After opening fourball format, Wyndham Clark-Beau Hossler and Sean O’Hair-Brandon Matthews teams share first-round lead at Zurich Classic of New Orleans in Louisiana; watch round two live on Sky Sports Golf from 8pm on Friday and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.15pm
Last Updated: 21/04/23 10:38am
The two-man teams of Wyndham Clark-Beau Hossler and Sean O’Hair-Brandon Matthews took advantage of the fourball format to share the lead after the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.
The only team-based tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, the Zurich Classic uses a fourball (best-ball) format in the first and third rounds, and foursomes (alternate shot) in the second and final rounds.
“We played nice, both of us played nicely, and to be honest, looking back on it, we probably ham-and-egged it just about perfect, right?” said Hossler of the 11-under-par 61 that he and Clark carded at TPC Louisiana.
There are five teams tied for third at 10 under, including brothers Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick of England. Matt Fitzpatrick won the RBC Heritage on Sunday on Hilton Head Island, while Alex Fitzpatrick is making his second career start on the PGA Tour.
US Open champion Matt and his younger brother, who needed a sponsor’s invitation to play in the tournament, made five birdies apiece in the opening round.
“It was as much fun as I’ve had on the golf course in, well, about four days, to be fair,” Matt Fitzpatrick said. “He played great on the back nine and he bailed me out a few times.
“Obviously this was an opportunity to play with my brother and you don’t know how many of those you’re going to get. It was always one I was looking to try and play.”
Hossler got the first-time team-mates started with a birdie at the par-four first hole, and he contributed birdies at the sixth, ninth, 11th, 12th, 13th and 16th.
Clark picked him up with birdies at the third, seventh, 15th and 18th as well as a par on the par-four 10th to erase Hossler’s bogey.
“We took advantage of the hardest holes, which is not easy to do out here,” Hossler said of TPC Louisiana. “With that said, I think also we left a couple out there that, hopefully, we can get in the next few days.”
O’Hair and Matthews, also first-time teammates, tore through the course with a 30 on the front nine and a 31 on the back nine, including Matthews’ eagle on the par-four 12th hole.
The duo made four straight birdies from the second to fifth, then added birdies at the seventh, eighth, 11th, 13th and 18th. O’Hair’s bogey at the third disappeared with Matthews’ birdie.
“Well, [Matthews] played really well,” O’Hair said. “I just kind of filled the gaps. The way he hits the driver is unbelievable, and it just puts him in so many good scoring positions. It was fun to watch, really.
“He hit some incredible wedges, and I think for me it was just kind of like just stay out of his way and let him do his thing. But it was a fun round. I kind of picked up on a few holes, and that’s all I could really ask for.”
Joining the Fitzpatricks in the tie for third at 10 under are the teams of David Lipsky and England’s Aaron Rai, Keith Mitchell and South Korea’s Sungjae Im, Luke List and Sweden’s Henrik Norlander, and Michael Kim and South Korea’s SY Noh.
Defending champions Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are tied for 56th at five under. Schauffele birdied the seventh, eighth, 11th and 16th, but bogeyed the 15th and 17th.
Cantlay birdied the 10th, 12th and 13th but made bogey at the par-four sixth. Of the 80 teams, 79 finished at one-under 71 or better. The lone duo above par were major champions John Daly and David Duval, who came in at three-over 75.
Watch round two of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans live on Sky Sports Golf. Early coverage begins from 4.30pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of full coverage from 8pm.
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