PGA Tour
PGA - Zurich Classic of New Orleans Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, April 26th through Sunday, April 29th
SITE: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
COURSE ARCHITECT: Pete Dye (2004)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,425
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 399 Yds10 - Par 4 390 Yds
2 - Par 5 548 Yds11 - Par 5 575 Yds
3 - Par 3 221 Yds12 - Par 4 492 Yds
4 - Par 4 482 Yds13 - Par 4 403 Yds
5 - Par 4 438 Yds14 - Par 3 216 Yds
6 - Par 4 476 Yds15 - Par 4 490 Yds
7 - Par 5 561 Yds16 - Par 4 355 Yds
8 - Par 4 372 Yds17 - Par 3 215 Yds
9 - Par 3 207 Yds18 - Par 5 585 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,704 Yds36 3,721 Yds
 
Annual:  64th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 1-2:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
Defending Champion:  Bubba Watson
Runner-Up:  Webb Simpson
Tournament Record:  262 (Chip Beck, 1988)
54-Hole Record:  195 (Scott Verplank, 2003 - 19-under);
  196 Phil Mickelson, 2001 - 20-under)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Scott Verplank, 2003)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Paul Stankowski, 2001 - English Turn Golf & Country Club)
Course Record:  64 (Kyle Reifers, 2007; Troy Matteson, 2009; Dean Wilson, 2011)
Total Purse:  $6,400,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,152,000; 2nd Place - $691,200; 3rd Place - $435,200
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Bubba Watson *273Matt Jones276
Webb Simpson273George McNeill276
K.J. Choi275Greg Chalmers276
Jason Dufner275Four players at278
Tommy Gainey275

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past Zurich Classic of New Orleans Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011*Bubba Watson (273) -- Webb Simpson
2010Jason Bohn (270) -- Jeff Overton
2009Jerry Kelly (274) -- Charles Howell III, Rory Sabbatini, Charlie Wi
2008Andres Romero (275) -- Peter Lonard
2007Nick Watney (273) -- Ken Duke
2006Chris Couch (269) -- Fred Funk, Charles Howell III
2005*Tim Petrovic (275) -- James Driscoll
2004Vijay Singh (266) -- Phil Mickelson, Joe Ogilvie
2003*Steve Flesch (267) -- Bob Estes
2002K.J. Choi (271) -- Dudley Hart, Geoff Ogilvy
2001David Toms (266) -- Phil Mickelson
2000*Carlos Franco (270) -- Blaine McCallister
1999Carlos Franco (269) -- Steve Flesch, Harrison Frazar
1998Lee Westwood (273) -- Steve Flesch
1997Brad Faxon (272) -- Bill Glasson, Jesper Parnevik
1996Scott McCarron (275) -- Tom Watson
1995*Davis Love III (274) -- Mike Heinen
1994Ben Crenshaw (273) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1993Mike Standly (281) -- Russ Cochran, Payne Stewart
1992Chip Beck (276) -- Greg Norman, Mike Standly
1991*Ian Woosnam (275) -- Jim Hallet
1990David Frost (276) -- Greg Norman
1989Tim Simpson (274) -- Greg Norman, Hal Sutton
1988Chip Beck (262) -- Lanny Wadkins
1987Ben Crenshaw (268) -- Curtis Strange
1986Calvin Peete (269) -- Pat McGowan
1985#Seve Ballesteros (205) -- Peter Jacobsen, John Mahaffey
1984Bob Eastwood (272) -- Larry Rinker
1983Bill Rogers (274) -- David Edwards, Jay Haas, Vance Heafner
1982#Scott Hoch (206) -- Bob Shearer, Tom Watson
1981Tom Watson (270) -- Bruce Fleisher
1980Tom Watson (273) -- Lee Trevino
1979Hubert Green (273) -- Frank Conner, Bruce Lietzke, Steve Melnyk,
Lee Trevino
1978Lon Hinkle (271) -- Gibby Gilbert, Fuzzy Zoeller
1977Jim Simons (273) -- Stan Lee
1976Larry Ziegler (274) -- Victor Regalado
1975Billy Casper (271) -- Peter Oosterhuis
1974Lee Trevino (267) -- Bobby Cole, Ben Crenshaw
1973*Jack Nicklaus (280) -- Miller Barber
1972Gary Player (279) -- Dave Eichelberger, Jack Nicklaus
1971Frank Beard (276) -- Hubert Green
1970*Miller Barber (278) -- Bob Charles, Howie Johnson
1969*Larry Hinson (275) -- Frank Beard
1968George Archer (271) -- Bert Yancey
1967George Knudson (277) -- Jack Nicklaus
1966Frank Beard (276) -- Gardner Dickinson
1965Dick Mayer (273) -- Bruce Devlin, Bill Martindale
1964Mason Rudolph (283) -- Jack Nicklaus, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Glenn Stuart
1963Bo Wininger (279) -- Tony Lema, Bob Rosburg
1962Bo Wininger (281) -- Bob Rosburg
1961Doug Sanders (272) -- Gay Brewer, Mac Main
1960Dow Finsterwald (270) -- Al Besselink
1959Bill Collins (280) -- Jack Burke Jr, Tom Nieporte
1958*Billy Casper (278) -- Ken Venturi
1957Not Held
1956Not Held
1955Not Held
1954Not Held
1953Not Held
1952Not Held
1951Not Held
1950Not Held
1949Not Held
1948Bob Hamilton (280) -- Roberto de Vicenzo, Fred Haas, Lawson Little
1947Not Held
1946Byron Nelson (277) -- Ben Hogan
1945*Byron Nelson (284) -- Harold McSpaden
1944Sammy Byrd (285) -- Byron Nelson
1943Not Held
1942Lloyd Mangrum (281) -- Lawson Little, Sam Snead
1941Henry Picard (276) -- Ben Hogan
1940Jimmy Demaret (286) -- Ralph Guldahl, Harold McSpaden, Sam Snead
1939Henry Picard (284) -- Dick Metz
1938Harry Cooper (285) -- Harold McSpaden

