Zurich Classic – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana
7,425 yards – Par 72 – Mini verde Bermudagrass overseeded w/ Poa Trivialis
Fairways: TifSport Bermudagrass
Rough: TifSport Bermudagrass
Architect: Pete Dye (2004)
Bunkers: 101
Water Hazards: 5

Tournament Stimpmeter: 11 ft. … Slower than average green speeds
Green Sizes: 5225 sq. feet .. Small Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~235 … Weak Field
Fairways Hit (Field Average): 64% … Average Fairways Hits
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): 67% … Easy-to-Hit Greens

Tournament Angles

Windy Rounds
Pete Dye Courses
Overseeded Greens
Performance on Bermuda
Performance in the Spring
Par 72 Courses
Easy Courses
TPC Courses
Easy-to-Hit Greens
Long Courses

Previous Winners

2018: Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy -22 over Jason Dufner/Pat Perez -21
2017: Jonas Blixt/Cam Smith -27 over Scott Brown/Kevin Kisner in a playoff
2016: Brian Stuard -15 over Byeong Hun An, Jamie Lovemark in a playoff (weather-shortened event to 54 holes)
2015: Justin Rose -22 over Cameron Tringale -21
2014: Seung-Yul Noh -19 over Andrew Svoboda, Robert Streb -17
2013: Billy Horschel -20 over D.A. Points -19
2012: Jason Dufner -19 over Ernie Els in a Playoff
2011: Bubba Watson -15 over Webb Simpson in a Playoff
2010: Jason Bohn -18 over Jeff Overton -16

54-Hole Leaders

2018: Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown -20
2017: Jonas Blixt/Cam Smith -19
2016: Brian Stuard, Byeong Hun An, Jamie Lovemark -15
2015: Jason Day, Justin Rose, 16
2014: Seung-Yul Noh -18
2013: Lucas Glover -14
2012: Jason Dufner -17
2011: Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson -12
2010: Jason Bohn -13

36-Hole Leaders

2018: Andrew Putnam/Michael Kim -13
2017: Jonas Blixt/Cam Smith -15
2016: Brian Stuard -12
2015: Jason Day -12
2014: Ben Martin -15
2013: Lucas Glover -12
2012: Jason Dufner -12
2011: Bubba Watson -10
2010: Jason Bohn -12

First-Round Leaders

2018: Lucas Glover/Chez Reavie & Xinjun Zhang/Zecheng Dou -12 (four-ball)
2017: Kyle Stanley/Ryan Ruffels & Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer -6 (foursomes)
2016: Brian Stuard, Jhonattan Vegas -8
2015: Brendon de Jonge, Boo Weekley -8
2014: Ben Martin -10
2013: Ricky Barnes -8
2012: Ken Duke, Cameron Tringale -7
2011: Matt Jones, Bubba Watson -6
2010: Jason Bohn -7

Important Interview Quotes

Q. I know you were here last year as spectator. How many times have you seen this tournament, and how many times have you played this course before?
I probably came and watched two, three, four times, something in there. I came with David Toms probably four, five years ago.

But today was the second time I played the golf course; first was yesterday. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time down here playing obviously, but I’m enjoying the golf course so far.

Starting to figure it all out. -2018

Q. William, they changed the format this year so that alternate shot is on Sunday. How do you think that might affect how things play out coming down the stretch?
I think the better ball on Sunday is just kind of go for everything. Now there is going to be a little bit more strategy involved. You really have to think it through as to who is going to tee off on what holes.

You know, if you’re within five or six of the lead on Sunday, you really have a chance, because nobody is going to go crazy deep in alternate shot.

You can really hit a stretch where you don’t hit a putt for five or six holes depending on how you’re playing. I think there will be a lot more strategy involved and make for some interesting TV. -2018

THE MODERATOR: You just finished playing the pro-am. Thoughts in the golf course? Any changes on the golf course? Anything different from last year when you won? And also, just comment on the format for the pro-am and actually the tournament as well.
Yeah, the course is looking great. Jonas and I both mentioned the that greens are probably a little bit firmer and faster this year, which is always a nice thing to have.

Obviously had some pretty good weather around here, and looking forward to some good weather this week. I think the course might play a little bit tougher, a little bit longer.

And, yeah, I mean, the format, obviously being switched to the other way, might make it a little bit more difficult on Sunday with foursomes being the deciding factor there.

