There’s a new record at the Zurich Classic and it’s the kind no team would want.
On Thursday Xinjun Zhang and Zechang Dou shot a sizzling 12-under par 60 to earn a share of the first round lead. On Friday, they put up a snowman in New Orleans.
The Chinese pair set a record, going 20 shots higher in the alternate shot format than their first day’s effort at best-ball. Their 60-80 finish, four-over par, sent them packing when the 36-hole cut at TPC Louisiana came at five-under.
Theirs wasn’t the only disaster but it was the biggest.
Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer, who finished in the top five last year, double-bogeyed their final two holes to shoot 74 and at four-under, they missed the cut. It was Spieth hitting his tee shot in the water at the par three 17th then once again finding the wet stuff when he hit the team’s second shot at the par five 18th.
The defending champions won’t be around for the final two rounds. Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith followed their opening 65 with a 76.
Sergio Garcia missed his third straight cut. He and Rafa Cabrera Bello went 67-73.
Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan didn’t gel in the alternate shot. They shot 75 and another big name in the field went home early.
Same for Justin Thomas and partner Bud Cauley. A pair of 70s wasn’t good enough for them to stay.
The leaders are at 13-under and that’s Michael Kim and Andrew Putnam. They shot 69 to go with their best-ball 62.
Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown are once again in the thick of it. They shot 62 then 70 and are in solo second at 12-under.
Best round of the alternate shot afternoon went to Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar. Their five-under par 67 got them to nine-under and they are tied for seventh. First round co-leaders Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover are in with them, struggling to 75 after their opening round of 60.