Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
Date: Thursday April 25-Sunday April 28th, 2013
Course: TPC of Louisiana: Avondale, LA
TV: Thurs.-Fri. Golf Channel, Sat.-Sun. GC and CBS
by Tim, PGA Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
The PGA Tour goes into the Bayou when the TPC of Louisiana hosts this week’s Zurich Open. At almost 7,500 and a Pete Dye design, one would think the course would prevent low scores. One would be horribly wrong! This ‘Baby’ is one of the PGA Tour’s ‘fluff courses’ (like the ole’ Bob Hope Classic)-rich in beauty and a Stadium Course with a wealth of bunkers, waste bunkers, and Dye’s goofy railroad ties-and the course gives up LOW numbers. Last year Jason Dufner got his first PGA Tour win but he isn’t licking his chops this weekend; Dufner’s still smarting from swallowing his FootJoy’s in the 3rd round at the Masters. Ernie Els has a great history here but his ‘Big Easy’ nickname is way too Poly-Anna to win in the ‘Big Easy'( Can you imagine the Monday after on the Golf Channel if he won”Oh the Big Easy wins in the Big EasyOh my Lord!). The PGA plays this once respected ‘Southern Open’ here to promote themselves and their ‘Daily Fee’ cash register; the TPC of Louisiana. Let’s find out who’s got a shot at bringing home the bacon!
Last week at Harbour Town I liked Charley Hoffman and until he yanked one short left at #18 on Sunday, Charley was poised for a second or third place finish. This week, Charley’s still my boy! He makes birdies in bunches and has the ‘Certain Something’ under pressurealmost an “I don’t care” attitude one must have to win on Tour. Dufner is a strong candidate to win and is playing wellbut the 3rd and 4th round of the Masters really hurt his confidence I believe. I watched him closely noting his putting stroke sort of floats around in his backswing suggesting he’s ‘Thinking About It” instead of just doing stroking it. That mindset, “Thinking” , leads to pushes and lip outsand the occasional 5 foot ‘Come-Backer’. Seung-Yul Noh (or Noh Seung-yullisted both ways??) is the PGA’s way of ‘taking the Tour global’ by promoting the crap outta’ him, but Noh is a “Noh-Low” no-no: “Thanks for entry fee; See ya’ next year!” Oh Boy! David Tom’s is back home (played at LSU) with an attitude and a chip on his shoulder the size of a paddle-wheel from being ‘looked over’ for the Ryder Cup Captain-ship. It should be great watching him get to 8 under then shoot 71-75 on the weekend! Jerry Kelly can win here and has won here 2009, but he’s not as tough as advertised (“He played Hockeyhe must be mentally tough”). Has it occurred to anyone the reason he plays golf instead of hockey is! Anyway, Kelly is playing pretty well and he’s used to competing down the stretch. Bob Estes and Parnevik playing again on Tour? The Tour must be reaching out to the geriatrics again. And where’s Furyk; “Jim, you can play now. There’s lots of Fed Ex points and only a handful of really good Players teeing it up!”
The TPC of Louisiana is the 8th most disliked course on the PGA Tour. You can land airplanes on some of the fairways and Pete Dye has screwed around with the sight lines so bad a Player feels like he’s playing in a maze. I’ve played Pete Dye courses and they’re fun; if one enjoys ‘Clown Golf’. Because the design of the course is so goofy, is the main reason, according to Players, why they don’t show up here to play. That being said: If this course gets any rain at all, the Players will tear it apart. Justin Rose is playing spectacular (as witnessed at the Masters) and Charlie Hoffman looks like he’s ready to win. Kuchar isn’t here so I can’t choose him and lose (HA!) and Charles Howell III, who I thought was very close to winning, has finally forgotten how to compete. Ernie Els doesn’t care much which makes him dangerous, and Bubba Watson wants to repeat from his 2011 Zurich title and should be very close to the top of the Leader board all weekend. Tianlang Guan, the Chinese 14 year-old is in the field (WHY????) and hopefully will start snap-hooking or pushing everything with his flat swing (the top of his backswing makes him look like a Waiter carrying a serving tray!) and get off the TV set (if I want to watch someone with no chance to win I’ll stare into the mirror!). Neal Lancaster, from the Champions Tour, will be hitting it here and he can’t really bust it. If he can make some putts, he’s gotta’ real shot at the win. Ricky Fowler is off and on-sometimes during the four day tournament-but he can really play and I love his game! Fredrik Jacobson and Olesen are also absolutely outstanding competitors and will grind when they have to. But I have to pick just a fewHere’s my choices.
Short Favorite: Bubba Watson (16 Odds to 1 to Win)
Bubba is pretty laid-back a lot more now since he won the Masters. He can dismantle a golf course and has the drive, creativity, length and short-game touch (it’s why he won the Masters!) and I believe he wants to make a statement. He’s won here before and he can do it againanytime he wants.
Middle of the Road: Charley Hoffman (45 Odds to 1 to Win)
Charley played hard last week at Harbour Town and had a chance to win. He’s always going to be one of my favorites until he misses a cut because he can win and competes like an animal. Hoffman can make everything and his shortcomings last week “hitting greens in regulation” cost him the tournament. He hits 5 more greens during the tourney last week and he wins by 2.
Longshot: Ben Crane (70 Odds to 1 to Win)
Sneaky long, good all around game and can get the putter going at any given time. Has been in contention a lot and his only weakness right now, is making mental errors. Eliminate those and Crane is probably 20-1.
Head to Head Matches *Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check out your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Charley Hoffman vs. Fredrik Jacobson (our pick to win: Charley Hoffman)
Charley is ‘Zoned’ right now. His whole demeanor defines a winning edge about him. Jacobson is very good, but I believe Charley will heat up his putter and win in a playoff; not against Jacobson-he’ll beat him like a drum. Charley will win the Zurich Classic in a Playoff.
Charles Howell III vs. Brendan De Jonge (our pick to win: Brendan De Jonge)
I was ‘sold’ on Howell last week because of his talent. I was in error. Howell can’t break an egg because he is a ‘Walking Elitist looking for a hand-out” (looking for a portion of the purse without ‘Playing Hard’). De Jonge will grind the crap out of it allowing Howell to leave tied for 54th. Also, a seriously good “Prop Pick” is for this tournament to be decided in a Playoff.