REIGNING PGA CHAMPION JIMMY WALKER PAIRS WITH SEAN O’HAIR IN THE 2017 ZURICH CLASSIC OF NEW ORLEANS
Kevin Chappell and Gary Woodland also form a team for this year’s tournament
NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 30, 2017)—Jimmy Walker, who counts the 2016 PGA Championship among his six PGA TOUR victories, has teamed with four-time winner Sean O’Hair for the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“Jimmy Walker joins a growing number of winners of majors to enter our tournament this year,” said Worthy. “In addition to his tournament victories, he has also played on four different national teams in his career,” added Worthy.
Walker, ranked 24th in the world, tied the 36-hole scoring record in last year’s PGA Championship, which he won by a single stroke over defending champion Jason Day. He has finished in the top ten in money winnings on TOUR for the last three seasons and made the FedExCup Playoffs last year for the seventh consecutive year.
His best finish this season was a tie for ninth in the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. He last played the Zurich Classic in 2013, when he finished eighth.
Walker is a veteran of team play, earning a place on the 2015 Presidents Cup, the 2016 World Cup and the last two Ryder Cup teams.
Walker’s partner Sean O’Hair is a four-time winner of the PGA TOUR and advanced to last season’s FedExCup Playoffs for the eighth time in his career. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2005.
He has posted two top ten finishes this season. He tied for 12th in the 2015 Zurich Classic and has two other top-15 finishes in the tournament. He was a member of the 2009 Presidents Cup team.
Woodland has won twice on the PGA TOUR, and is enjoying a strong season, currently ninth in winnings. He has finished second twice this season at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the Honda Classic to go along a tie for fifth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a tie for sixth at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Currently ranked 35th in the world, he tied for 20th in last year’s Zurich Classic. He played on the 2011 World Cup team.
Chappell enjoyed the most successful season of his career last year, finishing eighth in FedExCup points and qualifying for the FedExCup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive time.
Although he has yet to post his first victory, he has come close a number of times in his career, with six seconds and three thirds. He finished second four times just last season, including a three-way playoff in the season-ending TOUR Championship.
He tied for 34th in the 2014 Zurich Classic. He was a member of the 2009 Palmer Cup team and won the 2008 NCAA individual championship, the first UCLA Bruin to take the title.Is bvest finish this season
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, eight in the top 20 and 11 in the top 25.
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 eighth in the world, along with Bubba Watson, 2011 Zurich Classic champion, currently ranked 18th.
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.