Expert Picks: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

April 24, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to TPC Louisiana this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at TPC Louisiana?
Expert picks: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Pick orderPlayer selected
BUBBA WATSON. Bubba was having a big year on TOUR even before he won the Masters. He has got to be a great frame of mind ahead of his title defense. I like his chances.
LUKE DONALD. In six starts this year, Donald has four finishes outside the top 30 -- very uncharacteristic for the reigning Player of the Year (of course, he's also won this year too). Expect Donald to be in contention at a course in which he finished T8 last year.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Donald
STEVE STRICKER. Forget the "TPC Louisiana is for bombers" talk. I know Watney, Romero and Bubba won there, but so did Jerry Kelly and Jason Bohn. Stricks didn't play well at the Shell Houston or the Masters, and that is exactly why I like him. He's due.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Stricker
HARRIS ENGLISH. English may be the second rookie to win in the 2012 season, with a top-10 finish at the RBC Heritage and four other top-25 finishes this season, English could knock down the door in New Orleans this week for his first PGA TOUR victory.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Donald
JASON DUFNER. He finished third at TPC Louisiana a year ago and has contended at one point or another almost every week he's teed it up this season. Dufner also tends to play well on courses in the South.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Donald
GRAEME McDOWELL. I loved how he struck the ball at Bay Hill, and he was decent at Augusta National (tied for 12th) despite not having the ball flight for that track. Missed the cut in his only start here in 2011, but that is easy to ignore. He's definitely back.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Watson
WEBB SIMPSON. Remember Simpson's bizarre one-stroke penalty here on Sunday at the 15th hole last year when his ball moved at address? You won't see that again; the unfair rule has since been changed. He was runner-up but might have won if not for that penalty. Maybe the golf gods pay him back this year.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Stricker
KEEGAN BRADLEY. I think at least one panelist was being too kind in leaving me Keegan this week. It's taken me a while to come around and I'm still not sure where he fits among the game's best, but this year he's been as good as anyone. Had a good showing here last year when he was still just a rookie, not a TOUR winner and major champion.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Bradley
CARL PETTERSSON. His record at TPC Louisiana is a bit hit or miss but you have to be impressed with the way Pettersson is playing right now. The Swede has finished second and first in his last two starts, with the win coming at another Pete Dye course.
If Ross had the top pick ... Pettersson
CAMERON TRINGALE. Same pick two weeks in a row? Hopefully this doesn't ruin my made-cuts streak. He's finished T8 in his last two starts, and was T18 here last year.
If Szeker had the top pick ... Watson
Standings after 16 events
LAST WEEK: Another rough week for picks, with only Anne Szeker (Cameron Tringale) scoring a top-10 at TPC San Antonio:
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
2 3 6 10 0 1856.24
2 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
2 5 6 10 2 1723.75
3 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 5 7 10 3 1629.75
4 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 2 3 6 1 1102.85
5 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 2 3 7 1 1071.08
6 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
1 3 4 5 2 1060.76
7 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
0 2 6 7 3 1031.92
8 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
0 2 2 8 1 838.30
9 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 2 4 8 0 749.17
10 John Schwarb
Site Producer
0 2 3 7 3 623.75

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