Photo Gallery

    • FANTASY

      Power Rankings: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    • Justin Rose owns two top-15 finishes in his past three starts. (Harry How/Getty Images) Justin Rose owns two top-15 finishes in his past three starts. (Harry How/Getty Images)

    Despite its latitude, TPC Louisiana wasn't immune to the winter that just wouldn't let go. Rough is down by half an inch to one-and-a-half inches as a result, but improvisation is a way of life in these parts. It was nearly nine years ago that the course was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and couldn't host the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2006.

    Now in its ninth stint and host to 156 golfers, TPC Louisiana continues to evolve. Modifications were made to the 13th and 18th holes in advance of the 2012 edition. They bumped the overall yardage to 7,425. That hasn't changed, but the green at the par-5 second hole was expanded by 3,100 square feet to bring bunkers into play this year. Now at 5,300 square feet and also more undulating, it remains to be seen how last year's easiest hole (-0.513 strokes to par) will test.

    Last year's field averaged an all-time low 70.750, making it the seventh-easiest par 72 of the season. Defending champion Billy Horschel recorded his first victory on the PGA TOUR with a course-record, 20-under 268. He missed 25 of 56 fairways (to rank T63) but only 13 greens in regulation (T2) en route to his breakthrough. Evidence of his upward trend for the weeks leading into the tournament was on display throughout. Horschel ranked fourth in proximity to the hole, third in strokes gained-putting and first in conversions outside 10 feet (15 of 45). He also led the field in par breakers (26 birdies) and finished T1 in par-4 scoring (3.75).

    Seasonable conditions are on tap throughout the tournament. High temperatures eclipsing 80 degrees will be complemented by passing clouds and moderate breezes. Rain cannot be ruled out, but the threat is minimal.

    Power Rankings: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Rank

    Player

    Comment

    1 Rickie Fowler Rickie Fowler

    All or nothing for two months. Three top-six finishes, his last a T5 at the Masters. He's 3-for-3 at TPC Louisiana with a T10 in 2012.

    All or nothing for two months. Three top-six finishes, his last a T5 at the Masters. He's 3-for-3 at TPC Louisiana with a T10 in 2012.

    2 Ryan Palmer Ryan Palmer

    Recovered from a closing 82 and hip injury at Valero for a T7 in Houston. Tied for fourth here in 2012. Shares course record (64).

    Recovered from a closing 82 and hip injury at Valero for a T7 in Houston. Tied for fourth here in 2012. Shares course record (64).

    3 Matt Every Matt Every

    Shed disappointing missed cut in Masters' debut with a T12 at Harbour Town. Seven top 15s in 13 starts. Winner at Bay Hill five weeks ago.

    Shed disappointing missed cut in Masters' debut with a T12 at Harbour Town. Seven top 15s in 13 starts. Winner at Bay Hill five weeks ago.

    4 Justin Rose Justin Rose

    Seventh appearance. Three top 20s, including in last two. Took last week off after a T14 at the Masters. Two top 15s in last three starts.

    Seventh appearance. Three top 20s, including in last two. Took last week off after a T14 at the Masters. Two top 15s in last three starts.

    5 J.B. Holmes J.B. Holmes

    T13 here in 2012, but didn't return due to injury last year. Top 20s in three of his last four starts, including a T18 at the RBC Heritage.

    T13 here in 2012, but didn't return due to injury last year. Top 20s in three of his last four starts, including a T18 at the RBC Heritage.

    6 Russell Knox Russell Knox

    T9 in first appearance at Harbour Town. Five straight cuts made, including two top 10s. T30 here in 2012. Co-owns course record (64).

    T9 in first appearance at Harbour Town. Five straight cuts made, including two top 10s. T30 here in 2012. Co-owns course record (64).

    7 Freddie Jacobson Freddie Jacobson

    First appearance since 2008. Five top 20s since beginning of Florida Swing. Fourth in strokes gained-putting; 33rd in adjusted scoring.

    First appearance since 2008. Five top 20s since beginning of Florida Swing. Fourth in strokes gained-putting; 33rd in adjusted scoring.

    8 Graham DeLaet Graham DeLaet

    Tied for fourth here in 2012; T47 last year. Five top 10s this season. Ranks third in GIR, 22nd in par breakers and 21st in adjust scoring.

    Tied for fourth here in 2012; T47 last year. Five top 10s this season. Ranks third in GIR, 22nd in par breakers and 21st in adjust scoring.

    9 Kevin Stadler Kevin Stadler

    Logged a T8 in Masters' debut two weeks ago. Same finish at TPC Louisiana last year. Ranks 20th in GIR and 26th in adjusted scoring.

    Logged a T8 in Masters' debut two weeks ago. Same finish at TPC Louisiana last year. Ranks 20th in GIR and 26th in adjusted scoring.

    10 Rory Sabbatini Rory Sabbatini

    Rebounded from injury with a T9 at Harbour Town where he was T18 in GIR and fifth in strokes gained-putting. T2 in 2009 Zurich Classic.

    Rebounded from injury with a T9 at Harbour Town where he was T18 in GIR and fifth in strokes gained-putting. T2 in 2009 Zurich Classic.

    11 Retief Goosen Retief Goosen

    Had two weeks off since a T7 in Houston where he ranked T17 in GIR and 11th in strokes gained-putting. T21 here last year; fifth in SG-P.

    Had two weeks off since a T7 in Houston where he ranked T17 in GIR and 11th in strokes gained-putting. T21 here last year; fifth in SG-P.

    12 John Senden John Senden

    He's 5-for-6 at TPC Louisiana with a pair of top 15s. Rested last week following a T8 at Augusta National. Won Valspar six weeks ago.

    He's 5-for-6 at TPC Louisiana with a pair of top 15s. Rested last week following a T8 at Augusta National. Won Valspar six weeks ago.

    13 Chris Stroud Chris Stroud

    Seven top 20s on the season. Currently 16th in adjusted scoring. He's 5-for-7 at TPC Louisiana with three top 25s; last was T24 in 2012.

    Seven top 20s on the season. Currently 16th in adjusted scoring. He's 5-for-7 at TPC Louisiana with three top 25s; last was T24 in 2012.

    14 Nick Watney Nick Watney

    The 2007 champ added a T20 in 2011 and a T15 last year (with four 69s). In first event as a father, shared 44th place at the Masters.

    The 2007 champ added a T20 in 2011 and a T15 last year (with four 69s). In first event as a father, shared 44th place at the Masters.

    15 Will MacKenzie Will MacKenzie

    Missed four consecutive cuts at TPC Louisiana, but he's 14th in FedExCup points with five top 10s. Includes three in his last five starts.

    Missed four consecutive cuts at TPC Louisiana, but he's 14th in FedExCup points with five top 10s. Includes three in his last five starts.

    comments powered by Disqus
  • file