Go for a Big Easy breakthrough

  • By: David John (Twitter: @SLifeDaveJohn)
  • Last Updated: April 24 2013, 12:09 BST

David John is looking to a quartet of maidens on the PGA Tour to potentially break their duck in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Matt Jones: Can be spurred on by Scott's major win
Matt Jones: Can be spurred on by Scott's major win

The Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana welcomes back the Zurich Classic of New Orleans again and with eight of the last 10 winners breaking their duck on the PGA Tour, punters are asked to potentially take a leap of faith.

Such is the speed that competition moves in the USA these days it doesn't take long to be labelled lacking the fortitude to claim a victory but whatever is in the air in the Big Easy, it seems to give the wannabes that little extra push towards glory.

The focus this week then will be to try to pinpoint the man who is on the brink of the breakthrough and first out of the hat is Jeff Overton at 50/1.

It looked a matter of when rather than if the floodgates would open for him after he qualified - then played exceptionally well - in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor while still a maiden on the Tour.

Alas, we are still waiting for that first title but 2013 could see him finally achieve his goal after getting engaged last winter and seemingly being able to focus more clearly on what he needs to achieve.

He said at the start of the season in Hawaii: "Obviously the goal is to get a win, first thing. I haven't won, and like get the monkey off your back. That's my biggest goal."

He managed a top-10 finish in that event but has blown a little bit cold up until recently where she showed definite signs of form in Houston (T27) and San Antonio (T7).

New Orleans remains a happy hunting ground for Overton having chased home Jason Bohn in 2010, feeling it was the latter who very much won the tournament with a strong finish rather than giving it to him on a plate.

Overton posted another fair effort here 12 months ago (T18) and his form coming in fits a similar profile this time around, certainly enough to expect a positive display.

Exciting duo Marcel Siem and Thorbjorn Olesen fly the flag for Europe along with market leader Justin Rose as Olesen has managed to take his excellent form from the European Tour across the Pond.

He produced a terrific final round at the Masters to finish T6 and only the fact he is seeing these courses for the first time competitively tempers enthusiasm.

Another player who tends to feel the wrath of punters is Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge but maybe his time has finally arrived.

Odds of 40/1 are probably fairly representative of his chance but I watched him closely last week in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town as he looked like really getting involved again at the business end.

The putter was cold throughout the front nine on Sunday though as effort after effort failed to drop. The really tricky conditions and perhaps his own frustration got the better of him turning for home and a back nine of 39 saw him slip back into the pack.

The overriding feeling though is de Jonge is playing some quality golf with four top-11s from his last six starts and I really can see him getting in position once again over the weekend.

His last two starts here have produced his best results (T26-T18) so it comes down to the belief he will at last get across the line.

As mentioned in my preview of the Ballantine's Championship on the European Tour, Australian golf is enjoying a fantastic spell so Matt Jones could be a player to have on your side at 125/1.

Jones could be more inspired than all of his compatriots as he is a close friend of Adam Scott and seeing him land the Green Jacket in such dramatic fashion must be tremendous for his motivation.

"I grew up playing junior golf with Adam. We're always competing against each other," he said and perhaps the stars may just have aligned in his favour.

With his friend's win fresh in the memory he returns to a course where he has already posted two top-10s, while it does not need him to take a huge step up in his current consistent form to make him a major player.

Finally, I love a local connection and last year's US Open T4 John Peterson could be interesting at 175/1.

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Peterson has had experience playing this course from his college career and his affinity for the state means he now resides in Baton Rouge.

So very much a home fixture for Peterson and it is worth noting that he posted a T10 at the back end of last month in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard.

So expect a few 'Go Tigers' shouts to gee him a long - anything is better than that awful 'mashed potato' nonsense.


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