Yahoo Fantasy Golf Contest Preview- Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson April 9, 2015 21:58

This week the PGA Tour heads to The Big Easy, New Orleans Louisiana and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The tournament has been played at various locations since its inception in 1938, but it began being played at the TPC of Louisiana in Avondale in 2005. Damage from Hurricane Katrina forced the event to move to English Turn Golf and Country Club in 2006, but returned to TPC Louisiana in 2007 and has been there since. After a week off last week from a course favoring distance, The TPC Louisiana is a Par 72 and is 7,425 yards long (over 300 yards longer than Harbour Town was last week for the RBC Heritage). Its length is very similar to Augusta, Redstone Golf Club (Shell Houston Open), and Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer Classic) in which the Tour visited over the past month. The course features four Par 5s and four Par 3s.

The last three years the winner of this tournament has been at 19 or 20 under par as the course is usually one of the easiest on tour. Because of this we are looking for scorers this week, especially par 4 scoring, those guys that can put up low numbers. There is a lot of wetlands and over 100 bunkers, and some trees, although nowhere near last week at Harbour Town. Greens in regulation and driving accuracy are not as important as they were last week. Driving distance will be an important stat we will be looking at closely this week as well.

The field this week is not spectacular, but has 5 of the Top 20 players in the world, including Jason Day, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Dustin Johnson. Steve Stricker will make his second appearance of 2015. One of Fantasy Golf Insider’s favorite players, John Peterson is playing in the town where he played his college golf (LSU).

Last year Seung-Yul Noh won his first PGA Tour event. First time winners have been frequent at the Zurich Classic winning seven of the past ten years, including the last three (Billy Horschel in 2013 and Jason Dufner in 2012). Noh went bogey-free until the final round, when an opening bogey helped Keegan Bradley to briefly pull even. Bradley, though, soon fell off the pace with a triple-bogey on the 6th hole. Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb tied for second.

We promise that we will continue to out-work everybody in the industry to make our members successful and profitable in season long and daily fantasy golf. If there is anything that you would like to see us do or offer to our members, let us know and we will try to make it happen. As always, stick to solid lineup building, diversification, smart game selection, and disciplined bankroll management. See: How to win playing daily fantasy golf.

A key factor that we analyze every week is Tournament History. A couple of the players that stand out this week include Justin Rose and Steve Stricker. Check out our Tournament History page to see exactly who has had success in the past at TPC Louisiana and the Zurich Classic.

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A-List:

 

Harris English & Marc Warren– English has missed three cuts this season, but two of them were in the fall, so in the New Year, English has made all but 1 cut, and has 3 Top 10s. He lost in a playoff at Farmers and took 3rd at the Sony Open. He did not play at Zurich last year, but he did in 2013 and took 6th. His statistics are very good this year as he ranks 27th in driving distance, 48th in greens in regulation, 46th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 18th in Strokes Gained Putting, and 20th in Total Strokes Gained. We really like his chances of another Top 10 this week. Warren is nothing special, but the A-List is a wasteland. He was extremely good on the European Tour, and then has been consistent, but not outstanding since coming over to the PGA Tour with a T35 at the Texas Open, T17 WGC Cadillac, and T35 at WGC HSBC in November. He has not played at Zurich before, and he does not have a large sample size on the PGA Tour, but we are gonna roll with him.

A-List Others: Noh (He would be a fine replacement for Warren, but just about everybody else will have him & Stricker

 
B-List:

 

Dustin Johnson & Rickie Fowler- We can hardly contain our enthusiasm for where Dustin Johnson’s game is right now. It is evident that Johnson has gotten his head straightened out, which has always been the one thing standing between him and being one of the elite players on tour. In his appearances since returning from his long layoff Johnson is White Hot and has a T4 at Pebble Beach, 2nd at Northern Trust, MC @Honda, win at WGC Cadillac, T6 at Valero, and T6 at The Masters. His length will come in huge at this course and his ability to put up really low numbers gives him a great opportunity for a Top 5 finish. This is Johnson’s first appearance at TPC Louisiana, which is a negative, but not nearly enough of a negative to avoid him. He is ranked 1st in driving distance, 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, and 5th in Total Strokes Gained. Take advantage of the zone he is in and choose him this week. You might be surprised that we are going with Fowler over Day, but we actually like Fowler a little more than Day this week, especially since the consensus pick is Day. Call it a gut feeling, but we think Rickie is going to break through one of these weeks and win a PGA event. Is this the week? He has been playing steady, but not outstanding as he has made eight of eight cuts this season, with three Top 25s, and a 3rd at the WGC HSBC. He looked really good in his last round of golf, which was at The Masters where he fired a 67 in route to a T12. We featured Rickie in our Fantasy Golf Crystal Ball article prior to the season and predicted he would win an event this season (we also predicted Spieth would win a couple including a major). As you know, Rickie had Top 5 finishes in every major last year so we know he has the talent. Statistically he has not been great this year ranking 80th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 98th in Total Strokes Gained. He missed the cut at Zurich last year, but prior to that he had a 32nd, 10th, and 26th.

B-List Others: Day, Rose, Horschel, & Berger

 

C-List:

 

Brendan Steele & Brendon de Jonge– Consistency has been the name of the game for Steele this season as he has made the cut in every single one of his 12 events played this year. In addition however he has also put up 6 Top 25 finishes, and two Top 10s, including a runner up finish at Humana (also was played on a couple of easier courses). Steele ranks 15th on the PGA Tour in driving distance, 13th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, and 16th in Total Strokes Gained. He has played in this tournament twice and placed 52nd last year and 32nd in 2013. A player who has been a guaranteed cut maker is a great play alone, but one that has the ability to place in the Top 10 is a wonderful play. We like what we have seen from de Jonge lately as he had a T5 at the Shell Houston Open and T18 last week at the RBC Heritage. He did not play here last year, missed the cut in 2013, 18th in 2012, and 26th in 2011. Before his 5th at Shell he had a MC at Valero, T33 at Valspar, T10 at Puerto Rico, and T25 at Honda. He ranks well in several statistical areas including 50th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 46th in Total Strokes Gained, 37th in Greens in Regulation, and 29th in Driving Accuracy. We expect another solid performance from De Jonge as he has done quite a bit of this season.

C-List Others: Hoffman & Knox

 

Best of luck to all of you this weekend and we look forward to hearing about your continued success!

 

-Fantasy Golf Insider

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson April 9, 2015 21:58

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