Golf Rankings for Zurich Classic of New Orleans
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Golf Rankings for Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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1. Bubba Watson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #12

Prior to winning at TPC Louisiana last year, Watson had finished outside of the top 40 with one missed cut in three prior starts at the site. No player has been more consistent this season with six straight top-15s in stroke play events with three consecutive top-fives, including a win at the Masters. Watson ranks first in driving distance, second in greens in regulation percentage and birdie average, and ninth in both scoring average and All-Around Ranking.

2. Graeme McDowell [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #14

Forget the fact that in his first start at TPC Louisiana McDowell missed the cut. He looks like an automatic start right now. Over his last five events, McDowell has tallied four finishes of 13th or better. The Irishman ranks second in driving accuracy percentage and 11th in scoring average.

3. Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #18

Before finishing T27 at the Masters Bradley had compiled six finishes inside the top 15 over his last seven stroke play events. A year ago he finished with a respectable T26 in his first trip to TPC Louisiana. Bradley currently ranks fifth in birdie average, seventh in scoring average and first in All-Around Ranking.

4. Steve Stricker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #15

Since 2007 at TPC Louisiana, Stricker has finished 13th or better on three occasions in five starts. After winning the season opener at Kapalua, Stricker has only managed one top-10 finish in four stroke play events. Typically a very consistent player, Stricker has made 48 consecutive cuts but does not appear to be at the top of his game right now.

5. Luke Donald [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #27

In his only career Zurich Classic start, Donald finished T8 at TPC Louisiana last year. However, since winning earlier this season at Copperhead Donald finished T32 at the Masters and T37 at Harbour Town. Aside from the aforementioned win and the T6 at Doral that preceded it, Donald owns a total of three finishes outside of the top 30 in five stroke play events this season.

6. Jason Dufner [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #16

After missing the cut at the Sony Open Dufner has become a very consistent player. In eight stroke play events Dufner has compiled four top-15s and seven results inside the top 30. Dufner has been equally impressive at TPC Louisiana with three straight top-10s, including a career-best T3 last year. He sits eighth in both total driving and All-Around Ranking.

7. Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #8

While Rose’s history at TPC Louisiana is not very good (marked by two missed cuts over the last three starts), he’s playing very well right now. In his last five starts Rose won at Doral, one of three finishes inside the top 10, and has not finished worse than 29th. Rose sits third in scoring average, fifth in greens in regulation percentage and seventh in All-Around Ranking.

8. Peter Hanson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #70

Following a T3 at the Masters, Hanson recently finished T14 at the Volvo China Open, an event on the European Tour. In eight stroke play events played worldwide this year the Swede owns three top-fives, two while competing stateside. Hanson missed the cut at TPC Louisiana last year, but is playing great golf against some excellent competition.

9. Carl Pettersson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #149

After earning a share of second at the Sony Open, Pettersson went six starts without a top-30 until finishing solo second at Redstone and won at Harbour Town by five strokes. Pettersson has made three starts at TPC Louisiana since 2008 but did not manage a top-20. The Swede is playing out of his mind right now so you are starting him based on the red hot momentum he’s carrying rather than what he’s done in this event.

10. Charles Howell III [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #56

Since missing the cut at Riviera, Howell has six straight cuts with four top-20s but has yet to crack the top 15. At TPC Louisiana Howell finished T2 in 2009, T43 in 2010 and T13 last year. Howell ranks 22nd in scoring average and 29th in All-Around Ranking.

11. Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #25

A year ago Simpson experienced a major breakout campaign finishing 15 points behind Bill Haas for the FedExCup, while scoring first in All-Around Ranking. Unfortunately things have not gone as smoothly in 2012. In his last five starts Simpson owns just one top-10 finish and four results of 35th or worse. Simpson was the runner-up at TPC Louisiana last year, but his recent sag in performance would appear to set that ceiling much lower.

12. Jeff Overton [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #188

Before finishing 69th at TPC Louisiana, Overton put together finishes of solo second and T13 at the venue. Overton was also strong for much of March with a pair of top-fives and a total of four finishes inside the top 20 in five starts. While not the most consistent player, Overton has proven capable of big performances on his course.
 
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