A trip down the bayou for the US Tour as TPC Louisiana holds it 10th consecutive Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Course-form ponies have rewarded us in the past fortnight (Brandon Grace won 40/1, Billy Horschel T4 @ 33/1 last week), but with 7 of the last 11 winners in The Big Easy being Tour maidens, blindly backing safety-first plodders could see your stake sink faster than Netflix shares.
But with a couple of proven Tour winners dominating the market and Paddy paying 1/5th the odds the first 7 places there may be some juice yet to be squeezed from the Pelican State by looking outside the box.
1. Justin Rose
The reigning champ shot the course record when posting a 22-under par as he birdied the last two home to see off Cameron Tringale.
Rose is chasing an eighth US Tour win and with the European rookies stacking up for Ryder Cup selections Darren Clarke will want one of his veterans at the top of his game through the summer ahead of the September’s smash-up.
The English pro hasn’t been missed in the market but having finished no worse than T15 in last four outings here he’s well placed to record a seventh win in seven seasons on the US Tour.
2. Rickie Fowler
The one-time clothes horse was tanking along earlier in the season with five Top 10s finished earlier in the season before the wheels came off after a disastrous opening day at the US Masters.
Fowler hasn’t been seen since but will want to get back in the groove quick ahead of the defence of his Players’ Championship title in Sawgrass in a fortnight’s time. While a 10th place visit was his highest posting in his first three visits to the course, he’s missed consecutive cuts in his last two trips and needs to make the weekend at least to shake off any rustiness in his game.
3. Jason Day
The World No 1 held the lead here going into the final day before Rose jumped on the birdie bus to leave the Aussie in his rear-view mirror back in T4.
A back-to-back winner on Tour ahead of a respectable US Masters T10, Day paid for his labours with a fatigued T23 at Harbour Town behind Brandon Grace after blowing his chance with an opening day 79.
Dodged the Valero Texas Open last week to recharge his batteries but looks a win-only proposition on his pre-tournament odds.
4. Billy Horschel
A case of close but no cigar for one of the most intense players on the US Tour in Texas last weekend and actually looked just as happy that Charley Hoffman finally got it over the line at TPC San Antonio.
A birdie on the 18th saw him finish T4 in the Lone Star State but as a previous winner in New Orleans in 2013, the graph continues to go in the right direction as he chases a first US Tour win since his Fed Ex bonanza in 2014.
5. Daniel Berger
Took the Rookie of the Year mantle last season and was just denied a play-off win by old war horse Padraig Harrington in the Honda Classic last March.
A T6 debut finish to Justin Rose last season and the past form of maidens popping their cherries at TPC Louisiana means Berger fits the profile of someone who could out-run his odd this week.
Added to that is his current form of two Top 10 finishes at the Shell Houston Open (T5) and US Masters (T10) and Berger might just be ready to take a flier up from his 47th place in the world rankings this weekend.
6. Scott Stallings
From making a case for most of the best-backed we land on Scott Stallings. A value selection if nothing else, the Tennesse Tech graduate had a run of six consecutive missed cuts before he made the weekend in Texas before signing off with a T13 behind Charley Hoffman.
But even his Louisiana form reads four MC’s before last year’s 22nd place finish to Justin Rose. His odds reflect his chance.
7. Danny Lee
Broke his Tour duck when winning the Greenbrier Classic last year which sparked a consistent run of form that eventually saw him finish ninth in the Fed-Ex standings to Jordan Spieth.
The 25-year-old has been going through the gears at most courses Staeside since joining the Tour full time in 2012 and has finished 25th and 22nd for the past two years. Fourth place at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is the high-point of the year to date but T17 at the Masters was undone a little by missing the cut at the RBC Heritage a week later.
But he wasn’t the only one guilty of that.