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

DATES: Thursday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 26th
SITE: Tournament Players Club of Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
COURSE ARCHITECT: Pete Dye (2004), Steve Elkington, Kelly Gibson -
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,399
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 4 377 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 3,695 Yds
Annual:  61st
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  Thursday/Friday -- 8:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - replay,
  Saturday/Sunday -- 1-2:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Andres Romero
Runner-Up:  Peter Lonard
Tournament Record:  262 (Chip Beck, 1988)
54-Hole Record:  196 (Phil Mickelson, 2001)
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)
Total Purse:  $6,300,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,134,000; 2nd Place - $680,400; 3rd Place - $428,400
2008 Finish
Andres Romero275Nicholas Thompson278
Peter Lonard276Tim Petrovic279
Tim Wilkinson277Tommy Armour III279
Woody Austin278John Merrick279
Padraig Harrington278Marco Dawson280
Steve Elkington280
Past Zurich Classic of New Orleans Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
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
Andres Romero---------------------------Won
Peter Lonard---------T-23------------T-382nd
Tim Wilkinson---------------------------3rd
Woody AustinT-20T-43T-34mc7thmcT-5T-25T-18T-4
Tim Petrovic---------mc------WonmcT-24T-7
Carlos FrancoWonWonT-34mcT-50mcT-52T-15T-44T-23
Kenny Perry------T-43mc------------T-66T-23
Mark CalcavecchiaT-35mcmc------------T-25T-5T-33
Daniel Chopra---------------T-34T-9mcT-15T-33
Nick Watney------------------T-47T-15WonT-42
John Mallinger------------------------T-3T-42
Joe DurantT-62T-9T-11T-67mcT-10T-52T-4mcT-75
Ken Duke---------------T-12------2ndmc
Lucas Glover---------------mcT-3T-7T-8mc
Steve StrickerT-20T-4T-26T-14mcT-20mcT-25T-11mc
Chris DiMarcoT-47T-43mcT-4T-8T-76T-3mcT-80mc
Mike Weirmc---T-61------------------mc
David TomsmcT-37WonT-9mcT-34mcT-47T-44---
Chris Couchmc------------wd---WonT-80---
Ian Poulter------------------mcT-7------
Justin Rose---------------T-5T-17T-66------
Stephen Ames---T-4T-8T-31T-30T-7---mc------
K.J. Choi---T-74mcWonT-37T-7------------
Rory SabbatinimcT-54------------------------
J.B. Holmes------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Kenny Perry
Darkhorse - Todd Hamilton
Last Week's Pick to Win (Paul Casey) - Finished tied for 11th
Last Week's Darkhorse (John Mallinger) - Missed the cut
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. Twelve of the top-50 players in the world rankings are in the field, led by world No. 5 and Masters runner-up Kenny Perry. Perry is playing for the first time since losing in a playoff to Angel Cabrera at The Masters two weeks ago. Perry is joined in the field by world No. 12 Steve Stricker, who finished in a tie for sixth at The Masters.

Last year, Andres Romero closed with rounds of 65 and 68 on Sunday to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by a single stroke over Peter Lonard. Romero, who had completed 16 holes Saturday when play was suspended for the day, returned to birdie 17 and 18 to close out a third-round, seven-under 65. The Argentine came right back with a four-under 68 on the TPC of Louisiana to get in at 13-under-par 275. With Saturday's weather delay, players remained in their third-round pairings. That led to Romero finishing more than two hours ahead of the final group. Romero became the fourth straight first-time winner of this event and 17th in tournament history.

This week, Romero 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. The tournament purse increased $100,000 from last year to $6.3 million, with the winner receiving $1,134,000.

In 2007, Nick Watney carded four rounds in the 60s to pick up his first PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Watney completed the event at 15-under-par 273 for a three-shot victory over Ken Duke. Watney also became the first winner of this event to post all four rounds in the 60s since Franco in 2000. Kyle Reifers fired a course-record, eight-under 64 in the first round at the TPC of Louisiana in 2007 and finished in a tie for 24th.

In 2006, Chris Couch holed a par-saving chip from nearly 55 feet on the 72nd hole to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. 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 last player to do it before Couch was Brad Faxon at the 2005 Buick Championship in Connecticut. Fred Funk nearly made a miraculous comeback in the final round. He fired a 10-under 62, one off the course record, to end in a tie for second place at 18-under-par 270.

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 of Louisiana to be unplayable and forced the event to be moved back to English Turn.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Zurich Financial Services Group would extend its title sponsorship for this event through 2014.

Seventeen players have made the Zurich Classic of New Orleans 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).

There has never been a wire-to-wire winner at this event, however, Calvin Peete came the closest, sharing the lead after round one in 1986 before pulling away to a five-stroke win over Pat McGowan. Lee Trevino holds the tournament record for largest winning margin, defeating Ben Crenshaw and Bobby Cole by eight shots in 1974. When Trevino won this event in 1974, he played all 72 holes without a bogey. No player since then has been able to accomplish that feat.

David Toms, ranked 68th in the world, is competing in this event for the 17th time. When Toms won in 2001, he became the first native of Louisiana to win the New Orleans tournament.

The PGA Tour moves to Charlotte, North Carolina next week for the Quail Hollow Championship, as Anthony Kim defends his title.

04/21 16:06:51 ET

As of April 21, 2009, at 04:07 PM ET

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