Clark, Hossler and O'Hair, Matthews share first-round lead at Zurich Classic

The 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans got off to a thrilling start on Wednesday, with three teams finishing tied for the lead after the first round of play. Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler teamed up to shoot a 9-under 63, while Sean O'Hair and David Matthews also carded a 63 to join them atop the leaderboard. The third team tied for the lead is made up of Charles Howell III and Scott Piercy, who also shot a 9-under 63.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the PGA Tour, as it is the only team event on the schedule. The tournament features a field of 80 teams of two players each, who compete in a 72-hole stroke play format. The first and third rounds are played in the alternate shot format, while the second and fourth rounds are played in the better ball format.

Clark and Hossler got off to a hot start on Wednesday, making birdie on their first two holes and adding an eagle on the par-5 seventh. They added five more birdies and a bogey to finish with a 9-under 63, which included a 31 on the front nine and a 32 on the back nine.

O'Hair and Matthews also had a strong start, making four birdies and an eagle on their first nine holes. They added four more birdies and a bogey on their back nine to finish with a 9-under 63.

Howell and Piercy started slowly, making just one birdie on their first eight holes. But they caught fire on the back nine, making eight birdies in a 10-hole stretch to finish with a 9-under 63.

Several other teams are just one shot back of the leaders, including Max Homa and Kevin Na, who shot an 8-under 64, and Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who also carded a 8-under 64.

The Zurich Classic has been held annually since 1938, and it has a rich history of producing exciting finishes. Last year's event was won by the team of Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer, who beat Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff.

The second round of the 2023 Zurich Classic will be played on Thursday, with the third and fourth rounds to follow on Friday and Saturday. The teams will be vying for a total purse of $7.4 million, with the winners taking home $1.07 million and 400 FedEx Cup points.

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