Zurich Classic of New Orleans
The TPC Louisiana course tends to throw up first time winners, and given the tournaments position mid-way between The Masters and The Players the field is not the strongest. The course tends to give up some pretty low scores with recent winners around the 20 under mark. There are a few pointers as to potential winners, with form on other Pete Dye courses a determining factor. Needless to say, our winner is going to have to be half decent on the putting surfaces.
Justin Rose is swinging it sweetly at the moment and no doubt he and Jason Day will be heavily backed, but at the odds we aren’t going anywhere near them on a course that has a record of throwing up some more obscure winners.
Billy Horschel 22/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £270
We backed BillyHo last week and he came in the places for us in a positive week. He’s bubbling up nicely and looks to be returning to the form that won the title for him back in 2013. He’s sure to win again this season and the way we see it, in a weakened field this is as good an opportunity as any.
Daniel Berger 25/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £332.50
He had a great start to his rookie season last year and included a T6 here as part of that streak. He did go off the boil somewhat later in the year, but his recent form is encouraging with T10 at Augusta and T5 at Houston indicating some fine form.
Smylie Kaufman 33/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £432.50
No doubt you will have noticed his boys trip to the Bahamas last week with his buddies Jordan, Rickie and Justin. This could go either way of course. Having been to college in Louisiana he has a real affinity with the area and even proved that with a T4th finish there on the Web.com tour. These are decent odds for a young man in fine form as he showed in The Masters and his only win at the Shriners came on another Pete Dye course.
Jamie Lovemark 50/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £645
He’s come mighty close and stumbled in the final round on a couple of occasions this season but don’t let that put you off – everybody needs a couple of near-misses to learn for the maiden win – he’s shown great from getting into those positions. In particular, his form at the Career Builder on another Pete Dye design was impressive. He’s a long-hitting ball-striker that should thrive on this layout.
Patton Kizzire 60/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £385
Narrowly missed out to Smylie Kaufman at The Shriners, proving the Pete Dye aspect of our hunch. He’s ranked high up (8th) in the Strokes Gained Putting stats and remarkably has not yet missed a putt inside 3 feet this season. We’d say that his improving long game will be more than well supported by his now proven ability on the greens.
Kyle Riefers 125/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £791.25
What the? Who the? Hey? Like Kaufman, he had a strong showing in the area on the Web.com Tour and his best results have come in the south. Recent form at Houston and topping the GIR stat last week gives us confidence that he’ll have plenty of chances to go deep and even match his first ever round on this course of 64.