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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Preview

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans returns to TPC Louisiana for the ninth time in the last ten years, and it's time to kick the week off with a little preview. Of note, the only time since 2005 that TPC Louisiana did not host was 2006 when the tournament returned to English Turn.

TPC Louisiana is a par 72 layout, stretching out to 7,425 yards in each of the last two trips. It offers the full bounty of par 5s and par 3s. Because players need to take it pretty deep to win here, Par 5 and Par 4 scoring average are both of importance this week.

Here is a look at the winners and runners-up since 2005, with the omission of 2006:

  • 2005 - Tim Petrovic (13-under 275) over James Driscoll (275) in a playoff
  • 2007 - Nick Watney (15-under 273) over Ken Duke (276)
  • 2008 - Andres Romero (275) over Peter Lonard (276)
  • 2009 - Jerry Kelly (274) over Charles Howell III, Rory Sabbatini and Charlie Wi (275)
  • 2010 - Jason Bohn (270) over Jeff Overton (272)
  • 2011 - Bubba Watson (273) over Webb Simpson (273) in a playoff
  • 2012 - Jason Dufner (269) over Ernie Els (269) in a playoff
  • 2013 - Billy Horschel (268) over D.A. Points (269)
In my early research, I've noticed that length is generally a good thing, but some of the longest on TOUR haven't fared all that well. That leads me to put an emphasis on total driving with a tilt towards distance, rather than to look only at driving distance. As is the case most weeks, GIR is a significant stat. What I've also noticed is that excellent putting isn't a must, likely because the par 5s offer birdie opportunities by finding the greens in two.

We will also take a look at the usual doses of course history and current form and see what we can come up with. Check back tomorrow and we will crank out our weekly Power Ranking. 

Until then, happy research!

2 comments:

  1. What resources do you use for your research?

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    Replies
    1. I pull my stats directly from PGATOUR.com and put them in spreadsheet form. I use previous Shotlink data and traits from past winners to select statistics that I deem relevant.

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