NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 22, 2022)—Bubba Watson, two-time Masters champion and winner of the 2011 Zurich Classic, will team with Harold Varner III in this year’s event, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“Bubba is always an exciting player to watch, and he has a tremendous following in New Orleans.,” said Worthy. “Harold is one of the emerging young stars on the Tour and is a fan favorite. We would expect this team to attract very large crowds,” Worthy added.
Watson is indeed one of the most dynamic and popular players on the PGA Tour with 12 wins in his career. So far this season, he has only played three tournaments with his best finish being a tie for 14th at the WM Phoenix Open.
Paired with Scottie Scheffler, he finished eighth in the 2021 Zurich Classic. He also recorded three other top-10 finishes during the 2020-21 season. He closed out 2021 with a tie for ninth in the 2021 QBE Shootout, teamed with LPGA star Lexi Thompson. Theirs was the only co-ed team in the event.
He ranks 14th in all-time TOUR winnings with more than $47.6 million in prize money. Lifetime, he has scored 14 second-place finishes, six thirds and 73 top-tens in the 361 PGA Tour events he has played.
In addition to his win at the Zurich Classic in 2011, he also finished fifth in the 2007 tournament and tied for 15th in 2013. His tie for fifth with J. B. Holmes in the 2017 event was his best finish in the 2016-17 season.
He won the Masters in 2012 and 2014, finished tied for 12th in 2019 and tied for fifth in 2018. In other majors, he tied for fifth in the 2007 U.S. Open and lost a three-way, three-hole playoff to Martin Kaymer in the 2010 PGA Championship.
He has played on two President’s Cup teams and four Ryder Cup teams.
In 2015, he donated $100,000 to assist with recovery efforts after the devastating floods in Louisiana. Watson is part owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and opened a candy store in Pensacola called “Bubbas’s Sweet Shop” where his mom Molly sometimes works.
Varner is currently ranked 40th in the world. He has recorded three top-20 finishes this season, with a tie for sixth in The Players Championship. Last season he tied for second at the RBC Heritage, where he fired four rounds in the 60s. He has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs for six consecutive seasons.
He has won two international titles, the 2016 Australian PGA and the 2022 PIF Saudi International.
Playing collegiately at East Carolina University, he was named Conference USA Player of the Year in 2012 and made the all-conference team three times.
His head cover is named “Gerald” and has its own Twitter account.
Cameron Smith, who won The Players Championship and vaulted to 6th 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.
In addition, the 2022 field includes the team of Billy Horschel, who is vying to become the first three-time winner in the tournament’s history, and Sam Burns, whose repeat win in the Valspar Classic moved him up to 10th in the world rankings.
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.