Who Thrived and Who Suffered Because of Their Zurich Classic Partnership?

2022 Zurich Classic, Bubba Watson, Harold Varner III,Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
2022 Zurich Classic, Bubba Watson, Harold Varner III,Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /
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Zurich Classic, TPC Louisiana, PGA, Partnership, Team-Event
2022 Zurich Classic, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele,(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Any of us who have set out to engage in a partnership likely did so with the same underlying principle: five-oh, five-oh, baby.

Whether it’s golf or widget-making, that’s the ideal split.

It is often not, however, the way things work out. In the real world, a partnership is as likely as not to have stronger and weaker partners.

Year after year, there is no surer test of this reality than the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, the Tour’s only regular-season team event.

For the record, the team of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele won the Zurich Classic with a score of 29-under. That was two better than the team of Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, and five ahead of the third-place tandem, Doc Redman and Sam Ryder.

If partnerships tended to work out equitably, we’d probably presume that Schauffele and Cantlay both played about -14 to -15 golf this week, and that those scores probably represented the week’s two best individual efforts.

That of course would be an incredibly naïve thing to assume, so let’s not do it. Instead, let’s autopsy the tournament’s top dozen teams to determine exactly which teams actually functioned equitably, which partners carried their partner, and which slacker partners rode theirs to an undeservedly high placement.

Since this is partnership golf – meaning not every player holes out on every hole—we can only make estimates…but they’ll be pretty informed ones. For the first and third rounds – the ones played in a best-ball format – it’s a counting exercise; which partner carried the hole.

For the second and fourth rounds – played as alternate shot – we’ll be forced to estimate the percentage to which each partner’s score contributed to a birdie, eagle, or bogey. In many of those cases, the responsibility will deserve to be fractionalized, attributing, for instance, seventh-tenths of a birdie to one partner, three-tenths to the other.

Yes, that part of the equation will be subject; deal with it.