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  • David David Mar 24, 2008 7:44 PM Flag

    Power Rankings: Zurich Classic

    Well the streak is over for Tiger. I actually believed that he had a legitimate chance to challenge Byron’s streak, but I certainly did not expect the streak to end at an event that Tiger has owned. I guess its time to start preparing for the real challenge --- winning the grand slam. Anyways, this week features a lower-tier event with a surprisingly strong field compared to last year (5 of the top 20 in the world are here). Selecting players may be a little more challenging than usual this week since this event has changed courses several times over the last 4 years. Keep that in mind when looking at track record. The event will be played at the TPC Louisiana course for the 3rd time (the ’07 and ’05 events were also held there). Ok, on to this week’s rankings. Note: if a player is not listed, it is likely that they are not worthy of selection and should be avoided for the week. However, it is possible that I may have overlooked somebody, so please feel free to respond and let me know about my omission. Thanks.

    A List:

    1. Padraig Harrington -- Is quietly having a solid season with 2 top-15 finishes in 2 stroke play events. Has not played in a PGA event since Match Play but that should not matter, he is a top player and will quickly shake off the rust. His track record is very solid with finishes of 11 and 9 in ’06 and ’05, but only the ’05 event took place at this week’s venue.

    2. Steve Stricker -- Looks to be rounding into form after a 6th place finish at the CA Championship this past week, which included a very impressive final round 63 (-9). Has played in the New Orleans event each of the past 6 years with 4 top-25 finishes. The only negative is that he has missed the cut twice in those 6 years and has never finished higher than 11th.

    3. Jim Furyk -- Has played very solidly the past 2 weeks and had a very good chance to win the CA Championship this past week before settling for 2nd. Would normally find his name atop this list, but he has no record on this course, so its hard to know how his game will fare.

    4. Mark Calcavecchia -- Seems to be in contention quite frequently this year, but has only converted it into 2 top-10 finishes. Has a relatively strong record at this event with finishes of 5th and 25th the past 2 years.

    5. Woody Austin -- After a remarkable ’07 season, Austin has really fallen on hard times as he has yet to record a top-10 finish in ’08. If he is going to get it turned around it is a good bet that it will happen at this event. He has finishes of 18, 25, 5, and 7 in the last 5 years. However, he did miss the cut in ’04 but that took place at a different course.

    6. Zach Johnson -- Much like Austin in that he has really struggled this year after having an outstanding ’07 season. But, on a positive note, Johnson played very well at the CA Championship and recorded his first top-10 finish of the year. Has no record at this week’s course, but was cut in his only appearance in this event in ’06.

    7. David Toms -- I’m sure that Toms will be looking forward to coming home this week because it has been a nightmare of a season for him (no top-10 finishes and has been cut in 3 of 4 stroke play events). He is a former winner of this event (’01) but that took place on a different course. He has yet to break the top-40 at the current venue.

    8. Carl Pettersson -- Been an up and down season for Pettersson, but looks to be getting on a roll (finished 8th at the Palmer event which followed a 23rd finish the week before). Has some success in New Orleans as he finished 15th in ’04 on a different course. Missed the cut in ’05 in his only outing on this week’s course.

    ***Continued in next message***

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    • B List:

      1. Lucas Glover -- I know you’re probably thinking “Excuse me…what??? Are my eyes deceiving me??” Well they are not, and no I did not make a mistake here. While it is true that Glover has struggled mightily this year (no top-10 finishes), it is really hard to ignore his track record at this event. He has posted finishes of 8, 7, and 3 the past three years in New Orleans and 2 of those finishes came at this week’s venue. And it doesn’t matter how he is playing coming in, he finds a way to contend here.

      2. Retief Goosen -- It is great to see Retief playing well and in contention again. I was starting to think that he had that “disease” that has plagued David Duval. Goosen would probably find himself atop the rankings this week except for the fact he has no track record at this venue. He is familiar with the area as he finished 25th in ’06 on a different layout.

      3. John Mallinger -- Has played very well in ’08 missing only 1 cut and posting 2 top-10 finishes. Played very well on this course last year when he finished tied for 3rd.

      4. Nick Watney -- Defending champion rule is definitely not in place this week. Has been showing some signs recently and was in contention until the weekend at the Arnold Palmer. His game fits this course perfectly as he is a long hitter and hits lots of greens.

      5. Stewart Cink -- Showed some signs this past week of moving on after that collapse at the PODS, but still had some consistency problems. Just couldn’t put 4 good rounds together. He is a top player though, and slips to 5th in the rankings because he has no record on this layout and has not played in New Orleans since ’03.

