Golf Bets

Golf Tips: Zurich Classic of New Orleans and ISPS Handa Championship

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are the favourites to win the Zurich Classic

Get the best bets from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and more golf betting experts for this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans and ISPS Handa Championship...

  • 8/19.00 Irish pair backed by Steve in New Orleans

  • 159/1160.00 Forrest one of five big price bets in Japan

  • 33/134.00 Smith a contender at the ISPS Handa

  • Key course info, first round leader tips and more

Zurich Classic of New Orleans Tips and Predictions

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Irish pair fancied in New Orleans

Steve Rawlings: "The Irish duo of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are the second favourites, and they look a fair price at around 8/1 in an event that tends to go to one of the fancied pairings.

"Lowry finished 13th when playing alongside Ian Poulter two years but Rory has never played here before so that could be perceived to be a slight negative, although I'm not convinced.

"McIlroy has won two US PGA Championships on two different Dye designs (Kiawah Island and Crooked Stick), he's played well repeatedly at Austin Country Club and he's also won the Players Championship at the Dye-designed Sawgrass so there's every reason to think he'll immediately take to this track.

"Neither player has been in sensational form of late but the Ryder Cuppers could very easily inspire each other to play well this week and I like their chances."

Back McIlroy & Lowry @ 9.2

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Course and current form stats

Andy Swales: "Laid out on low-lying delta wetlands, TPC Louisiana covers more than 250 acres and is dotted with more than 100 bunkers. Water comes into play on eight holes, including each of the last three. Although rough is not a major issue, when compared to many PGA Tour venues, the greens are heavily undulating. They are also slightly smaller than the Tour average;

"In recent years, Pete Dye has returned to make a number of changes to the course. In 2019 the greens were returned to TifEagle Bermuda, having previously been MiniVerde. And, during the winter of 2020/21, a number of bunkers were restored to their original shape. Generally, they are now slightly smaller. The purpose of these changes was to improve drainage, because much of the course is laid out below sea level...

"Not only does Billy Horschel possess a fantastic record at TPC Louisiana, he arrives in the Deep South on the back of Sunday's victory in the Dominican Republic. The experienced American has won this tournament twice: Once when it was an individual event, and again as a team competition."

Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander @ 33/134.00

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ISPS Handa Championship Tips and Predicitions

Back 33/1 Jordan Smith to be a contender

Steve Rawlings: "A slow start has been overcome at the Gotemba Course lately with three recent winners of the Taiheiyo Masters shooting an ordinary opening round.

"Jinichiro Kozuma in 2020 and Hideto Tanihara in 2021 both sat tied for 25th, trailing by five and four strokes respectively and Takumi Kanaya won the title in 2019 having trailed by eight strokes in a tie for 50th after round one but most course winners have started nicely, and it looks like a bit of a frontrunners track.

"As many as three of the four winners before Kanaya were leading after round one, Kanaya is the only winner not to be inside the top-eight at halfway since Tommy Nakajima sat 10th and four adrift in 2016 and Nakajima is the only course winner since as far as I've gone back (1997), to be outside the top three places through 54 holes...

"Jordan Smith isn't great in-contention, but he looks a fair price at around 33/1 this week. The Englishman has been in decent form throughout 2024, contending several times, and he was tied for the lead at the Irish Open at the K Club at halfway back in September, before going on to finish 12th.

"Smith was sixth in this event last year and he's no bigger than 22/1 on the High Street so I've had a modest bet at 34.0 and I'll be back later with some longshot selections for the Find Me a 100 Winner column."

Back Jordan Smith @ 34.0

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Each-Way Tips: 20/1 Takumi Kanaya can add to Japanese success

Matt Cooper: "The last six months have been boom time for Japanese golfers on the DP World Tour. Ryo Hisatsune won the Open de France towards the end of last season, Rikuya Hoshino added the Qatar Masters early in the year and Keita Nakajima won the Indian Open before the Masters.

"This week 25-year-old Kanaya who, like Nakajima, is a former World Amateur No. 1, can add his name to that list.

"As we've already noted, he's a past winner on the course, winning in 2019 before he'd even joined the pro ranks, and in his three starts since he's finished fifth, second and third. He won three times in 2023, twice on home soil and then again in the International Series Oman on the Asian Tour.

"He also won on his last start in the Japan Tour's Token Homemate Cup at the end of March. He played this event 12 months ago and got himself in the hunt, sitting two shots off the 36 and 54 hole lead before stumbling with a final round 72."

Back Takumi Kanaya each-way @ 20/1

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First-Round Leader: Picks from 50/1 to 125/1

Dave Tindall: "You'd expect the big names to come out on top over four days - as they usually do in Japan - but don't rule out some of the locals over one. And one lesser-known name to take the eye has to be Takahiro Hataji given his course record here.

"The 30-year-old has played the Taiheiyo Masters at this week's course four times and he's emerged as the first-round leader in two of them - the 2021 and 2023 editions.

"He's worth a punt on that alone but in the two events he's played in 2024, he's won the New Zealand Open and sat seventh after 18 holes in the Japan Tour's Token Homemate Cup. From his 11:40 tee-time (starting at the 10th), he could make a mark at 125/1."

Back Takahiro Hataji each-way @ 125/1

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Forrest fancied on list of five longshots

Steve Rawlings: "Scotland's Grant Forrest was the first man who came to mind when I started looking at the event and he's a huge price at 160.0.

"He finished fourth in this event 12 months ago, having led at halfway (his only previous visit to Japan), and he was third in the Irish Open at the K Club in September.

"The 30-year-old Scotsman has only won once on the DP World Tour, in the now defunct Hero Open but he's a very capable player on his day.

"Forrest hasn't contended since he finished fourth at the Australian open in December and withdrew after the opening round in India last time out. There's an obvious risk on current form but that's more than factored in at such a big price."

Back Grant Forrest (2Us) @ 160.0

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Course and form stats

Andy Swales: "Laid out in full view of iconic Mount Fuji, the Gotemba Course is a lush parkland venue with tree-lined fairways, and where water comes into play on eight holes.

"Originally designed by Shunsuke Kato, the Gotemba Course was remodelled six years ago by Rees Jones and Bryce Swanson, in consultation with Hideki Matsuyama...

"Home pros should certainly hold the advantage this week, thanks to the many years of playing Taiheiyo's Gotemba Course on the Japan Tour. Among those with top-notch Gotemba histories are Mikumu Horikawa, Ryo Ishikawa and Takumi Kanaya.

"Horikawa has posted five straight top-10s in the Taiheiyo Masters, while Ishikawa has previously tasted victory at the course."

Mikumu Horikawa @ 125/1126.00

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Read Steve's in-play blog for both events from Thursday to Sunday


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.