Monday, March 31, 2008

Events Like the Zurich...

The Zurich Classic champions roll call is a who's who of first time (and mostly only time) winners on the PGA Tour in recent years. Think of the illustrious winners of the event and who they have gone on to become:

2005 Tim Petrovic
2006 Chris Couch
2007 Nick Watney
2008 Andres Romero

Ummm. Now, there have been solid winners in the past - among them DL3, Vijay, etc - so excellent champions are not out of the reach of this event. But, in six of the last seven playings of the tournament, the event has produced all first time champions. What does that say about the event? Does it say that the fields are usually so weak that it is more likely that there will be a first time winner than a repeat champion? Is it the character of the two host courses - English Turn and TPC Louisiana - that make first timers much more likely?

Unfortunately for the people of New Orleans, I think it is much more likely that this event has fallen stature to weak field status. That seems weird to say considering that Retief Goosen, Jim Furyk, and Stewart Cink were in the field this week. But, look at the rest of the field and the final round leaderboard. It does not exactly compare well to the leaderboard at the end of the CA Championship. Not that it should be able to compare well, but it would be nice if it was close.

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