Bello has never played Zurich Classic; Garcia last played in 2010
NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 6, 2018)—Defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia, ranked 11th in the world, has committed to team with Rafael Cabrera Bello, ranked 21st in the world, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
Cabrera Bello has never played the Zurich Classic, and Garcia last played here in 2010.
“We are delighted to welcome Sergio back to our tournament,” said Worthy. “His play has electrified fans around the world for nearly two decades,” added Worthy. “We are equally excited to welcome Rafa Cabrera Bello to his debut in New Orleans at the Zurich Classic,” said Worthy. “He is playing only his second full year on the PGA TOUR, successfully partnered with Sergio Garcia in the 2016 Ryder Cup and just tied for third in the WGC Mexico Championship.”
Garcia has won 10 times on the PGA TOUR and 21 times internationally, including 12 European Tour titles. He broke through with his first major title at the 2017 Masters when he birdied the first playoff hole to beat Justin Rose, the 2015 Zurich Classic winner.
He has won more than $47 million on the PGA TOUR, ranking seventh all time.
He has played on eight Ryder Cup European teams and twice each on Seve Trophy and Dunhill Cup teams. He also represented Spain in the 2016 Olympics, when Rose won the gold medal.
He set a record as the youngest player to made the cut on the European Tour at age 14, and won his first tournament, the Catalonian Open, at 17. In 1999 at age 19, he was named the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.
Cabrera Bello has won three times on the European Tour. He was also a prodigy, as he began playing golf at 6 years old and won the Spanish National Championship every year from age 7 to age 18. Ironically, he made his European Tour debut in 2002 at Open de Espana and was within striking distance of Sergio Garcia before finishing tied for fourth, six strokes behind Garcia.
This season, his best finishes have been a tie for third in the WGC-Mexico Championship, fifth in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and a tie for 10th in the CIMB Classic.
With Garcia, he represented Spain in the 2016 Olympics. He and Garcia went 1-0-1 playing as a team in the 2016 European Ryder Cup. He also made the World Cup in 2013 and 2016.
The Zurich Classic is the only team tournament on the PGA TOUR season. This year’s 72-hole stroke team play format will feature Four-Ball (best ball) during the first and third rounds and Foursomes (alternate shot) during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of 80 teams. Following the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low 35 teams and ties. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using the Four-Ball format.