We had an exciting end to the RBC Heritage last week as Jim Furyk defeated Kevin Kisner on the second playoff hole. Furky’s victory was his first in 100 starts. This week, the PGA takes us to TPC Louisiana and the Zurich Classic. This event has been held at TPC Louisiana every year since 2007. Seven of the last 10 winners were first timers, including last year when Seung-Yul Noh defeated Keegan Bradley by two strokes. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose headline the field that includes five of the top-20 golfers in the world.
My picks for this week:
1) Justin Rose (0) – Rose is my number one pick for this week. After struggling to start the season, Rose found his game at Augusta and finished in tie for 2nd with Phil Mickelson. In his last three starts at TPC Louisiana, Rosie tied for 10th in 2012, tied for 15th in 2013, and shared 8th last year.
2) Rickie Fowler (0) – Like Jim Furyk prior to last week, Fowler has played some exceptional golf without a win. Call it a hunch, but I could see Rickie taking home the trophy this week. Although he missed the cut last year, Fowler has one top-10 in four career appearances at TPC Louisiana.
1) Charles Howell III (2) – Tier B always leaves a lot to be desired so I am going with consistency this week. Howell III has made the cut in five of his last six trips to TPC Louisiana, including a share of 2nd in 2009. Howell has been up and down over his last three starts. He has missed two cuts, but did tie for 5th at the Shell Houston Open.
2) Nick Watney (0) – Watney has three top-20’s in his last seven trips to TPC Louisiana. Watney won in 2007, tied for 20th in 2011, and shared 15th in 2013. Watney tied for 25th in his last start at the Shell Houston Open.
1) Branden Grace (1) – Grace has three worldwide top-10’s in 2015, including wins at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Dimension Data Pro-Am. Last week at the RBC Heritage, Grace shared 7th with fellow South African, Louis Oosthuizen. This will be Grace’s first trip to TPC Louisiana.
2) Cameron Smith (0) – Smith has been a guy I have been following since he had seven straight top-10’s in late 2014. Well Smith is at it again as he has had three straight worldwide top-15’s. Smith tied for 2nd at the Coca-Cola QLD PGA Championship, tied for 4th at the BMW New Zealand Open Championship, and shared 15th last week at the RBC Heritage.
Other Golfers Considered:
Dustin Johnson (Tier A): Johnson has not had any success at TPC Louisiana, but he is playing too well to ignore this week. Johnson has a win and two 6th place finishes in his last three starts.
Jamie Donaldson (Tier B): Donaldson has never played TPC Louisiana, but he is the highest ranked golfer in Tier B. Donaldson tied for 33rd in his most recent start at The Masters.
Justin Thomas (Tier C): Thomas has top-15 finishes in two of his past five starts. Last week at the RBC Heritage, Thomas finished in a tie for 11th. As I mentioned above, this has been a tournament for first time winners and I could Thomas has the game to continue that trend.