Justin Thomas, already the winner of three PGA TOUR titles this season and currently ranked seventh in the world, will team with fellow University of Alabama alum Bud Cauley to play the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
In addition to Thomas and Cauley, three more former Zurich Classic champions announced their commitments and player partners:
- Brian Stuard (2016) with Chris Stroud
- Jason Bohn (2010) with Carl Pettersson
- K.J. Choi (2002) with Charlie Wi
Bubba Watson, who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2011, then went on to win two Masters titles, will team with J.B. Holmes in the 2017 Zurich Classic that features a new team format unique on the PGA TOUR this year, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
In addition to Watson and Holmes, two PGA TOUR players from Korea have teamed up for the 2017 Zurich Classic: 2014 champion Seung-Yul Noh and Byeong Hun An, who made the three-person playoff in the 2016 event.
“Bubba has always been a fan favorite here,” said Worthy, “and we are excited to welcome J.B. Holmes back to our tournament. Their style of play featuring imaginative shots and dramatic saves excites both casual and experienced golf fans everywhere.”
Watson, currently ranked 15th in the world, has won nine times on the PGA TOUR and is ranked 15th in all time TOUR winnings, with $35.5 million in prize money. In addition to his win in 2011, he also finished fifth in the 2007 Zurich Classic. He has played on two President’s Cup teams and three Ryder Cup teams.
The PGA TOUR Policy Board has approved an exciting new two-man team format for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans which will feature two rounds each of Foursome and Four-Ball competition.
The change will be in effect for the 2017 tournament, which is scheduled for April 24-30 at TPC Louisiana in New Orleans. It has drawn widespread interest among TOUR members and already has resulted in a couple of high-profile commitments. Announcing their participation today were the teams of World No. 1 Jason Day with Rickie Fowler, and 2015 Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion Justin Rose with Henrik Stenson, the Olympic gold and silver medalists, respectively.
The new 72-hole stroke play format will feature Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players). Each of the top available players from the PGA TOUR Priority Rankings who commits to the tournament will choose his partner, who in turn must have PGA TOUR status unless he is chosen as a tournament sponsor exemption.
Following the conclusion of the second round, there will be a cut to the low 35 teams and ties at the 35th position. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using the Four-Ball format.
Great to have 2013 Zurich Classic Champ Bill Horschel back in New Orleans
Horschel won the 2013 Zurich Classic despite two rain delays that Sunday. His 20-under 268 topped the previous-best 72-hole score at TPC Louisiana by a stroke, set by Jason Dufner and Ernie Els the year before.
The following season, Horschel fired off one of the best closing stretches in PGA TOUR history and won the 2014 FedExCup with a second in the Deutsche Bank Championship, followed by victories in the BMW Championship and the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Horschel was a three-time first-team All-American at University of Florida in 2006-07 and 2009 and a second-team selection in 2008.
Fan Favorite Rickie Fowler ready to compete for this year’s Title!
Fowler enjoyed a break-through year last season, winning twice on the PGA TOUR, including the prestigious Players Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship in the FedExCup Playoffs. In addition, he won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on the European Tour in 2015. He ended last season ranked fourth in FedExCup points and money winnings, a career high in both.
He has carried his hot hand into the 2015-16 season, with a win at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship earlier this year and four top 10 finishes on the PGA TOUR so far.
World Number One, Jason Day, ready to contend at this year’s Zurich Classic
Justin Rose completed a 7-under 65 in the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning and closed with a 66 at TPC Louisiana for his seventh PGA TOUR title. He finished at 22-under 266, a record total on the course southwest of New Orleans that has hosted the city’s PGA TOUR stop 10 times since 2005.
The Englishman has won at least once in six straight seasons, the second-longest streak on the tour behind Dustin Johnson’s eight straight. He moved from 82nd to 15th in the FedExCup standings.