FORE! Examiner Weekend Golf Guide - April 19 

There aren’t too many times during the PGA season where the big names take a step back and there is still a great story in the field. But this week, the PGA stops in the Big Easy for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. WhileBoo Weekley’s first career win is nice to talk about, this will mark the PGA’s return to this event’s site since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana. So it would be quite the story if LSU alum and Louisiana native David Toms would walk away with the tournament title. The course, which was already being renovated when the massive storm struck, has been bolstered by $2 million worth of improvements, including some significant modifications.

This could be the week for another first-time winner on the PGA Tour. There are 29 players making their New Orleans debut and all but two of those have yet to hoist a championship trophy — but that could be a good thing. Seven of the past 11 winners of this event notched their first victory here.

Looking for a little history? How about this: The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf can be credited for helping spawn the Champions Tour. In 1978 — when it was an event of two-man teams — Sam Snead and Gardner Dickinson won the inaugural tournament at Onion Creek in Austin, Texas. For whatever reason, this tournament did not become an official event on the senior circuit until 2002, when it switched to stroke play.

WHAT COMES AROUND

Rich Beem tried to give his caddie the car he won for his hole-in-one on No. 14 at the Nissan Open. Problem is, Billy Heim was flattered, but thought Beem should ask his wife first. That just created more problems. Eventually, Beem put several names into a hat — including that of his maid and mother-in-law. Whose name was pulled? Heim’s.

THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES

PGA

EVENT: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

WHEN: Today-Sunday

WHERE: Avondale, La.

COURSE: TPC Louisiana, par 72

DEFENDING CHAMP: Chris Couch

LPGA

EVENT: Corona Champ-ionship

WHEN: April 26-29

WHERE: Morelia, Mexico

COURSE: Tres Marias Golf Club

DEFENDING CHAMP: Lorena Ochoa

CHAMPIONS

EVENT: Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf

WHEN: Friday-Sunday

WHERE: Savannah, Ga.

COURSE: Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa, par 72

DEFENDING CHAMP: Jay Haas

NATIONWIDE

EVENT: Athens Regional Foundation Classic

WHEN: Today-Sunday

WHERE: Bogart, Ga.

COURSE: Jennings Mill Country Club, par 72

DEFENDING CHAMP: Paul Gow

EURO PGA

EVENT: BMW Asian Open

WHEN: Today-Sunday

WHERE: Shanghai, China

COURSE: Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club, par 72

DEFENDING CHAMP: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

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