The 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a pretty weak field. Nobody ranked in the top 10 by the Official World Golf Rankings is in New Orleans this week. So, with that said, there isn’t really a clear cut favorite and there are quite a few golfers that could have made it into the top 10, but just missed. It makes the power rankings this week very interesting. Here are my power rankings for the 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Also, keep in mind, these are ranked by last name and these power rankings take into account recent form and how well a golfer has played here at TPC Louisiana.
Keegan Bradley- Keegan Bradley is really interesting to me. When you look at his finishes this year, he is very consistent, but when you actually see him play he’ll be in contention and then have a couple of massive blow holes where he gets a couple of quads and is knocked out of contention.
Bradley is too wild and too out of control for my taste, but given the weak field, I think Bradley coming into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans just barely makes it in the top 10. And with the weakened field there isn’t that gap between levels, this week it’s really bunched up and there are a lot of guys this week that are interchangeable. It just so happens Bradley makes the cut in the top 10. I wouldn’t argue if you didn’t have Bradley in your top 10, top 15.
Graham DeLaet- Graham DeLaet was a top ten machine earlier in the wrap around season, and as the fields have gotten stronger he has fallen back a bit. This isn’t a strong field this week and given that TPC Louisiana really suits his game, DeLaet could be in contention this Sunday.
TPC Louisiana is a course that suits big bombers and DeLaet is a big bomber. He’s 14th in driving distance averaging 301.9 yards and he hits a lot of greens. He’s 3rd on tour in Greens in Regulation. Consider this: last year’s winner Billy Horschel only missed 13 greens. If you can drive it a long way and hit those greens you can win here at TPC Louisiana, and that is DeLaet’s game.
Matt Every- Matt Every has been on a roll for the last two months. Since the Northern Trust, Every has finished T-6, T-24 (Honda Classic), T-8 (Valspar), 1st (Arnold Palmer Invitational), MC (The Masters), and T-12 (last week at the RBC Heritage). Aside from The Masters – which you can cut him a break in considering that it was the first time he played at Augusta – Every has been a great play week in and week out.
Every has been on fire and he has improved each time he has played here at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. In 2011 and in 2012 he missed the cut, but last year he broke through with a T-32. Considering how well he is playing, and how he has trended here at Louisiana look for Every to be in contention once again.
Rickie Fowler- Rickie Fowler has been very impressive of late. After struggling so much early this year, I didn’t think he would be able to turn it around, but I tip my hat to Fowler. He has turned it around so much that I believe he is the favorite this week.
Granted this is a weak field, but still you have to give Fowler credit for getting to this point. He clearly is in the top 10 this week after a T-5 at the Masters, a solo 6th place finish at the Houston Open and he has finished in the top 32 in the last 3 years here at the the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Ryan Palmer- Ryan Palmer is one of the more consistent golfers on this list. He has consistently played here at TPC Louisiana well. Last year, he finished T-32, 2012: T-4, 2011: T-46, and in 2010 he ended up missing the cut. Nevertheless, he has played here well, and is a having a really good year so far.
At the Houston Open he finished T-7, at the Texas Open he finished T-56, at the Honda Classic he was in the four man playoff in the end, and even throw in the solo 2nd place finish at the Humana Challenge. Palmer has had a very good year so far. He just missed out on an invitation to play at the Masters, and you know he doesn’t want to miss out on the U.S. Open. He’ll be fired up this week and with a weakish field he should be good for another top 10 finish.
George McNeill- George McNeill is another interesting pick in this spot. What he has done this year and what he has done here at TPC Louisiana most certainly gives him the right to be in the top 10. But, my concern is, McNeill hasn’t played in over a month. McNeill could have some rust coming into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Had McNeill played last week, and played pretty decently, he would be a slam dunk in the top 10. As he stands he still makes it on my list because he has played well this season and has played well here at TPC Louisiana. A T-47 last year, a T24 in 2012, and a T-6 in 2011 gives him a spot of this week’s power rankings.
Patrick Reed- It’s been a rough stretch for Patrick Reed since he declared that he was one of the top five golfers in the game. He finished T-52 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he missed the cut at The Masters, and finished T-48 at the RBC Heritage.
So, Reed really isn’t coming into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in the best of form, but there’s really nobody there that’s really deserving of his spot. So, Reed it is. It is a weak field, Reed has feasted on weak fields thus far in his young career, and this is a course where he has the potential to make a lot of noise. While he missed the cut last year, he did finish T-24 in 2012.
Justin Rose- As I mentioned, I believe Fowler is probably the slight favorite, but ever so slight. Justin Rose is right behind Fowler. I wouldn’t argue with you if you had Rose as the favorite coming in. Rose has been in good form of late. At the Masters he finished T-14 and he has done very well here at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans finishing in the top 15 the last two years.
Kevin Stadler- Kevin Stadler has been very solid all year long. Stadler finished T-38 at the RBC Heritage and a very impressive top ten finish at The Masters in his first appearance. Plus, Stadler has done well here in The Big Easy. Last year, he finished in the top 10, in 2011 he missed the cut, but in 2010 he finished T-57, and in 2009 a T-24.
David Toms- This maybe a controversial pick, but I believe David Toms deserves a top 10 spot in these power rankings. As I mentioned in my sleepers article, David Toms is someone to keep your eye on.
Toms has such a great history here at TPC Louisiana that you just can’t overlook him. A T-47 last year, a T-42 in 2012, a T-18 in 2011, a T-28 in 2010, and a T-5 in 2009. Toms is consistently very good and his form coming into the 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans is better than what you might expect.
Toms has made the cut in his last two tournaments. He finished the RBC Heritage at T-53, and at the Houston Open he was T-37. Toms is playing pretty well and may end up peaking at his home course.