Norwegian duo, American pair share first round lead at Zurich Classic

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The weather was ideal and so were the conditions for scoring during the opening round of the Zurich Classic at the TPC of Louisiana.

Despite a stiff breeze out of the north which made certain holes play longer and cooler temperatures than expected for this time of the year, good scoring was aplenty.

With fans on hand, there was lots to cheer about as two teams hit double figures to tie for the lead in being under par after one round, playing the best ball format.

Norweigians Viktor Hovland and Chris Ventura and the American pair of Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings each turned in 10 under par 62’s to share the first round lead in the four-ball format. Hovland is ranked 15th in the world.

Garnett and Stallings birdied eight of their last 11 holes.

Six teams are lurking just a shot back after nine under par 63’s, including the team of Cameron Champ and Tony Finau, the world’s 12th ranked player, the pairing of LSU’s Sam Burns and two-time Zurich champion Billy Horschel, Kyoung Hoon-Lee and Kyle Stanley, Mark Hubbard and Sebastian Cappelen, the duo of major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthhuizen of South Africa and the pair of Mark Leishman and Cameron Smith, who won the first team event in 2017. Smith had six birdies on the day.

Positioned well is the power duo of Xander Schauffele, the world’s fifth-ranked player and Patrick Cantlay, who is tenth in the world, along with the team of Bubba Watson and Scottie Scheffler.

Among other top pairings, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are at seven under par, along with defending champions from 2019 John Rahm and Ryan Palmer. Rahm is ranked third in the world.

Colin Morikawa, who is fourth in the world rankings, and Matthew Wolf are tied for 70th at two under par.

The second round Friday is the alternating shot format, where scores do not figure to be quite as low.

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Ken Trahan

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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