How did the first-round co-leaders at the Zurich Classic actually miss the cut? That's what happens when you go 60-80
Friday at the Zurich Classic was a prime example of how difficult and pressure-packed the alternate-shot format can be in team events. After a first round that included seven rounds of 62 or lower in the best-ball format, the second round at TPC Louisiana featured 34 (!) rounds of 75 or worse, and no team struggled more than Zecheng Dou and Xinjun Zhang.
The duo from China was atop the leader board when the second round began thanks to a 12-under 60 on Thursday, matching Lucas Glover and Chez Reavie for the low round of the tournament. On Friday though, they went as far in the opposite direction as you could possibly go, carding an eight-over 80 to miss the cut:
On the front nine, Dou and Zhang actually kept it somewhat together, shooting a two-over 38 that included a birdie at the par-4 eighth. If they thought that would get them going in the right direction, they were mistaken, as they proceeded to bogey five of their first six holes on the back nine before righting the ship again with a birdie at the par-4 16th. At that point, they were safely inside the cut line at six under, but disaster struck at the par-3 17th when they double-bogeyed from just over the back of the green:
That's alternate shot in a nutshell right there. Normally, you'd bet that either Zhang or Dou would get up-and-down for par on their own from just off the green, but with the extra added pressure of needing to come up big for your teammate, it leads to holes like that.