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain-Shortened

Note:Formerly called HP Classic of New Orleans (2003-04), Compaq Classic of
New Orleans (1999-2002), Freeport-McDermott Classic (1996-98), Freeport-McMoran Classic (1992-95), USF&G Classic (1982-91), USF&G New Orleans Open (1981), Greater New Orleans Open (1980), First NBC New Orleans Open (1975-79), Greater New Orleans Open Invitational (1938-74).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Bubba Watsonmc---------T-31T-5T-70mcT-43Won
Webb Simpson---------------------T-32mc2nd
K.J. ChoiWonT-37T-7------------T-24T-37T-3
Andres Romero------------------WondqT-37T-8
Luke Donald---------------------------T-8
Charles Howell IIIT-16T-50T-5T-59T-2------T-2T-43T-13
Steve StrickerT-14mcT-20mcT-25T-11mcT-7---T-13
David TomsT-9mcT-34mcT-47T-44---T-5T-28T-18
Ben Cranemc------mcmc------mcmcT-20
Nick Watney---------T-47T-15WonT-42mc---T-20
Keegan Bradley---------------------------T-26
Rickie Fowler---------------------------T-26
Chris Couch------wd---WonT-80---mcT-37T-51
Brian Davis---------T-17---mcT-33T-19T-57T-56
Jason Bohn------mcmc------T-20mcWonT-67
Jeff Overton------------T-47mcmcT-132nd69th
Justin Rose------T-5T-17T-66------mcT-43mc
Jerry Kelly---T-5T-34T-65mc------WonT-67mc
Tim Petrovicmc------WonmcT-24T-7T-11mcmc
Graeme McDowell------------T-15------------mc
Matt Every---------------------------mc
Peter Hanson---------------------------mc
Ben Curtis---75th------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Bubba Watson
Darkhorse - Matt Every
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kevin Na) - Withdrew after 1st round
Last Week's Darkhorse (Boo Weekley) - Withdrew after 1st round
 
NOTES:
One of the longest-running events in PGA Tour history takes center stage this week, as the Zurich Classic of New Orleans plays host to the best players in the world. Four of the top 10 players in the world are in the field - Luke Donald (2), Masters champion Bubba Watson (4), Steve Stricker (7) and Justin Rose (10).

