So I'm high on Sepp.

I had him in a big Futures at 201 at the Masters. I thought he was kind of a quiet sleeper. He finished 16th.

But I'm high on Strzok and Garnett this week. I know they're a little bit under-the-radar. But that's going to be my best bet for them to top 10 at plus 300.

What about you?

[Andrew Collins]
For the top 10? For the best bet. Oh, sorry.

For the best bet, I've got Sam Ryder and Bo Hauser. Man, these guys can just reel off birdies. It's cool to watch.

Sam Ryder, especially, playing really well. He can get super hot. And I think him and Hauser are coming in with a good vibe.

I saw him early on Instagram eating some crawfish tacos. So, you know, eating some good Cajun food. Catching a little bit of that New Orleans vibe.

I'm loving the whole thing about it. So I'm going to have to go with Sam Ryder and Bo Hauser right here to take it home.

[Will Doctor]
Okay, so your best bet is going to be Hauser and Ryder to win at 70-1. So going with the winner in the outrights to review Collins. He's got Zalatorse and Tagawa outright at plus 850 to win.

And then going with his best bet, he's going with Bo Hauser and Sam Ryder at 70-1 on BetOnline. I really like that, by the way, because Hauser, you know, about on year 7 of his professional. Well, that's probably a little late.

I've got to double check on that. Hauser, you know, through about five to six years of his PGA Tour career. And now really finding that comfort level on the PGA Tour.

It seems like, you know, he is starting to. This was a guy we got to know when he was 14 years old playing a U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. We thought he was going to be a prodigy coming out of the University of Texas.

It's taken him a little bit more time. But I think a win for Bo Hauser on the PGA Tour is around the corner. And, of course, Sam Ryder, you know, another good player.

Maybe hasn't established himself in that elite category on the PGA Tour. But that's a credible pick. The best bet for Andrew Collins for the Zurich Classic is going to be Bo Hauser and Sam Ryder to win at 70-1 on BetOnline.

All right, Andrew, let's put a bow on the Zurich picks and predictions. Best of luck to everyone with their action in New Orleans. We'll now turn the focus to the Veritex Bank Championship where I'm recording live from Texas Rangers Golf Club in Arlington, Texas.

Bet Rivers is providing odds for the Corn Fairy Tour action this week. So that's where we'll be basing our picks off of. And, listen, for my average sports fans who, you know, are still maybe unfamiliar with what the Corn Fairy Tour is, you know, watching the Corn Fairy Tour is like looking into a crystal ball of the future of the PGA Tour.

It is the AAA of the PGA Tour. You know, when you think about the MLB, it's kind of like AAA. And when you think about NBA, for my Hoops fans out there, you can think of it a little bit like the G League.

And last night, I was lucky enough to emcee the Veritex Bank Championship Pro-Am Party. That took place at Troy's at Texas Live right next to AT&T Stadium and the new Globe Life Stadium. What a spectacle Jerry Jones has built for the pro sports teams here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

But anyways, at this Pro-Am Party, I talked to folks about how, you know, you have to recognize that it was only five years ago that world number one Scotty Sheffler was starting his pro golf career on the Corn Fairy Tour. Sheffler won twice on the Corn Fairy Tour in 2019 before earning his PGA Tour card. And really, it goes beyond Sheffler.

I mean, you look at the Zurich Classic field this week. Tyson Alexander is playing with last week's Puerto Rico Open winner Billy Horschel. Alexander won the Veritex Bank Championship in 21 and 22.

You look at the Cootie Twins, Pearson and Parker. The Veritex Bank Championship was a critical part of their schedule the last two seasons. And now they're playing side by side on the PGA Tour.

And the list goes on. And the point is, you know, the majority of players that you watch week to week on the PGA Tour have earned their way there to the Corn Fairy Tour. And since we are live from the tournament this week and we're rolling off of, you know, three outright winners in the last three weeks, why not break down some odds and give out a couple of picks as far as the Corn Fairy Tour action is concerned?

