The PGA Tour is in Louisiana this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Jason Bohn defends the title and Britain will be well represented with Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose in the field.
One of the oldest events on the PGA Tour, the New Orleans Open was first contested in 1939. Over the years the tournament has produced a diverse selection of victors – nine different nations have been represented in the winner’s circle over the last 25 years. Given the cultural melting pot that is the city of New Orleans, such variation seems appropriate.
Last season Jason Bohn produced four excellent rounds to set a tournament record total of 18-under-par. The American finished two clear of Jeff Overton.
TPC Louisiana was altered dramatically by original designer Pete Dye after the 2005 tournament. Many of his changes involved adding hazards to demand a more strategic approach. It’s a course where precision is essential. The greens are relatively large but they are undulating and it’s vital to leave yourself on the right side of the flag. With dry conditions forecast, the playing surfaces could become firm, heightening the test.
Venue: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
Date: April 28 – May 1
Course stats: par 72, 7,341 yards
Purse: $6,400,000, Winner: $1,116,000
Defending Champion: Jason Bohn (-18)
Thursday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 30 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm
Sunday 1 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Luke Donald – The Englishman will look to get over the disappointment of missing out last week in a playoff for The Heritage by securing a victory here.
Nick Watney – He’s been on fantastic form this year and he won this event in 2007. He has five top-10 finishes already this season, expect this to be his sixth.
Brandt Snedeker – One of the Tour’s best putters, he should cope well with the undulating greens at TPC Louisiana. He won last week, posting a superb closing round of 64, he’ll look to continue to ride that wave.
Key Hole: 6th. A 476 yard par 4 that requires a long straight drive before the hole turns straight left to leave a long iron or fairway wood to the green. It generally ranks as the toughest hole on the course.
Skills required: Course management. The winner will carefully plot his way round this re-designed layout. Bludgeoning it with the driver is not always the most prudent option.
European Tour: Ballantine’s Championship Preview