We came close last week with a few guys in the running until awful Saturday front 9’s set them back. We did manage to go 2-1 in our head to head selections, and lost on the Jacobson matchup on the final hole. We move on to New Orleans where we finally get to witness the world’s best golfers after two weeks of very sub-par fields. Let’s take a closer look at TPC Louisiana.
The players will be testing their skills at TPC Louisiana this week. A Pete Dye designed course from 2003, TPC Louisiana has been the host of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for the past 5 years. The tournament was played here in 2005 but then was forced to move to English Turn Golf and CC for a year due to Hurricane Katrina. The storm caused severe damage to the course but allowed Pete Dye and others to improve it. The team shortened the course by 179 yards and altered the set ups around many greens.
TPC Louisiana will be playing as a Par 72 this week at a total of 7341 yards. It features only 5 waters hazards but extremely well placed and contoured bunkers will test the golfers this week (71 in total). Pete Dye has a knack for knowing where players sight lines will be, and he places sand traps in areas that will punish a below average shot.
My favourite hole at TPC Louisiana is the 348 yard Par 4, 16th. This hole was shortened by just over 80 yards after the Hurricane, resulting a hole that gives the players options. Longer hitter may be tempted to attack the green with a driver, while shorter hitter will lay up to a proper wedge yardage. The problem with going for this green is the overhanging trees, a large fairway bunker, and water to the left side of the green. Many interesting numbers will appears on players score cards this week due to this very entertaining Par 4.
This is the first week back for many players after the 2012 edition of the Masters. The world’s best will now have a stretch of tournaments coming up that they will play in to build towards The Players Championship (May 10th to 13th). We will get to watch four of the World’s top 10 this week (Luke Donald -2nd, Bubba Watson – 4th, Steve Stricker – 7th, Justin Rose – 10th). These players will be joined by the likes of Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els, Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler.
If this year is half as entertaining as last year was we will be blessed. Bubba Watson defeated Webb Simpson in a playoff in 2011 here for his 3rd PGA Tour victory. The two battled all day until a very unfortunate penalty was assessed to Webb Simpson on the 15th for his ball moving on the green. Both players then went onto miss birdie opportunities on 18 from within 15 feet resulting in a playoff. They tied the first playoff hole with birdies on 18, and ended up playing the same hole again. On the 2nd playoff hole Bubba hit a terrific fairway bunker shot over water and onto the green. He went on to two-putt for a birdie and the victory.
Steve’s Six Pack System Picks for Zurich Classic of New Orleans
As always the 6-Pack system plays are for members only. I also have 3 head-to-head plays going this weekend.
This week I will include a “sneak peak” into one of my 6 system plays…
BUBBA WATSON 13 to 1 – How can you not take Bubba Watson this week? His last event was the Masters where he won in historic fashion. Bubba is the defending champion at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He has competed in 8 stroke play events this season with his worst finish being a T18. He has been no worse than 4th over his past 3 tournaments. And he is Bubba Watson!
Bubba debated whether he was going to play this week but decided he wanted to defend his championship. He is a new father and a devoted family man, but I feel leaving the family for this week could provide him with yet another victory. Bubba golf will be getting plenty of attention, and for good reason.
I highly recommend you head over to GolfBanker.com and join us for all picks this week!