The Zurich Classic of New Orleans | Thursday 23 April - Sunday 26 April | TPC Louisiana
Last week golf punters were treated to a fantastic display at the RBC Heritage and after having come so close on a number of occasions, Jim Furyk finally managed to get the elusive win. As usual, things don’t show any sign of slowing down as the Zurich Classic of New Orleans tees off at TPC Louisiana and with the quality of golf that will be on display, this will be one to keep a close eye on. Whilst the quality of the field isn’t quite what it was last week, there are still a host of big name players competing and all of them will be eager to win on a challenging course. This par 72, 7,341 yard track may not seem like much but when you consider how many hazards are in play it becomes clear that this is not a course that the big hitters can overpower.
Over 100 bunkers litter the fairways waiting to trap misplaced drives and approaches so control, rather than distance, is the name of the game. Add to that water hazards which feature on nearly half of the holes and it becomes clear that staying out of trouble will be the key to survival here. The rough is also said to be thick this year so keeping it on the fairway is a must. Overall the course is going to be challenging and a cool head and the ability to manage it will be vital.
Dustin Johnson 8/1
Justin Rose 10/1
Jason Day 10/1
Rickie Fowler 16/1
Keegan Bradley 22/1
Keegan Bradley (22/1 a win, 48/1 a place)
My first tip is a tentative each way bet on Keegan Bradley because if he brings his A game he’ll almost certainly be in the mix come Sunday. The concern is that this has been the most up-and-down season of Bradley’s career and some promising performances have been followed by some absolute nightmares. You can never be quite sure what you’ll get when he tees up on Thursday. That being said, he does have one of the best driving games on Tour at the moment and will be hitting a lot of fairways, whilst his short iron game also looks like it has turned the corner as he’s hitting more greens in regulation than he has in a while. At 22/1 this looks a decent each way bet so I’m getting on.
Justin Rose (10/1 a win, 22/10 a place)
After watching Rose in the Masters it’s difficult to imagine him not coming out and firing every time he tees off so I’m surprised to see him available at 10/1. Two weeks ago at Augusta he showed that he has one of the best all round games in golf at the moment and he rarely missed a fairway or green. That kind of accuracy will be richly rewarded here so keep a close eye on the talented Englishman. After missing last week’s RBC Heritage he’ll surely be ready to come out swinging, each way is the bet for me.
Sean O’Hair (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
This week marks a first for me as I tip Sean O’Hair, a player who has always flown under the radar and rarely finds himself near the top of the leaderboard. This season he seems to have improved considerably though as that all changed at the Valspar when he finished an impressive second. He proved that performance was no flash in the pan by playing four near-perfect rounds in the RBC Heritage and against a slightly weaker field he could go one better this time around. Each way is my tip here.
John Peterson (55/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
John Peterson is another player who I’ve never taken any real notice of but he’s having the season of his career and will arrive in Louisiana ready to impress in front of what will feel like a home crowd. Having gone to Louisiana State University, he would have played this course more than almost anyone in the field and will have a lot of support. After finishing inside the Top 20 at last week’s RBC Heritage he’ll be confident that he can perform well. Although he’s up against some stiff competition this is a tournament that has produced more than it’s share of maiden winners so let’s hope we’ve picked the right one this week.