It’s a family affair – Brooks Koepka picks his brother Chase as teammate for the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
And former world # 1 Luke Donald will partner with Jamie Lovemark, who made the playoff in 2016 Zurich Classic
NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 23, 2017)—Brooks Koepka, currently ranked 24th in the world, has picked his brother Chase to team with him in the 2017 Zurich Classic, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“Our new team format is attracting a number of interesting pairings, and the Koepka brothers will be one of the most unusual,” said Worthy. “We are delighted to offer an exemption so Brooks and Chase can play together for the first time not just in their professional careers but in their entire lives,” Worthy added.
Brooks revealed in an interview on Golf Channel this week prior to the start of the World Golf Championship—Dell Technologies Match Play that he and Chase have never played together.
Brooks has won once on the PGA TOUR and six times internationally. His best finish this season was second in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. He last played the Zurich Classic in 2014, when he finished tied for 21st.
He was a member of the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2016, when he was one of the team leaders with three wins.
He is one of the longest drivers on the PGA TOUR, ranking sixth in driving distance.
His brother Chase currently plays on the European Challenge Tour, where his older brother also launched his path to the PGA TOUR.
Chase played collegiately at University of South Florida, where he was named Big East Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. He holds the USF record for most wins in a college career.
In addition to the Koepka team, Luke Donald, who was ranked #1 in the world for a total of 56 weeks in 2011-2012, will partner in this year’s Zurich Classic with Jamie Lovemark, who made the playoff in last year’s tournament.
Donald has won five times of the PGA TOUR and eight times internationally. He is one of only 16 players to make all ten FedExCup Playoffs since the format was launched.
He has played on four Ryder Cup teams and three World Cup teams as a pro, plus two Walker Cup teams while he played collegiately at Northwestern. His Ryder Cup record is a sterling 8-2-1, and he is undefeated in six Foursomes matches.
He joined the PGA TOUR in 2001 after college and has amassed more than $35 million in earnings, good for 17th all-time on TOUR.
He last played the Zurich Classic in 2012. His third place finish that year vaulted him back to the number one ranking in the world.
Lovemark is still pursuing his first PGA TOUR win but came closest in last year’s Zurich Classic, when he qualified for the three-man playoff. He made par at the par-5 final hole of regulation play, missing a 10-foot putt that would have won the tournament.
So far this season, his best finishes have been a tie for fourth in the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for sixth in the RSM Classic.
The latest commitments add to what is shaping up as the strongest field in years for the Zurich Classic, with four players ranked in the world’s top 10.
Already announced are the teams of Jason Day with Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose with Henrik Stenson in this year’s unique team format. Day was ranked number one in the world for 47 weeks and is currently third. Fowler is ranked 9th in the world, Rose is 13th and Stenson is fifth.
Also entered are Justin Thomas, winner of three tournaments this season and currently ranked 7th in the world, along with Bubba Watson, 2011 Zurich Classic champion, currently ranked 17th.
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 a field of 80 teams. Following the conclusion of the second round, the field will be 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.