      6. Daniel Chopra -- Has really fallen on hard times since his win to open the year in Hawaii. He has yet to break the top-30 since. But he began to show some signs this past week at the CA Championship of breaking out of it and he returns to a layout where he has played very well. He finished 15th last year and 9th in ’05.

      7. Bubba Watson -- Was tied for the lead heading into the final round 2 weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer, but slipped a little on Sunday and settled for a tie for 8th. Has been up and down all year but it is promising that he is coming in off his first top-10 of the year. Watson has a strong record in New Orleans finishing 5th last year on this year’s course and finishing 31st in ’06.

      8. Ryuji Imada -- Ended his streak of top-10s this past week at the CA Championship, but still played pretty well against a strong field. Has not had much luck on this week’s layout, finishing 66th last year and 31st in ’05. But Imada has surprised a lot this year, so do not rule him out because this is a weak field compared to this past week.

      9. Anthony Kim -- Looks to be experiencing the sophomore slump. Except for a 3rd place finish in his first event of the year at the Bob Hope, he has really struggled not finishing above 30th. Did show some signs overseas a couple weeks ago and did play very well on this course a year ago finishing in a tie for 3rd.

      10. Bo Van Pelt -- Many of you may not be aware of the “other” event that took place this past week in Puerto Rico. Well, Van Pelt played extremely well in it and should have won except for faltering a bit on the back nine (could be disturbing depending on how you want to look at it). Has a strong record on this week’s course finishing 28th last year and 5th in ’05.

      11. Ken Duke -- Don’t let his 6th place finish 2 weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer fool you. Duke has really struggled in ’08 missing 5 cuts and not finishing higher than 67th in the events other than the Palmer Invite. He did finish 2nd at the Zurich last year but he was playing much more consistently a year ago.

      12. J.J. Henry -- Does not have much to show for his ’08 season. He has yet to finish higher than 30th. But he was in contention for a little while at the Arnold Palmer, so that is promising. Finished 5th on this layout in ’05.

      • 1 Reply to David
      • ***B List Continued***

        13. Tim Petrovic -- Seems to like this week’s course as he won this event in ’05 and finished 24th last year. Not the most dependable player and has not exactly been on fire in ’08 (his only top-10 finish was at the Mayakoba and an extremely weak field).

        14. Mike Weir -- Its funny to see a player of his caliber this far down on the rankings. But he has yet to break the top-10 after a strong performance to open the year in Hawaii. And it does not help that he has no record on this week’s course.

        C List:

        1. Tim Clark -- Really struggled early in ’08 missing the cut in his first 3 tournaments. But he is coming off a 12th place finish at Doral, and when he has it going he is one of the most consistent players on Tour. He is somewhat familiar with the layout (finished 21st in ’05).

        2. Steve Marino -- Has been remarkably consistent this year making the cut in all 9 of tournaments he has played in. The only downside is that he has only been able to post 1 top-10 and that was against a weak field in Mexico. If you are worried about one of your guys making the cut this week, Marino would be the guy to pair him with (but don’t expect much more than a made cut). He missed the cut in his only appearance in this event last year.

        3. John Merrick -- Has played very well in ’08 with 4 top-20 finishes and he seems to like these weaker field events. He is coming in off a solid finish of 13th in Puerto Rico and he played well on this layout last year finishing 18th.

        4. Brian Davis -- Had a really good chance to win a couple weeks ago at the Honda and he appears to be playing much better than he was at the beginning of the year. He missed the cut on this course in ’07 but had a solid finish of 15th in ’05.

        5. Chris Dimarco -- I know you are probably going to say “he is washed up” or something very similar. Well, based upon his play in ’08 I really could not argue much. But, he played much better overseas a couple weeks ago and has a very solid record in New Orleans. He has 3 top-10 finishes in New Orleans over the past 6 years and one of them came on this week’s layout in ’05. However, he did not fare very well here last year as he finished 80th.

        6. Joe Durant -- With a quick glance at his track record you would probably think that Durant would be a great pick for this week. But, if you look closer, you will see that his 4th place finish in ’06 and 10th place finish in ’04 took place on another course. His record on this week’s layout includes a MC last year and a 52nd place finish in ’05. He has played very well in ’08 so he could still be considered a sleeper pick.

        7. Tom Pernice, Jr. -- Played extremely well in his last 2 events (finished 10th and 8th) and overall has played pretty well in ’08. Doesn’t have much record at this event but did finish 31st in ’05 on this same course.

        8. Kenny Perry -- Has been consistent in ’08 only missing one cut and that was his opening event in Hawaii. But he has only been able to convert the made cuts into 1 top-10. He is battling a hip/leg problem that supposedly does not affect him during his swing but bothers him when he walks. Has not fared well on this layout finishing 66th last year, but this course would seem to suit him since his a long hitter and hits lots of greens.


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