This week the PGA Tour descends upon the Crescent City, as players will look to make their birdies early and often at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Here's a look at some of the featured groups for the first and second rounds at TPC Louisiana (all times CDT; click here for full-field tee times):
7:30 a.m. (10th tee): Jason Dufner, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson
Having notched his first career PGA Tour victory here a year ago, Dufner will begin defense of his title alongside two former Zurich champions. Watson won at TPC Louisiana in 2011 and tied for 18th in his return last year, while Watney recorded his first career win when he left with the trophy in 2007.
7:30 a.m. (1st tee): John Merrick, Charlie Beljan, Aaron Baddeley
Two months ago, Merrick and Beljan found themselves together during a playoff at the Northern Trust Open, won by Merrick on the first extra hole. They'll now have two days to reminisce about their brief time together at Riviera while playing alongside Baddeley, who is making just his second appearance in New Orleans since 2007.
7:40 a.m. (10th tee): Scott Piercy, David Toms, K.J. Choi
Following his marathon Q & A session on Twitter Monday, Piercy finds himself playing the first two rounds with players that won this event in consecutive years when it was staged at English Turn. Toms triumphed in 2001, a precursor to his PGA Championship win later that summer, while Choi took the trophy from him the following year when he won by four shots. Both have contended here since, with Toms tying for fifth in 2009 and Choi finishing tied for third in 2011.
12:30 p.m. (1st tee): Michael Thompson, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler
In his first appearance at TPC Louisiana, Els fell to Dufner in a playoff a year ago, one of many close calls the South African had in 2012 before his triumph at Royal Lytham. He returns this year hoping to improve on that runner-up finish, and will play the first two rounds with Thompson – a surprise winner at the Honda Classic – who fired a Sunday 67 at Augusta National earlier this month, and Fowler, who has three top-10 finishes already to his credit this season.
12:40 p.m. (1st tee): Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Billy Horschel
A winner could very well emerge from this group, as these three have combined for 17 top-25 finishes thus far in 2013. Horschel enters off a tie for ninth at Harbour Town, his third straight top-10 result, while Bradley had four straight top 10s before his tie for 54th at the Masters. Rose, the highest-ranked player in this week's field, has been inside the top 25 in each of his five starts this year on the PGA Tour and was a runner-up to Tiger Woods at Bay Hill just last month.