Three of the world’s top 10 will tee it up in New Orleans, but this event has traditionally fallen to someone seeking their maiden tour win.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans preview: the lowdown
Three of the world’s top 10 will tee it up in New Orleans – Jason Day (6), Dustin Johnson (7) and Justin Rose (9).
If it is tempting to look for the winner in our Zurich Classic of New Orleans preview from this trio, history suggests caution. Seven of the last 10 winners, and 13 of the last 17, were first time PGA Tour winners. All the last three have been: Seung-Yul Noh (2014), Billy Horschel (2013) and Jason Dufner (2012).
However some pretty stellar names have won in the past including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros. Bubba Watson won it in 2011.
TPC Louisiana is long and will play even longer due to the recent heavy rainfall – 9in of it fell last week. The tournament is going to be windy too, which will add to the problems of getting distance when its in the players’ faces, albeit helping on downwind shots.
Venue: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, New Orleans
Date: April 23-26, 2015
Course stats: par 72, 7,425 yards
Purse: $6,900,000 Winner: $1,242,000
Defending Champion: Seung-Yul Noh (-19)
Thursday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 24- Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday 26 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Dustin Johnson – he is the longest hitter on Tour, booming his drives 315 yards, so has a clear advantage on a course which will play long. He has some good recent form too, with victory in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral followed by two 6th places in his last three outings, the last of which was the US Masters.
Daniel Berger – this tournament has presented its last three victors with a maiden Tour win. Could Berger extend this run to four? The 22-year-old nearly broke his duck at the Honda Classic earlier this season but lost out in a playoff to Padraig Harrington. He has three top-10 finishes this year and is ranked 70th in the world.
Justin Rose – a disappointing season thus far, three missed cuts in his six events and no top 10s leading into his last event, the US Masters. Then he comes second in the US Masters, with a score that might have won it were it not for Jordan Spieth’s phenomenal play. Is Rose’s season on the turn?
Key hole: 17th. A long par 3 which tends to rank as the toughest hole on the course. With a pot bunker guarding the right side and difficult run-off areas, par is an excellent score here.
Weather: Rain is likely on the first three days and there is also a chance of thunderstorms too. The wind is supposed to pick up on the last three days and veer about in its direction – it is forecast to start from the southeast, move to the west-southwest then the northwest.