Andrew, I'll bring you in for this first question. We just got done watching 15-year-old Myles Russell give a little press conference. He's in the field this week after a top 25 at last week's LECOM Sunclose Classic.

I mean, 15 years old, Andrew. This game just keeps getting younger.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, no, I mean, we saw this guy, you know, do a press conference. And the way he composed himself and the way he acted, it looked like he's been out here for the last seven years. So expecting some huge things from him.

He does not seem, you know, too uncomfortable. He seems like he's ready to, you know, put his game to the test here and also not get too far ahead of himself. He's also, you know, taking this thing in the moment.

He's ready to go. And I'm really keeping my eyes out open for this guy for the next, I don't even know how long, he's going to be out here for a long time. I can tell you that.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, when you hear him talk, he's getting so many questions regarding, oh, you know, are you going to play more pro events? Are you thinking about turning pro? The answer is no.

He's only a freshman in high school. He can't turn pro until he's done with high school. But he's getting a lot of those kinds of questions.

And all he answers is, you know, look, I'm just ready for the next tournament. I'm ready for the next shot. When we were sitting here and listening to him talk, I think me and Andrew were looking at each other and kind of going, man, this sounds a lot like the two world number ones we have in the game right now in Scottie Scheffler and Nelly Korda.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, nothing's changed. You know, it's just another day go for him. You know, might be some more cameras, more media.

But for him, he's sticking to the same process. Nothing's really changed for him. And he knows he's got the game, especially playing with Sam Saunders and a few of the other bats out here.

So hopefully he's getting some good wisdom out here. And we're looking for some. Yeah, we're looking forward to watching him.

[Will Doctor]
We're looking forward to watching him. And, yeah, played with Sam Saunders, grandson of Arnold Palmer. I'm sure he got a wealth of knowledge from Saunders.

But let's go ahead and move into these Veritex Bank Championship top five odds favorites. I'm just going to go through them really quick, maybe get an opinion or two from Andrew, and then we will do an outright winner and a best bet for the Veritex Bank Championship. Andrew, going down these favorites lists, you know, you've got Max McGreevy, the OU alum at 25 to 1.

He finished third a couple weeks ago in Savannah. You've got Sam Bennett at 28 to 1, the 2021 U.S. Amateur Champion. I know you like him a lot, Andrew, this week.

Sam Bennett.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, definitely. You know, we keep looking at the leaderboard, and he's either going to be top 20 to top 10, top 20. He's really got that mental focus, doesn't he?

Yeah, he's steel. You know, he's ready to play ball. He keeps his head down.

He knows how to make birdies, and then that's what you've got to do out here. So I do like Sam Bennett.

[Will Doctor]
We first watched him, you know, at the 2021 Spirit International a few weeks ago. He was kind of new to the—well, I shouldn't say new. He had just won the 2021 U.S. Amateur, but we've got to feel that week, Andrew, at Whispering Pines when, you know, he took Whispering Pines 17 under in three rounds. I think we've got to feel that he'd do okay out here.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, and that's what they two-stroke penalty right there. Yeah. We're talking Rachel Hex.

Sorry. So 15 clubs off the tee, okay, two-stroke penalty and still wins by a million. So, you know, Bennett's been there.

I've seen some college scores. I've seen 61s, okay. I've seen 60s.

So this guy knows how to take it low and keep your eye out for Sam Bennett.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, so Bennett, not on our card this week, but definitely a guy to watch in the future. You know, Steven Fisk is another one at 28 to 1, Steven Fisk. You might remember the name.

He played at Georgia Southern alongside Ben Carr, who finished runner-up at the 21 AM. This, you know, Steven Fisk, great option this week as he was the winner two weeks ago in Savannah at the club car and then lost in a playoff last week in Bradenton. Any notes on Fisk, Andrew, or, you know?

