'Oh, it's night and day. I mean, it was unbelievable,' Trahan said after firing a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
This tournament, which is playing opposite the star-studded WGC-American Express Championship, was postponed by four weeks last year.
It was one of the more trivial things affected by Hurricane Katrina and its unprecedented devastation on the region (Madison is located about 3 1/2 hours due north of New Orleans).
Heath Slocum won with a 21-under-par score, playing in ideal scoring conditions and on soft greens. This year, new Bermuda grass has made the greens more difficult to hit.
'I honestly didn't know that they were changing the greens until we got here, so it was quite a shock,' said Trahan. 'What a great decision on their part because the greens are phenomenal and it's a totally different golf course this year.'
More of a thinking man's course, as one player described Thursday.
'Absolutely,' agreed Trahan, who finished 12th last year. 'When you are in the middle of the fairway, you actually have to think...You are almost thinking that you can't honestly go at that pin because it is almost impossible to stop it on the green.'
Trahan had eight birdies and one bogey in his round and closed strong with a 5-under 31 on the back nine. Currently 142nd on the money list, the second-year PGA TOUR player is shooting for a good finish to improve his position.
Only a top-125 finish on the money list will garner Trahan his card for next season.
'You're trying to block it out, because you're out there playing,' Trahan said. 'Obviously, your position on the money list isn't going to help you at all if you are thinking about it while you are on the golf course.
'If you're obsessed with loathing over that, you might as well do that over dinner or something because it's going to be a detriment to you over the golf course.'
Trahan has held only one other overnight lead on the PGA TOUR -- following the third round at last year's Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, where he finished tied for 13th.
A one-time winner on the Nationwide Tour, his best-ever finish on the PGA TOUR was a fourth-place tie at the U.S. Bank Championship in July.
'I'm certainly hoping for some good things coming down the last few weeks here,' Trahan said.
Glen Day, Nick Watney and Gabriel Hjertstedt both shot 5-under 67 to share second place behind Trahan. Day believes the winning score this year will be significantly lower than in the past.
'I say five or six shots (lower),' he said. 'I say 15 or 16 under.'
Sharing fifth place at 4-under 68 were Ted Purdy, Skip Kendall, Brad Faxon, Jason Gore, Mathias Gronberg and Henrik Bjornstad.
Fred Funk, a two-time champion, led a group of six players who were tied for 11th place at 3-under 69.