Zurich Classic of New Orleans Fantasy Preview

Jason Dufner Amish MafiaWhether you want to admit it or not, weather played a huge part in deciding last weeks’ RBC Heritage. Whether, weather…see what I did there? The weather was fine Thursday through Saturday but winds escalated into tsunami territory on Sunday and made conditions nearly impossible. Looking back, it’s not too surprising that Graeme McDowell, an Irishman, was able to handle the winds. 40 MPH winds are calm where he comes from.

The good news is weather should not be a factor this week. The weather nerds are saying 60% chance of rain on Wednesday, so the course could play easy on Thursday, but then 30% chance or less on the actual tournament days. What can we expect besides decent weather? Unless something changes before Thursday, this tournament will be played at TPC Louisiana. It’s been played here since 2007, and also in 2005. It plays at 7,425 yards, which is rather long. Four of the seven winners at TPC Louisiana have been first time winners on the TOUR. There must be something magical about Louisiana. Don’t be scared to take a golfer that’s never won on the PGA Tour. Tianlang Guan? No, I’m not recommended the teenager as a reliable fantasy pick, but its worth mentioning that Guan is in the field this week.

Group A: Jason Dufner has finished top 10 the last four years. He’s going to be in everyones lineups. You gain a huge advantage if you dont pick him and this is the year he disappoints at this tourney. Most likely, you’ll just be upset you didn’t take the obviously freebie. Greg Chalmers is not the caliber of player you’d expect in Group A, but he’s actually worth a look this week. He’s actually 5th in Strokes Gained Putting this year. Only problem is he withdrew last week with a hand injury and he constantly looks like he has to poop when he walks. I guess that makes him high risk, high reward. The risk being that he will withdraw or play worse due to his injury, not that he might poop on the course. Charles Howell III is first in this field when it comes to Bogey avoidance. I think that propels him to a Top 10 this week, and actually my pick to win this week.

Group B: Just like CHIII, Justin Rose is another golfer that doesn’t bogey holes. He ranked 4th on the PGA in 2012 when it came to Bogey Avoidance and is currently 10th on the PGA in 2013. That will keep you in every tournament, and makes Rose a very safe option in a pretty average Zurich Classic field. John Senden has made the cut each of the last five years here. Sometimes that all you can ask for out of your fantasy golfers. Consistency is good. Course history is also good. Cameron Tringale and K.J. Choi both are horses for this course. I debated long and hard over which one to choose and I went with the hot hand, picking Tringale.

Group C: This tournament is ripe with first time winners, so why not a young’en like Jordan Spieth or Luke Guthrie? Spieth has a better chance in my opinion because he doesnt have a lot of bogey holes. Guthrie is worth a look at 80-1 if you want to put some money down in Vegas. Nicolas Thompson is someone that caught my eye. He worst finish at TPC Louisiana is 24th in three attempts. The bad news is he hasn’t played here since 2010 and he’s not a very dependable name. Worth a deep sleeper look. David Mathis is another golfer I’ve never heard of but loves TPC Louisiana. He has three career Top 10’s on the PGA Tour, two of the three have come right here in Louisiana (2012,2011). Worth a look if you want a deeeeeep sleeper.

Yahoo Picks Zurich Classic


ExpertKeeperWhy the Pick?YTD
The 19th HoleJason DufnerIt’s hard to argue with his track record over the last 4 year; 3 top 10’s and a win.Avg Finish: 35th
Future of FantasyJason DufnerI don't like taking defending champions but four Top 10s in each of the last four years is tough to pass up. Avg Finish: 29th
Jake GaerRickie FowlerTrending in the right direction in New Orleans. Solid all-around game. Playing great Thursday-Saturday, this could be the week he figures out the 4th round.Avg Finish: 24th


ExpertSleeperWhy the Pick?YTD
The 19th HoleBrendon de JongePlaying as well as anyone recently with 3 straight top 25’s, and finished T18 here last year. No reason we shouldn’t see him hanging around through the weekend.Avg Finish: 55th
Future of FantasyCharles Howell IIICHILL has been climbing the OWGR this year but is still in sleeper status. This is a good course for a sleeper to come alive. He has two Top 15 finishes here in the last four years. Avg Finish: 47th
Jake GaerJimmy WalkerNew Orleans is where you come to get your first win. 19 cuts in a row made, and T18th here last year. He should be around for the weekend, he has a good a case as anyone to make this his first trip to the winners circle.Avg Finish: 39th

Top 15 for the 2013 RBC Heritage

1. Charles Howell III
2. Jason Dufner
3. Bubba Watson
4. John Senden
5. Rickie Fowler
6. Jimmy Walker
7. Justin Rose
8. Cameron Tringale
9. K.J. Choi
10. Jordan Spieth
11. John Rollins
12. Billy Horschel
13. Chris Kirk
14. Greg Chalmers
15. Charlie Wi


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