The PGA Tour is set to make its next stop on the road to the The Players Championship and eventually the US Open as a strong field will do battle in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. Many of the world's top players are set to compete and it should make for a tightly-contested tournament.
While this may not be the most prestigious tourney out there, it will act as a good measuring stick for many of the players as they prepare for a couple huge tournaments in the coming weeks. Not only could a win reaffirm the play of a top player, but it could put a more anonymous player in the spotlight and make them a threat at The Players.
This is a great tuneup that no true golf fan will want to miss, so here is all the information regarding when and where you can catch this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Where: TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La.
When: Thursday, April 26 - Sunday, April 29
Golfers to Watch
Masters champion Bubba Watson makes his triumphant return to the links for the first time since his big victory and very well may be the favorite in Louisiana. Watson scored a win at TPC Louisiana last year, so he has history on his side as well. Not only is he the best off the tee on tour, but Watson's complete game at The Masters was impressive and he'll look to keep things rolling this week.
Although he is still trying to find his form from two years ago, Graeme McDowell has been playing quite well as of late and should be a major threat in the Zurich Classic. The Northern Irishman struggles with consistency at times, but when he is on his game, there are few players who have the total package like he does. If he puts everything together, McDowell will be very much in the hunt.
He may have relinquished his No. 1 world ranking to Rory McIlroy after a poor performance at The Masters, but Luke Donald has all the tools to win every single tournament he enters. He hasn't really found his groove yet this season, but TPC Louisiana is as good of a place as any for him to get back on track as he finished eighth there last year. A win would have to be huge for Donald's confidence.
Notable Groupings for Opening Two Rounds (All Times ET)
|1:10 p.m.||8:10 a.m.||John Daly||Jason Dufner||Scott Dunlap|
|7:30 a.m.||12:30 p.m.||Bubba Watson||Steve Stricker||Webb Simpson|
|12:40 a.m.||Ben Curtis||Justin Rose||Graeme McDowell|
|12:30 p.m.||7:30 a.m.||Luke Donald||Keegan Bradley||K.J. Choi|
|12:40 p.m.||7:40 a.m.||Nick Watney||David Toms||Ernie Els|
Full list of the first two rounds' tee times available at PGATour.com.
|Round 1||April 26||3 - 6 p.m.||GOLF|
|Round 2||April 27||3 - 6 p.m.||GOLF|
|Round 3||April 28||3 - 6 p.m.||CBS|
|Round 4||April 29||3 - 6 p.m.|
Prediction: Steve Stricker
He's a threat in pretty much every tournament he plays, so it should come as no surprise that I expect Steve Stricker to reign supreme this weekend. Stricker already has one win this season and is among the best players in the world, so he'll certainly have a target on his back in this tournament. Stricker has had some success in the past at TPC Louisiana and always seems to be in the hunt, so it will all come down to finishing.
Stricker is still looking for that first major victory, and while the Zurich Classic is far from a major, winning it would put him in a great state of mind moving forward. At the age of 45, Stricker may not have a ton of time left when it comes to playing at a high level, so it's now or never for Strick to be a serious contender.