[Andrew Collins]
You know, I like Fisk, but I'm curious to see what he does this weekend. But, again, coming off a good finish. We're building some momentum here, but definitely not on my card.

Me neither. Could be a good pick, though.

[Will Doctor]
So, Steven Fisk, 28 to 1 on neither one of our cards. A couple more of these top five favorites here. Tim Whiting at 33 to 1.

He got to 33 to 1 because he won the LECOM Suncoast last week. Talking to some sharps around the property, talking to a couple people at the pro-am party last week. I don't think we're on Tim Whiting this week after his win in Bradenton.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I think he needs to celebrate that win. Maybe go to Texas Live. Maybe do that.

Maybe go to the Rangers game. Stars, of course. But, you know, just take this week.

Enjoy it. But I'm not going to put him on the card. I think it's too close to home for a win.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, yeah. We're out on the Swede. Tim Whiting this week at 33 to 1.

The last two favorites that we're going to discuss. Mason Anderson at 33 to 1, Arizona State product. Won the Argentine Open.

Finished 8th at the LECOM last week. I'm out on Mason Anderson at 33 to 1. And, unfortunately, we like this guy a lot, but I got to be out on Kevin Roy at 33 to 1 as well.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, both good picks for sure. They're not on my card, but I'm going to go ahead and stay out on them.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, I think from a listener recommendation, I think you've got to pass on Anderson regardless. I think if you're a Kevin Roy fan, if you've heard the name, I mean this is a guy who finished 12th at the Valspar on the PGA Tour a few weeks ago. I don't like him personally because he's coming off a miscut at the LECOM.

But still, Kevin Roy, a guy who's going to have a bright future on the PGA Tour.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, and he could use that miscut for motivation too. You never know right there.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah. Okay, so that's the favorites. Let's get to a couple outrights for the Veritex Bank Championship.

Once again, you can find these numbers on BetRivers. And I'm going to go with Noah Goodwin to win the Veritex Bank Championship at 40 to 1 on BetRivers. You know, talking about trending, Goodwin finished 14th at the Club Car Championship.

He finished 4th at the LECOM Suncoast last week. And he is coming in here to a hometown event because he resides right here in the Dallas area. Went to SMU.

Andrew, you're very familiar with the name. And this was an event where last year Goodwin really got off to a good start. He fired a 62 in the opening round at the Veritex here last year and then unfortunately fell off in the last three rounds.

I think Goodwin's learned a lot here in the last year. Recorded some good finishes at the end of last year in Canada and then has gotten off to a hot start here on the Corn Fairy Tour this year. So my winning pick for this week is going to be Noah Goodwin to win the Veritex Bank Championship at 40 to 1 on BetRivers.

What about you, Andrew?

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, I like that pick a lot. Home game for him. SMU, go Stangs.

But he's coming off some good golf here. So I do like that pick a lot. My pick for the tournament outright winner is going to have to be Super Chef Kevin Velo.

[Will Doctor]

[Andrew Collins]
I love the whole swag he's got going on. He chips it unbelievable. He hits it great.

And he's one of these guys that he's not going to settle. He's ready to climb the rankings and he's ready to potentially play that number one player in the world. Not a lot scaring him in the way.

He's ready to go. And I feel like if it's not going to be this tournament, it's going to be sometime soon. So keep your eyes out for Kevin Velo.

[Will Doctor]
That is Andrew Collins' winning pick for the Veritex Bank Championship. That'll be Kevin Velo to win at 33 to 1 on BetRivers. This is a guy who's not afraid to come out here and make some birdies.

We're thinking the winning score at the Veritex Bank Championship this week, I don't know, 29 to 33. You're thinking they're getting the 30s this week, Andrew, out here?

[Andrew Collins]

[Will Doctor]
And Velo's a guy who can take it deep if he needs to.

[Andrew Collins]
Absolutely. I'm thinking the number could definitely reach 27 to 30 easy. Depending on the wind, though, that's the main condition out here.

