Welcome to NOLA baby! After you stuff your face with some cajun food, head over to TPC Louisiana for this week’s Zurich Classic. The course is a lengthy par 72 venue where fairway bunkers are a nuisance to players but the greens is rather generous. *are* generous if we’re talkin’ all proper and stuff. The greens roll pure and don’t have any tricks up their sleeves. That leads us to favor tee-to-green players this week.
The key stats I’m looking at this week are par 5 scoring, strokes gained:tee-to-green, and efficiency from 200+ yards.
There are also 6 to 8 shots per round from inside 125 yards so we can also look at GIR or Proximity from that yardage. Fairways bunkers can be a problem as most will land in one to four per round. Justin Rose found himself hitting out of 14 over the course of the week last year. Use fairway bunker play as a tiebreaker if you need to.
Players to Watch
Dustin Johnson… He’s on a mission this year and that mission involves padding his career PGA TOUR win totals. He’s got the highest strike rate in the field and has the stats to make everyone in the field drool. I’m saying screw course history and plugging him in as my One-and-Done pick this week!
John Peterson… He entered this event last year having lost 21.698 strokes to the field in 31 measured rounds. It’s no wonder he finished 132nd. This year he’s flipped the script and has gained 21.704 strokes this year through 46 rounds. His local connections and course experience will only help add fuel to the fire this week. Go get yourself some shares of JP!
Charles Howell III… Leslie CHowell is #3 on my list of statistical fits this week. He’s number one if you exclude all golfers with less than 10 rounds at TPC Louisiana. He’s a great combo course experience, stat profile, and consistency. Okay, forget about last week when you look at consistency.
Martin Laird… I am ignoring course history on this one. Laird’s first Zurich was rookie year, entered 4-for-7 with no top 50s. Was 1-for-9 ahead of 2009 Zurich, posted T24. Last year he entered with four finishes outside top 60 before missing the cut here. This year he’s playing superb golf with only two of 11 outside top 60 and is a
good great statistical fit.
Marc Warren… The Scot is my favorite of the Euro imports this week. He’s 7-for-8 in his career on the PGA TOUR. He’s a great tee-to-green player with average putting. That will play just fine here on greens that are very generous to poor putters.
Billy Horschel… I misspoke on this week’s podcast and called this a home game for Billy Ho. That’s how much he’s brainwashed me with his positive talk on NOLA and this event. He won in 2012 and calls this his favorite stop on TOUR. Nobody ever backs up their title defense of their first PGA TOUR title, so I’m giving him a pass for last year. I like the Horse Shell a lot this week.
20-20 Club… The 20/20 club is barren once again. Many of the great players leave this one off the schedule, which makes the course horse section look rather bleak. The closest thing to 20 strokes gained at TPC Louisiana (since ’10) combined with 20 strokes gained over the last eight weeks is Cameron Tringale who brings 27.856 course strokes and 17.539 over the last eight weeks. If 17/17 club was a thing, Tringale is your man this week!
Justin Thomas… This bomber feasted at a plodder’s paradise last week in Harbour Town. This course should be more to his liking, which is scary. I said at the beginning of 2014-15 that Thomas would win and that I’d wait until some of the Bermuda events in the South to really invest….Hello! The time is now!
Zac Blair… The opposite is true of Blair. He grabbed a top 50 last week at a course that was perfect for his play style. I was expecting a top 30, so a little disappointed. I think it’s safe to back off this week and let him learn the ropes at TPC Louisiana.
Zurich Cheatsheet… I’ve released a handy-dandy cheatsheet for this week on DraftKings.
Head over to Daily Fantasy Solutions and grab it for just five bucks.
Top 25 for the 2015 Zurich Classic
1. Dustin Johnson
2. Justin Rose
3. Jason Day
4. Harris English
5. Brendan Steele
6. Keegan Bradley
7. Billy Horschel
8. John Peterson
9. Rickie Fowler
10. Charles Howell III
11. Steve Stricker
12. Cameron Tringale
13. Justin Thomas
14. Daniel Berger
15. Russell Knox
16. Jamie Donaldson
17. Jeff Overton
18. Brendon de Jonge
19. Will Wilcox
20. Morgan Hoffmann
21. Jason Bohn
22. David Toms
23. Kevin Kisner
24. Kyle Reifers
25. Martin Laird