Previewing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

This week the PGA Tour makes a stop in the Big Easy for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The TPC Louisiana will be the host course for the event. The course, designed by Pete Dye, is a par 72 and plays at a distance of 7,425 yards. With the Players just two weeks away, the Tour’s top golfers will be back on the course this week. Here is a look at the local golfers that are competing in the field this week as well as some of the top stories to keep an eye on.

Rickie Fowler has been enjoying a solid season. The Loxahatchee River resident has three top 10s on the season, including a third place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Fowler has had some recent success in New Orleans, recording a top ten finish at last years event. Joining Fowler in his playing group the first two days will Jupiter resident Ernie Els. Els lost in a playoff at this event last year to Jason Dufner. It was an impressive performance at his TPC Louisiana debut. He comes into the week with a 13th place finish at the Masters and will look to turn his second trip to New Orleans into a victory.

TPC LouisianaFreddie Jacobson has not played in this event since 2008 when he failed to make the cut. The Hobe Sound resident has had quite an impressive year to this point, making seven cuts in eight appearances on the tour. In the seven events that he has made the cut he has not finished worse than 25th, including a third place finish at the Northern Trust Open and a tie for 25th at Augusta.

Keegan Bradley comes into this week off a disappointing trip to Augusta. The Tequesta resident still leads the tour this year with five top ten finishes and will look to add to that in his third trip to New Orleans. Bradley finished 26th in his debut at the Zurich Classic in 2011 but failed to make the cut last year.

Jason Dufner is the defending champion and all time earnings leader at this event, so it’s no surprise that he is one of the favorites again this week. Dufner made his debut at the TPC New Orleans in 2009 and has yet to finish outside of the top 10.

Just like at Augusta, the biggest story of the week will once again be 14 year old Guan Tianlang. After shocking the golf world by making the cut at the Masters, Tianlang accepted a sponsors exemption to participate in the Zurich Classic, which will be his second PGA Tour event. At Augusta, Tianlang did not three-putt a single hole and carded no worse than a bogey in all four rounds. He will have to do more of the same this week if he looks to make the cut again in New Orleans.

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