We've got to control the ball flight off the tee. It's going to get a little windy this weekend, so the numbers might be hovering 23 to 26. But if we can keep some calm weather going, I'm looking at 27 to 30, some soft greens out here, some wider fairways.

I'm thinking that we're going to see some low scores this week.

[Will Doctor]
All right, guys. A quick break from the golf to tell you about what we have going on over at Listen, all the handicappers over at are starting to get dialed in with the MLB season and the NBA playoffs coming up. Head over to and use my coupon code ZURICH20 for 20% off all picks over at Once again, that is ZURICH20 for 20% off all picks over at All right, back to the golf.

Okay, so the two winners for the Veritex Bank Championship for me is going to be Noah Goodwin to win at 40 to 1 on BetRivers, and for Andrew it's going to be Kevin Velo to win at 33 to 1 on BetRivers. Let's wrap this podcast up with a couple best bets. I'll start it off, and forgive us.

I mean, both of our best bets are winning picks. If you can find top 10 odds somewhere on the… Send them over.

Yeah, on a sportsbook in Vegas or somewhere online overseas, I don't know. We only have the winning odds for the Veritex Bank Championship, so I'm going to have to go with Alvaro Ortiz to win at 66 to 1 on BetRivers. Listen, if you can somehow find the top 10 number on Ortiz, that would be my best bet ticket, but I can't find that available anywhere, so I'm going to go ahead and lay him to win.

This is the younger brother of Carlos Ortiz. Alvaro equally is talented. Carlos, he was a winner on the PGA Tour and has since gone to live.

You have to think Alvaro might be trying to follow the same route, but he's got to graduate from the Corn Fairy Tour, make a splash on the PGA Tour, and then maybe he can get that Saudi money.

[Andrew Collins]
Yeah, no, I mean, the Ortiz brothers are definitely used to playing in Texas, used to playing in this wind. I know Alvaro trained at Dallas National here for a little bit. Kind of some similar terrain.

The trees are pretty much the same. Horse layout, it's a little bit hillier in Arlington. He's used to this ambiance, and I'm excited to see what he does this week, but he's not on my card.

[Will Doctor]
Yeah, Alvaro also finished 13th on the PGA Tour. He finished 13th in the Mexico Open earlier this year. Has already had two top 15s on the season here on the KFT.

Obviously a long shot pick, but I like Alvaro this week, so my best bet, I was going to lay it to top 10, but I can only find the winning number, so it's going to have to be Alvaro Ortiz to win at 66-1 on BetRivers. Let's wrap this up, Collins, with your best bet for the Veritex Bank Championship.

[Andrew Collins]
Best bet for me is going to have to be a Stanford alum, Isaiah Salinda. He is an unbelievable ball striker, and he, again, is not afraid of anything, not afraid to make about six birdies in a row. I saw him earlier today.

He's rocking Stanford proud socks, so he's feeling the vibes here in Texas, and not only that, a guy hits it a country mile, and he can put it in play. He can putt well. Again, it's all about mindset out here.

He's got it. He's got all the tools, so I'm definitely looking for him for the next few events, for sure.

[Will Doctor]
Okay, so for your best bet for the Veritex Bank Championship, it's going to be Isaiah Salinda at 45-1 on BetRivers. Andrew, thank you for joining me today. I look forward to talking to you again when I'm back in Dallas here soon.

[Andrew Collins]
Absolutely. It was a pleasure, Doc, as always. Thank you.

[Will Doctor]
Great golf mind. That is Andrew Collins. We'll hear from him again soon, and thanks, everyone, for joining me here on the Golf Preview Podcast.

We'll talk next week ahead of the Byron Nelson Championship, which will be sponsored by CJ this year, and we will also preview the Inspirity Invitational, as I'll be live from the Woodlands all next week from the Woodlands Country Club there off Milbend. This is the Golf Preview Podcast on the Pregames Network. My name is Will Docter.

You can find me on Twitter, at DRMedia59, and we will talk next week.

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