The PGA Tour stays in the south this week for the popular Zurich Classic of New Orleans at the TPC Louisiana.
As always, some of the game’s biggest names will be taking part in a tournament that boasts an impressive list of past champions.
The likes of Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler are all in the field this week.
Jason Dufner has also returned to defend the crown he won in a play-off over Ernie Els last year.
A strong European contingent will also be playing this week, including Thorbjorn Olesen, Shane Lowry and Marcel Siem, who missed out on a Masters berth by 0.03 world ranking points.
The TPC Louisiana has staged the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in each of the last six years, and whilst it’s fairly long at 7,425 yards, there are birdies to be had.
Ladbrokes have installed Rose at the 12/1 favourite this week, and whilst the Englishman has a good record in the event, his current form with the putter is a real cause for concern.
Rickie Fowler, at 20/1 with Ladbrokes, looks the pick of the favourites this week. The gregarious American played some excellent golf at the Masters, and he’ll be recharged after a week off. The 24-year-old has a good record at Pete Dye tracks – courses that players tend to love or hate – as he demonstrated with a tie for 10th here last year. He currently ranks 24th in Driving Accuracy, 22nd in Strokes Gained: Putting and 26th in Birdie Average, a great combination for TPC Louisiana.
Charlie Hoffman, at 40/1 with Ladbrokes, is generously priced this week. Granted, you never know what you are going to get when the laid-back American tees it up, but his form is as good as it has been for some time. He notched a top 10 at the Valero Texas Open and held the 54-hole lead at last week’s RBC Heritage. What’s more, he ranks 11th in Birdie Average and 11th in the All-around Ranking, and he’s never missed the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Brendon de Jonge, at 40/1 with Ladbrokes, can’t be ignored this week. The Zimbabwean has become one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour over the past couple of years, and his recent results bear testament to that. De Jonge has notched three consecutive to-25 finishes, including a tie for ninth at last week’s Heritage, and he currently ranks 31st in the FedEx Cup standings. He also tied for 18th here last year and 26th in 2012.
Nicolas Colsaerts, at 80/1 with Ladbrokes, has been disappointing on the PGA Tour this season, but I think his class will soon start to show. The Belgian missed the cut at the Masters and the Heritage, but two top 18s in three starts before that suggest his best isn’t too far away. The Belgian is second on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance, and his length off the tee will be an advantage at TPC Louisiana.
Trevor Immelman, at 100/1 with Ladbrokes, has been blighted by injury throughout his career, but his recent performances have offered some encouragement. He played some very good golf during the first two days of the Masters and backed that up with a tie for ninth at the Heritage – his first top 10 since October 2011.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans advised bets:
2pts each way on Rickie Fowler at 20/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Charlie Hoffman at 40/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Brendon de Jonge at 40/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Nicolas Colsaerts at 80/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Trevor Immelman at 100/1 with Ladbrokes