Field for 2022 event now features 10 of the top 15 players in the world
NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 11, 2022)—Joaquin Niemann of Chile, just 23 years old but ranked 15th in the world, will team with fellow Chilean Olympian Mito Pereira in the 2022 Zurich Classic, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“This is the type of potential Presidents Cup pairing we love to see. Joaquin was on the 2019 International team. Countryman Mito Pereira earned the rare battlefield promotion on the Korn Ferry Tour last year and is off to a very nice start on the PGA Tour,” said Worthy. “With Joaquin in the field, we are now at six of the top 10, and 10 of the top 15 players in the world,” Worthy added.
Only 23, Niemann has played on the PGA Tour since 2017 when he scored six top-25 and four top-10 finishes in only 12 tournaments to earn his card at 19 years old.
Since then, he has posted two wins, three seconds and a total of 20 top-10 finishes in only 103 starts as a professional.
This season he won the Genesis Invitational wire-to-wire to become the first player to accomplish that feat at the Genesis since Charlie Sifford in 1969.
In 2020, he became the first Chilean player to win a PGA Tour event when he earned his first victory at the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. At the time, he was still two months short of his 21st birthday.
Last season he posted three seconds, two of which were playoff losses.
He was one of seven rookies on the 2019 International Presidents Cup team that almost upset the Americans in Melbourne, Australia. Niemann played with South African Dylan Frittelli in the 2019 Zurich Classic.
He was one of two Chileans to compete in the 2020 Olympics and tied for 10th, one stroke behind his Zurich partner Mito Pereira who finished tied for fourth.
Niemann was the number one ranked amateur in the world for 44 weeks before turning pro. In that span, he won 23 events. He won the Mark H. McCormack Medal in 2017 presented annually by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Mito Pereira won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour last season to earn a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour, only the 12th player to do so and the first since 2016.
He started this season fast, with a third at the Fortinet Championship. He also finished tied for 15th in the Genesis Invitational won by his teammate Niemann and tied for 13th in the Valero Texas Open.
In his first full season as a professional in 2016 he ranked third in the Order of Merit on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica circuit.
He played collegiately for Texas Tech and turned professional after his first year there when we was ranked the number five amateur in the world.
The 2022 Zurich Classic field is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever. With the addition of Niemann, the field now includes 10 of the top 15 players in the world.
- Master champion and number-one ranked Scottie Scheffler will pair with fellow Texan and former Zurich Classic champion Ryan Palmer.
- Collin Morikawa, now ranked second in the world, will team with Viktor Hovland, ranked fourth, to form the highest ranked pair in the history of the team format at the Zurich Classic.
- Cameron Smith, who won The Players Championship and is now 5th in the world, will team again with fellow Australian Marc Leishman to defend the title they won last year at the Zurich Classic. Smith is the only two-time team winner of the Zurich Classic.
- Patrick Cantlay, the 2021 FedExCup winner ranked sixth in the world, will pair with 2020 Olympic gold medal winner Xander Schauffele, ranked 11th.
- Sam Burns, whose repeat victory in the Valspar Classic moved him up to 10th in the world rankings, will play again in the Zurich Classic with Billy Horschel, who is vying to become the first three-time winner in the tournament’s history and himself is ranked 13th in the world.
- Louis Ooisthuizen, ranked 14th, will team with Charl Schwartzl. They lost last year’s Zurich Classic in a playoff.
In 2021, after cancellation of the 2020 tournament, the Fore!Kids Foundation generated an all-time record $2.3 million in charitable giving for children’s charities in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge metro areas.
Because of its popularity, the Best of the Zurich Classic pass will return in 2022, along with expanded suite options at the 17th and 18th holes. A new Walk-On’s Stadium Club venue will also be introduced.
About Fore!Kids Foundation:
Since 1958, the Fore!Kids Foundation has raised money to fund children’s service organizations through golf events like the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, The Holiday Auction Fore!Kids and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has distributed more than $42 million since inception, providing healthcare, education and hope for over 200,000 children each year. More information at http://www.forekidsfoundation.com.
About the Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
Televised in more than 224 countries and territories, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans generates a significant economic impact on the city of New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana. Independent research has shown that the tournament generates spending of more than $40 million within the local economy and garners $33 million in positive national and international media exposure for both the city and state throughout the year beyond the four days of competition.
The tournament will be played April 18-24, 2022 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Purse for 2022 totals a record $8.3 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,199,350.
Day-specific grounds tickets are only $40. In addition, the Best of the Zurich Class Pass offers a variety of dishes from some of New Orleans most famous restaurants at three locations across the TPC course starting at $175 per day. Additional ticket options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.