Power Rankings: Zurich Classic


After a windy weekend along the South Carolina coast, the PGA Tour heads to the bayou this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Several of the game's best will look to go low at TPC Louisiana, with two of the Tour's marquee events now on deck.

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Jason Dufner returns to defend the title he won a year ago in a playoff voer Ernie Els, marking his first career PGA Tour victory. Here are 10 players to watch this week in the Crescent City:

1. Jason Dufner: His 2013 campaign has been solid though unspectacular, with six top-35 finishes in nine starts, but no top 10s. That may change in New Orleans, where he capped a streak of four straight years inside the top 10 with his victory last year.

2. Justin Rose: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, Rose has notched top-25 finishes in each of his five PGA Tour starts this year, including a runner-up at Bay Hill. The Englishman is making his fifth straight appearance at TPC Louisiana, having tied for 10th a year ago.

Fantasy Challenge: Sobel, McMurry with Zurich Classic picks

3. Bubba Watson: The 2011 champion tied for 18th last year in defense of his title, and this season has five top-20 finishes in seven starts. On a course where birdies will fly early and often, Watson leads the Tour in par-4 birdie or better percentage.

4. Freddie Jacobson: It's been nearly three months since the Swede missed the cut in Phoenix, and since then he hasn't finished outside the top 25. Making his first start at TPC Louisiana, Jacobson enters the week fifth on Tour in total putting and seventh in scoring average.

5. Billy Horschel: Still arguably the hottest player in golf, Horschel is now riding a streak of three straight top-10 finishes after his tie for ninth at Harbour Town. The active leader in made cuts (22) is showing no signs of giving up that streak anytime soon.

6. Rickie Fowler: Fowler tied for 26th in his Zurich debut in 2011, then improved to a tie for 10th last year. His missed cut in Phoenix marks the only week he's been outside the top 40 this year, and Fowler currently sits 15th on Tour in the all-around ranking and 20th in par breakers.

7. Keegan Bradley: Though he struggled over the weekend at Augusta National, Bradley had four straight top-10 finishes prior to the Masters. He tied for 26th here in 2011, and enters this week sixth on Tour in total driving and seventh in scoring average.

8. Charles Howell III: Still reeling from his unsuccessful marathon attempt to make the Masters field this spring, Howell missed the cut last week in Hilton Head. He should bounce back this week, though, with a pair of top-15 finishes at TPC Louisiana in the last four years, including a tie for second in 2009.

9. Cameron Tringale: Perhaps not among the household names expected to contend this week, Tringale has gotten increasingly better each year at Zurich: T-28 in 2010, T-18 in 2011, T-7 in 2012. He also has three top-25 finishes in his last seven overall starts, including a third-place finish in Tampa last month.

10. John Rollins: Despite a missed cut at Harbour Town, Rollins has been one of the more consistent players in 2013, with six top-25 finishes in 10 starts. His record in New Orleans is equally consistent: T-13, T-21, T-26 and T-7 each of the last four years at TPC Louisiana.