But we played foursomes really well last year, and that might just play into our hands a little bit more. -2018

Q. What’s it like coming back to Louisiana? Have you had any reaction from people from U High? They reached out to you after that?
It’s awesome any time you can come back, you know, with going to high school at U High down the road and with my wife and her sister going to LSU. There is a pretty good following out here. -2018

Q. Back to back years you all played very well here. Is there something about this course that suits you well?
I would say absolutely not. I don’t know what (indiscernible) to be honest with you, except for the fact that we just — you know, I mean, it favors length a lot, which we don’t really hit it crazy far. -2018

SCOTT PIERCY: Billy is obviously really comfortable here since he’s won. I haven’t always been a as comfortable as Billy has. With this format, for me, it — you know, when you got that ball going you can kind of free it up.

Some the tee shots I don’t particularly like, you know, because of shape shot or whatever, I could kind of free myself up and hit a good shot because I knew I had a partner that felt good on the tee.

Then when we did the alternate shot, the tee shot, there was only really one tee shot that I wasn’t really comfortable with, because I like to cut the ball, was No. 12.

So we kind of game planned it as which holes to — you know, certain holes — I don’t like hitting the tee shot on 9 necessarily.

Just certain holes that I didn’t feel comfortable with certain tee shots and certain shots into the green. It really worked out where I didn’t have to hit those shots. Billy is really comfortable around here, so, you know — I didn’t like hitting the shot into 6 and I was hitting tee shots on the even holes. I could put in the fairway for him and he could hit the second shot.

There was a lot of that that — you know, I feel like I put a lot of weight on Billy because of the certain shots that I didn’t like or that I have a hard time with visually. So for me, it gave me a comfortness to allow me to kind of free up and give him the leeway to go do his thing. -2018

Q. You’ve known each other and played together since you were ten years old. How much did that chemistry play into the second place finish?
I think it played a lot into it. We know each other’s games so well, and we’re comfortable with each other and we know we’re both trying hard. Nobody gets upset at anybody. We know we’re doing the best we can. Looking forward to getting back here next year. -2017

Q. How did you guys’ partnership come together?
My caddie lives with Jonas, so we’ve become quite good mates. I asked him at the start of the year, and it was kind of just a why not type thing, and it’s working out pretty good. -2017

Q. Was it a no-brainer for you?
Well, like he said, we played together for the first time I think at the Australian Masters. He couldn’t have been 16 years old maybe, and I was just really impressed, really nice kid, great player. Like he said, we share the same management company, so I reached out to Bud and Brad and they kind of set us up, and I thought it would be a good fit. He hits the ball really long, really well, good putter, so not a whole lot of weaknesses in his game. -2017

Q. What ball do you play with? Do you guys play the same ball?
So I play with a Pro V1 and he plays a TaylorMade. We alternated. Honestly, both balls are pretty similar, so it wasn’t too uncomfortable for either one of us. -2017

Q. Do you guys use the same kind of golf ball, and what kind of strategy did you use with that?
We used Rickie’s ball today. I think my ball spins a little bit more, and I just felt like coming into a situation where it can be a little breezy this week, I think playing his best with less spin, for him to change to my ball would have been a pretty drastic move, especially trying to keep it down. With his ball, it’s obviously easier to keep it down, and I think it was an easy transition for me to go from my ball to his ball in this team format. -2017

Q. You both play with different golf balls, so how are you approaching that this week, how much have you practiced with the other’s brand, and how strategically will you do that on the course?
So at the Presidents Cup a few years ago, I played his ball. I just told him, I said, I want him comfortable. Don’t worry about me. I’ve never had a lesson. All I do is just play golf, so it doesn’t matter what ball you give me. I’m going to play to the best of my ability. I want him comfortable, so if he tells me tomorrow we need to play my ball, his ball, I’m in. It doesn’t matter to me. I want him to play his best, and so let me just figure it out after that, so that’s what I always want to do. I want to make sure he’s comfortable, and I’ll figure it out. I’m pretty good at the game, so I can figure it out. And we did all right in the Presidents Cup playing his ball. So if he decides that we’re playing his ball, we’ll play his ball. -2017

