The 24th event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to the Big Easy for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. A field of 144 will tackle TPC Louisiana, where seven of the past 10 champions have been first-time winners.
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Seung-Yul Noh won this event a year ago by two shots over Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb. Here are 10 players to watch in New Orleans:
1. Justin Rose: The Englishman enters off a runner-up finish at the Masters and now tees it up on a course where he has cracked the top 15 each of the past three years. After a slow start to the season, Rose appears to be finding his form and a friendly venue like TPC Louisiana will only accelerate that process.
2. Dustin Johnson: Perhaps the hottest player on Tour not named "Spieth," Johnson has five top-10 finishes in his last six starts, including a T-6 finish at the Masters. Johnson won earlier this season at Doral and while his lone prior Zurich start was a missed cut in 2008, his current form is strong enough to trump any lack of course knowledge.
3. Keegan Bradley: Bradley appeared in line to win this event a year ago, playing in Sunday's final pairing before fading to T-8. He returns off a pair of top-25 finishes in Houston and Augusta, including a final-round 68 at the Masters, and currently leads the PGA Tour in total driving.
4. Jason Day: The Aussie is making his first trip to New Orleans since 2009, and it comes on the heels of a somewhat disappointing T-28 finish at the Masters where he never contended. Day won in San Diego and has been remarkably solid this season, with no finish worse than T-31 in seven starts. He should be able to continue that trend this week.
5. Harris English: English barely missed out on a Masters invite via the OWGR, but his season has still been a solid one: seven top-30 finishes in his last nine starts, including a T-3 finish at the Sony Open and a playoff loss at Torrey Pines. English last played Zurich in 2013, when he finished T-6 after a final-round 67.
6. Morgan Hoffmann: Hoffmann flirted with victory last month at Bay Hill and followed it with another strong showing last week, finishing ninth at Harbour Town. He sandwiched those around a respectable T-28 Masters debut and has cracked the top 35 in each of his two prior Zurich starts, shooting 70 or better in six of eight rounds.
7. Brendan Steele: Steele has been a cut-making machine, playing the weekend in each of 12 starts this season and finishing inside the top 25 in four of his last five events. He was a runner-up at the Humana Challenge in January and has made the cut in each of his two previous trips to TPC Louisiana.
8. Rickie Fowler: Fowler rallied for a T-12 finish at Augusta National but remains in search of his first top-10 finish since his season-opening start in China in November. Fowler missed the cut at this event last year but his record at TPC Louisiana is otherwise solid, with three straight top-35 finishes highlighted by a T-10 finish in 2012.
9. Cameron Tringale: Tringale has a strong track record at this event, with three top-20 finishes in his last four starts including a T-7 finish in 2012. While he missed the cut at Hilton Head, it was his first MC in nine starts and he tied for fifth earlier this month at the Shell Houston Open.
10. Steve Stricker: The veteran is making a rare start, just his second tournament since hip surgery in December, but he knows his way around TPC Louisiana. Stricker last played here in 2012, finishing sixth, and each of his last three starts in this event have netted top-15 finishes. He finished a solid T-28 at the Masters in his return from the disabled list.