The Zurich Classic makes its home yearly at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale, LA (essentially the heart of New Orleans). Many of us are still coming off Masters hangovers and the Jordan Spieth saga, so I completely understand (and relate with) any one who still has trouble getting up for some of the PGA Tour events that follow.
I was golfing this week at a place called Golf Addiction in a 4-person scramble with some buddies. Aside from the fact that we shot a 4-man score of 59 (unreal appreciation for Tour pros who do it), we played on the TPC of Louisiana. Having never played the course in real life, here are my observations:
- The lines off the tees are tight
- Overhanging (scrubby, scruffy) trees provide some added course protection
- Boy, did Pete Dye ever add some bunkers to this golf course
The undulated greens on this course create smaller landing zones for players making their approach shots, so precision comes at a premium at the TPC Louisiana.
In 1984, Mac O’Grady was accused of telling a female volunteer worker at the USF&G tournament in New Orleans that it “was the worst run and most unorganized tournament on the tour.” He was fined $1,000 for “conduct unbecoming a professional.”
Bonus “funnie”: Remember this 3-legged alligator?
Click here for a link to the entire 2015 Zurich field via PGATour.com.
Last 5 Champs
- 2014: Seung-Yul Noh
- 2013: Billy Horschel
- 2012: Jason Dufner
- 2011: Bubba Watson
- 2010: Jason Bohn (yeah, I don’t remember this at all)
Since I didn’t remember the Bohn win, I went ahead and did a simple Google search, finding this gem of a video from Bohn’s win in 2010.
Finally, one more video before this week’s picks. In my group of friends, we call this “Billy H-ing,” celebrating like this. Billy goes nuts.
Last Week’s Picks
Streelman (poor finish), Snedeker (poor start), Z. Johnson (poor event, piss poor).
This Week’s Picks
Two From the Fairway
I’m going to play Rickie Fowler and his seemingly un-marvelous form, again this week. His top-15 at the Masters was the definition of a back door finish and his other solid starts have been littered with inconsistencies.
Regardless, Rickie “our favorite dirt biker” Fowler’s track record at this venue has some (I repeat, some) merit. A top-10 in 2012 is the main highlight, but he has 5 rounds of 69 or lower here since 2011.
I think he’ll roll together some confidence and put together a good week in New Orleans after a week off.
I’ve been on Keegan a few times this year, but despite the rocky season, I’m going to continue to ride the horse. He was a T8 finisher last year after rounds of 69, 66, 65 coming out of the gates. It was a final round 75 that bumped him from contention and knowing what we know of Keegan– it probably hasn’t sat well with him.
His play right now is solid, racking up a top-5 in Houston and a T22 at the Masters a few weeks ago.
I’m liking Keegan this week for revenge (I mean, look at that stare.)
One From the Rough (Sleeeper)
I was all over this cat a few years back when he first started showing up on the Tour. An NCAA champion, he had the moxie to match the talent and I figured him for a big rookie season. A little more than 15 months later, nothing big from John Peterson on the PGA Tour.
Don’t get me wrong, a ranking of 55th on the FedEx Cup standings in 2015 coupled with 5 top-25s is some solid playing, but I when I said big things, I kind of meant TV time. Well, this is the week folks.
This is a hometown event for John, an LSU Tiger golfer himself. He went for a T8 here in 2013 and has shown really good form the last two weeks. I think this week is “gunna be tight” for Peterson.
Wheels down in Louisiana. Comin at you @Zurich_Classic
— John Peterson (@JohnPetersonLSU) April 20, 2015
Don’t forget this:
The Man with the Trophy
Justin Rose was one of the story lines Sunday at the Masters, after his score of 14-under-par somehow wasn’t good enough for a second career major championship. A week off for the world’s number 9 ranked player and I’ve got him as a winner–a deserved one, at that.
He was my pick to win here last year, as evidenced by the quotes below:
His past results here are strong with a T15 in 2013 and a T10 2012. Rose was off to a shoddy start at the Masters two weeks ago, but rallied and came all the way back to finish inside the top-15. I was surprised to see Rose well-outside the cutline on Friday then work his way all the way up the ranks. It shows the fortitude of his game and the shape its in. He was able to grind.
Rose is another player who hits greens at a high rate. Last year at this event, Rose hit almost 85% of his greens. If it wasn’t for a shaky putter, Rose’s finish would have been much higher. So much higher in fact, he may have won the event.
This year, he’s my favorite to do so.
Well, tacking onto his already strong resume at the TPC Louisiana, he climbed the leader board again in New Orleans, last year going for a T8.
C’mon Justin, close it out this year.