Avondale: One year ago, Jason Dufner's victory at the Zurich Classic made him the fifth player in the last eight years to celebrate his maiden PGA Tour triumph in New Orleans. This weekend, Dufner will try to become the first repeat winner in the Big Easy since Carlos Franco in 2000. But even if Dufner remains beset by the inconsistency that has kept him out of the top 10 this season, the odds of yet another first-time winner at the Zurich seem increasingly slim.
Dufner is one of eight former winners of the New Orleans tour stop who are back at TPC Louisiana, a Pete Dye-designed course carved out of cypress swamp just southwest of the city, and home to the Zurich Classic since 2005. In fact, he'll tee off with two of them - Bubba Watson and Nick Watney - in Thursday's first round.
"In the last three or four years, it seems like this has become a great spot for premier players to come," Dufner said. "This even is becoming more and more of a place that guys enjoy coming to play and one of the premier events other than the majors and the World Golf events."
More than 60 players in the Zurich Classic Field already have a PGA Tour victory to their name. Four of them have already won events this year: John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Michael Thompson (Honda Classic), D.A. Points (Houston Open) and Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open)....