Defending champion Watson is playing for the first time since winning the Masters for his first major title. He is now the top-ranked American in the world at No. 4. Watson has finished in the top-four in his last three events and has made the cut in all eight tournaments he has played this year. His worst finish in 2012 is a tie for 18th at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Watson currently leads the money list with $3,124,138 in earnings.

This week, Watson is attempting to join Byron Nelson, Bo Wininger, Tom Watson and Carlos Franco as the only players to win this event two straight years. Franco was the last player to accomplish the feat in 1999-2000.

David Toms is competing in this event for the 19th time. When Toms won in 2001, he became the first native of Louisiana to win the New Orleans tournament. Toms finished tied for 18th in 2011.

Last year, Watson birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Webb Simpson and get his second win of 2011. Both players finished at 15-under 273. Watson held at least a share of the lead after every round. It probably shouldn't have even reached a playoff, but a penalty at 15 cost Simpson. He was one shot ahead and lagged his long birdie putt close at the 15th. Simpson grounded the club before he tapped it in and, with the putter grounded, the ball moved. The penalty, called by Simpson on himself, cost him a stroke, but neither player could birdie the last three, forcing the playoff.

In 2010, Jason Bohn birdied three of his last four holes in the final round en route to a five-under 67 and his second PGA Tour title. Bohn, whose other tour win came at the 2005 B.C. Open, finished off the tournament at 18-under 270 and earned the victory by two over Jeff Overton at the TPC Louisiana. Bohn became the first wire-to-wire winner in tournament history.

In 2009, Jerry Kelly fired rounds of 68-66-69-71 to win by one stroke over Charles Howell III, Rory Sabbatini and Charlie Wi. Kelly finished his third PGA Tour victory at 14-under-par 274. It was his first PGA Tour win since the 2002 Western Open.

Andres Romero closed with rounds of 65 and 68 on Sunday back in 2008 to win by a single stroke over Peter Lonard. Romero became the fourth straight first- time winner and 17th in tournament history.

Nick Watney carded four rounds in the 60s in 2007 to pick up his first PGA Tour title. Watney completed the event at 15-under-par 273 for a three-shot victory over Ken Duke. Watney also became the first winner to post all four rounds in the 60s since Franco in 2000.

In 2006, Chris Couch holed a par-saving chip from nearly 55 feet on the 72nd hole to win. Couch closed with a seven-under 65 following a third-round 64 to end at 19-under-par 269. The win for Couch was his first on the PGA Tour and came one day before his 33rd birthday. Couch, who made the cut on the number at minus-four, became the fourth player in PGA Tour history to make the cut on the number, then go on to win the title.

The event was played at English Turn Golf & Country Club in 2006, the site of the tournament from 1989-2004. Extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina caused the TPC Louisiana to be unplayable and forced the event to be moved back to English Turn.

Seventeen players have made this tournament their first career win - Bill Collins (1959), Wininger (1962), Larry Hinson (1969), Jim Simons (1977), Lon Hinkle (1978), Bob Eastwood (1984), Ian Woosnam (1991), Mike Standly (1993), Scott McCarron (1996), Lee Westwood (1998), Franco (1999), K.J. Choi (2002), Steve Flesch (2003), Tim Petrovic (2005), Couch (2006), Watney (2007) and Romero (2008).

Lee Trevino holds the tournament record for largest winning margin, defeating Ben Crenshaw and Bobby Cole by eight shots in 1974. When Trevino won in 1974, he played all 72 holes without a bogey. No player since then has been able to accomplish that feat.

The PGA Tour moves to Charlotte, North Carolina next week for the Wells Fargo Championship, as Lucas Glover defends his title.

04/24 14:48:54 ET

As of April 24, 2012, at 02:49 PM ET