Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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Zurich Classic: Power Ranking

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is upon us, and here is a preview and power ranking to aid in your research this week. Justin Rose returns to defend after a 22-under-par effort in 2015. He is joined in the field by Jason Day, but the depth of the contestants is otherwise a bit light.

 

The Course

 

TPC Louisiana is a par-72 layout, stretching out to a rather beefy 7,425 yards. Don’t let the distance be deceptive, as it’s a relatively easy course from a scoring perspective. All of the par 5s are safely under 590 yards and reachable by a good chunk of the field. Each of the four par 3s tip the scales north of 200 yards, so don’t expect a bunch of birdies to be yielded there, but it’s a venue that otherwise allows for scoring.

 

For the course history buffs in the audience, TPC Louisiana has served as the host in 2005, skipping 2006, and then every year since beginning with 2007. It offers quite a mixture of past champions ranging from the bomber (Bubba Watson), ball-striking specialists (Jason Dufner and Rose), and a few streaky players like Billy Horschel and Jason Bohn.

 

Stats

 

If I had to hang my hat on the stats this week, par 5 scoring would be at the top of the list. It seems imperative that one must take care of the par 5s in order to get the number deep enough to win. Because of the past champion list, strokes gained: tee-to-green is worth a hard look, as would par breakers.

 

Current form has a good bit of value this week. In the right format, it would be worth taking a flier on a hot player. Throw in Bermuda greens and southern boys, and you have the makings of a pretty decent list.

 

Here we go!

 

1.  Justin Rose – Defending champ has been a course horse at TPC Louisiana of late. He owns three top 10s and a fourth top 15 in his last four attempts. He enters this week with two top 10s in his last three PGA TOUR starts, and he ranks inside the top 10 in strokes gained: tee-to-green and par 5 scoring average. He’s a green-light special.

 

2.  Jason Day – The week off following the RBC Heritage should have done him some good, as he’s tailed off a touch since back-to-back wins about a month ago. In addition to being elite, he tied for fourth here last year. His eighth ranking in par 5 scoring average is the icing on the cake.

 

3.  Rickie Fowler – He’s the darling of the stat sheet, ranking first in par 5 scoring average and sixth in SG:TTG. Course history and current form offer everything from top 10s to missed cuts in both cases, so there is some risk.

 

4.  Daniel Berger – Flirted with contending for his first win in this event last year, eventually settling for a share of sixth. He enters on the heels of back-to-back top 10s. His stats are just OK, but his game should be a good fit.

 

5.  Billy Horschel – Current form sort of reminds us of how he entered ahead of his win here in 2013. Posted a top five last week and tends to run streaky.

 


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Ryan O’Sullivan joined Rotoworld in 2012. The Clemson grad blogs as The Golf Aficionado and can be found on Twitter @ryangolfblogger.
Email :Ryan O'Sullivan



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