Winners and Losers at Zurich Classic: A Fan's Opinion

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is in the books. Jason Dufner picked up his first PGA Tour win when he held off Ernie Els in a playoff.

This was obviously a significant moment for Dufner. Ever since his strong effort at the 2011 PGA Championship, Dufner has seemed like a rising star in golf. Now he finally has a win to his credit. He was obviously the biggest winner at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but several other golfers came up big. Of course, some had disappointing performances as well.

Here is a look at the winners and losers at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans:

Winner - Ernie Els

Els came very close to picking up the win he desperately needs. Despite falling short, he should still feel pretty confident. He was consistent in all four rounds and ended up at a remarkable 19-under par for the tournament, tying Dufner for the four-round record there. Els looks like he will be a factor this summer and that is a good thing for one of the biggest fan favorites out there.

Winner - Luke Donald

Donald didn't win but he did prove why he is among the best golfers in the world. He finished third despite shooting a 73 in the first round. He was sharp in the final three rounds and should have some confidence back as he prepares for a busy stretch. The memory of his last two tournaments should be replaced by his solid performance here.

Loser - Keegan Bradley

The 2011 PGA champion has looked very up and down so far in 2012. Unfortunately, this was a down performance. Bradley shot one over through the first two rounds and missed the cut. This is the kind of event that he needs to make a run at if he wants to be considered among the elite. This was a step back, and it will be important for him to respond in the coming weeks.

Loser - Nick Watney

Watney is one of the better young players in golf, but he only has one top-10 finish in 2012, and that came in a match play event. He missed the cut after shooting two rounds over par and hasn't really been a threat this year. He will be under some pressure at the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship.

* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played golf since high school.

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