This week the PGA Tour heads down to New Orleans, Louisiana where the Zurich Classic of New Orleans takes place. It’s a tournament where lately some of the big names have won. Last year, Billy Horschel won it, the year before Jason Dufner won it, and in 2011 Bubba Watson won it. It hasn’t always been that way though, before that golfers such as Jason Bohn, Jerry Kelly, and Andres Romero won it.
What hasn’t changed, though, is that there are a lot of high scores at this tournament. Typically, winners are in the mid to upper teens, so expect a lot of birdies and eagles.
Now, for this week, the field is weak. There are no golfers in the top 10 teeing it up this week in New Orleans. So, the field is bunched up and there isn’t a whole lot separating the top expensive players, and some of the lower tier cheaper picks. Nevertheless, I have three golfers to keep an eye on this week and they all have a common thread between them. So, let’s get started.
David Toms- First up is David Toms. Last week, I mentioned a couple of golfers who hadn’t played well this season, but always play well at the HBC Heritage. One of them was Rory Sabbatini who competed and finished in the top 10 at T-9.
The other was Trevor Immelman. Immelman did make the cut, but he was up and down. He didn’t have a very good weekend and ended up finishing T-74. Still, though, he made the cut, and given how much he was worth he was a pretty decent value pick.
Anyway, my point is a lot of golfers just a specific course they like and just always play well at. The TPC Louisiana is a place like that for David Toms. David Toms is from the area, he went to school at LSU, and it seems as though no matter how good or bad he plays during a season, he always plays well here at Louisiana.
Last year, Toms finished T-47, in 2012: T-45, in 2011: T-18, in 2010: T-28, and in 2009: T-5. Also, let’s not forget, he has won here in 2001, as well.
Just like how Freddy Couples was a great pick up, and a fantastic value pick at the Masters, I believe Toms is like that to an extent. I think he’s a very good pick up, but given how low his salary is, I think he’s a fantastic pick up, a fantastic value pick.
Andrew Loupe- Andrew Loupe went to school at LSU and when you look at him, he’s got the fire in his belly and the eye of the tiger. (pun intended…get it? He went to LSU, he has the eye of the tiger…okay let’s move on….) Most importantly, though, he’s a young guy who starting to figure it out.
When you look at his stats, they don’t blow you away. He’s played in ten events this year and has only made the cut in four of them. But, in his last five PGA Tour events he has made the cut in those four tournaments. He finished T-27 at Pebble Beach, a T-12 in Puerto Rico, a T-4 at the Texas Open, a missed cut at the Houston Open, and a T-48 last week at the RBC Heritage.
I believe Loupe is going to be one of these young guys that stays on the cheap end for awhile, but now is the time to jump on him. Loupe had his best finish in his career at the Texas Open (where he annoyed everybody, especially Johnny Miller because of is slow play) and while I don’t think he’ll do that, I won’t be surprised if he does finish in the top 10, top 5, or maybe even win it. It’s not a very strong field and Loupe, the LSU Tiger, could do it. He’s a great value pick, keep an eye on him this week.
John Peterson- Of the three golfers on here, John Peterson is the cheapest of them all, and rightfully so. Peterson hasn’t had much success his rookie year, but everything may come together this week. And guess what? Last year, he played in the Zurich Classic and finished T-8. So, it’s not out of the question he plays great again this week.
Peterson is a young, talented kid, he went to school at LSU, and playing at a home course may give him a nice boost. Again, he was in the top 10 last year and given just how cheap he is, I think he’s a pretty good pick up. If you’re planning on taking some of the more expensive players like Justin Rose, and Keegan Bradley, picking up someone like John Peterson may not be a bad idea. Remember, it has been a year of the unexpected.