Q. How much did the wind impact you? Gusts of up to 40 miles per hour throughout your round?
Yeah, I think it affected a lot. Obviously the shots you’re talking about, but the shots on the greens, people don’t talk about it, it’s hard to read grain, hillside, wind, all that. Nick hit some good putts and I was fortunate to make a couple. All in all, to shoot 69 in these conditions, alternate-shot, we’re really happen. -2017

Q. Seemed like a really fun battle on the back nine, certainly fun for us to watch. How much with Charley and Nick did you feel the competitive fire on the back nine?
RYAN PALMER: It was great. Playing against him a little bit but had a lot of fun out there with those guys. They are obviously good friends of ours, but it was a challenge. Each team had struggles going into the back nine. We were able to get a few birdies there. But you get these grainy greens in a lot of wind, it makes it tough on short putts for sure. -2017

Q. Jordan, yesterday you talked about prioritizing your short game. Great putt on 18. What was the key to your short game today?
Just some extra work. I put in some more chipping work than I have other weeks in the past couple days, and felt like I kind of got a good feel for how the ball was going to come off this Bermudagrass, and then on the green it’s about obviously judging the slopes and how they counteract. The TOUR does a great job of putting pins in pretty confusing places, and we read them great today. I didn’t putt much, honestly, today. Ryan hit most of the putts, and he did a great job of it. -2017

Q. Certainly very gusty today. In what way did that wind challenge you guys?
Yeah, it popped up during the middle of the day and gradually got less and less as the day went on. But any time that there’s Bermudagrass and a lot of wind and it’s tough to drive, that makes it tough to hit fairways. If you don’t hit fairways it’s tough to get near the hole, and when you’ve got 20, 30 feet, you can’t really expect to make too many. But we played pretty solid, but unfortunately just didn’t come up with the birdies, and it was definitely out there. Looking at the leaderboard this morning, there was a few guys out at 10-under or less. It was fun. I’m looking forward to coming back next year. -2017

Q. Is it just a friendship from back in college days? Is it because you saw — was it more personality and playing with a friend or more the way you saw your games match up that you guys could have a good week?
Both. I think I met Patrick when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, played a practice round with him, and we’ve been friends ever since, and obviously saw each other in college. We just thought we’d pair well together, and so for so good. -2017

Q. We got nine inches of rain out here last week. How is the course playing? Does it seem like it’s playing long to you?
Definitely, yeah. And then wind change direction, really opposite; come from north yesterday. So feel like really, really long course, and then feel like lot different than last year. -2015

Q. And then about the Pete Dye?
Yeah, and the Pete Dye courses, they’re visually very intimidating and very tough. You know, I feel like you kind of have to take the trouble off the tee. If it’s water, you might want to shy a little away from it. But fairway bunkers, stuff like that, holes like number 12, you’ve got to press that left fairway bunker to have a good shot into the green.
It’s a tough driving hole for me because I like to fade the ball. But I’ve really kind of worked on a draw off the tee, and it’s really, I’m not going to say I’ve hit every fairway with a draw, but I’ve missed it in the appropriate spot. -2015

Q. You talk about playing well, tell me about the conditions this morning. Maybe not as warm, did that lend itself to the low scoring we’re seeing out there?
Yeah, especially with ball-in-hand it’s made it a little bit easier, but the course is in great shape. I expect it to be great for the rest of the week. It’s just a great layout. It kind of reminds me of where I grew up down in Florida, and I just feel comfortable out here. -2015

Q. When you see a place for the first time teeing up at a new event for you as a rookie here on the PGA TOUR, how does this place suit your eye and fit your game with what you try to accomplish?
Yeah, like I was saying earlier, I think the fact that it kind of reminds me of a Florida-style golf course, so I’m used to kind of seeing water on one side of the hole. You’ve just got to pick your targets and get good shots. If you can do that, you’ll be all set. -2015

Q. Growing up nearby here, what’s your history with the course?
Yeah, the first time I ever played the course was two years ago, the first time I played the event. The course is a great course. I really enjoyed it. The layout is awesome. It’s one of those that fits my eye really well, and hopefully I can get the putter going and hopefully contend on Sunday. -2014

THE MODERATOR: I’m sure it’s nice to be back at the site of your first PGA TOUR win, so tell us a little bit about what it’s like being back here and some of the feelings that have come up.
Yeah, it’s awesome to be back in the city. I’ve been saying this is probably the one tournament this year that I was really looking forward to playing in. I know there’s majors and WGCs that may mean more, but to me it meant a lot. The city is such a great city. The people here are so great, so warming, so welcoming. The food, you can’t beat the food, probably the best food there is at any TOUR stop. It was a big tournament for me to come. It meant a lot for me. I was looking forward more to this tournament than the Masters or the U.S. Open or whatever other tournaments there are on the schedule.
And then to be back here is just such a great feeling. Obviously my form may not be where it was coming into last year, but there’s a lot of good vibes. You remember a lot of good things that happened out on the golf course, and I always come here and always seem to be at a sense of ease, which is always a good thing for me. I’m always a little hyper and a little on the go, go, go, and sometimes coming here just makes me just sort of calm down and relax and enjoy a good time. -2014

Q. Can you put into words how the conditions were out there this afternoon? Lot of low scores this morning. It seems things really dropped off?
Yeah, I think the wind really picked up this afternoon. Greens, typical Bermuda, the grass is going to start to stand up and get a little bumpier. They were still rolling really good. But you just, every now and then, you’d have a spike mark in your way, so that just makes it tough. Kind of low to the green, so to speak, that’s what we expect every time we play in the afternoon. -2014

Q. I think you have a New Orleans connection here? Your coach is Carl Rabito; is that right?
Yes. Since 2006. -2014

Q. Can you talk about the golf course a little and why this Pete Dye design fits you so well?
You know, I’ve always been a fan of Pete Dye golf courses. I know a lot of guys criticize him and aren’t big fans of him, but it seems like wherever there’s been a Pete Dye golf course I’ve always seemed to play well. With his designs, it’s a visual intimidation that he does off the tees and into greens and everything. And then when you get out there, you realize, man, there’s a lot more room or there’s a lot more green to hit to. I think it’s a mind game he plays with you.

I just for some reason seem to focus a little bit better on courses that he designs. Sometimes I tend to lose a little focus and just become a little too complacent knowing that I strike it so well that I think I can just hit any shot in here. I have to be a little bit more focused and committed to what I do. -2014

Q. Talk about the wind today.
It was a different golf course. The course played a lot harder. This is how it always is around here, it’s just the first three days we kind of got lucky with no wind. -2014

Q. Outside of the way things finished for you on the first day, I imagine you’re pretty happy with the way you played out here?
Yeah, this is not the best golf course for me. I just hung in there every day and started getting a little more comfortable with my golf game on the course as the week went on. Putter started feeling a lot better, and I was able to score pretty well the last few days. -2014

Q. Seems like the last couple days conditions have really had an effect on how the ball is going to play, how a player is going to get the ball up-and-down, especially today we’re not seeing poles getting knocked down. It was tough today, wasn’t it?
Tough, real tough. I went from hitting driver, wedge on the first hole to hitting driver, 6-iron today. Different golf course, but I was proud of the way I hung in there. I didn’t hit every shot great but scrambled nicely and just hung in there and shot a good score. -2014

Q. What is it about this course that you like?
It’s hard for me to say. I like the results that I have. When I step out on the tees and hit shots, it’s not my favorite course that I play out here on the PGA TOUR. There is nothing that I absolutely love about the golf course, but I really do seem to play it well.
I think it’s weird. Sometimes you talk to guys out here and they absolutely love certain courses and they play poorly for the week, and then there are some courses that they absolutely hate and they can’t finish out of the top 10.
So I enjoy coming here. I know that I feel like I’m going to play good and I’ve got a lot of good experience here, so it’s very comfortable for me. -2013

Q. I spoke with Jimmy Johnson your caddy, and he mentioned early this morning you had long clubs into the greens. Tell me how the course is playing right now?
Extremely soft. We’re playing lift, clean and place today. Driver is pretty much plugging on the fairways. This course plays long.
Last year when it was firm, I could have some shorter irons into the greens with. Today I was hitting a lot of 4-irons, 6-irons, and 3-irons, so it plays pretty tough. -2013

All quotes from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise mentioned.

Tournament Notes

2015: Course got soaked with water the week of the event. Lift, clean, and place was used during all four rounds. The course was softer than usual and played more than two shots under par (-2.05 RTP Field Average).

2013: Lift, clean, and place was used in R1 and R4 due to wet conditions.

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