Friends since childhood, they faced off in the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Final
NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 7, 2022)—Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley, two of the newest young prodigies on the PGA Tour and friends since they played junior golf, will make their individual Zurich Classic debuts this year paired as a team, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“These two guys are among a group having great early success on the PGA Tour. Will has steadily climbed in the world rankings while earning his PGA Tour card last year as a temporary member, and Davis narrowly missed winning in a playoff a month ago at Valspar,” said Worthy.
The two have known each other since working their way up the junior golf ranks. They faced each other in the finals of the 2014 Junior U.S. Amateur Championship, which Zalatoris won.
Zalatoris burst on the PGA Tour last season to earn full-time membership for the 2021-22 season on the strength of a second in his debut at the Masters, a tie for sixth in the U.S. Open and a tie for eighth in the PGA Championship.
He scored a total of eight top 10s and 14 top 25 finishes in only 25 events in his first season on Tour and ran away with the Arnold Palmer Award for Rookie of the Year honors before he even earned his full-time card.
So far this season, he has posted a second at the Farmer’s Open, when he lost in a playoff; a tie for fifth in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and a tie for sixth in the American Express.
Although he just earned his PGA Tour card this year, he is already ranked 29th in the world.
In college, he played for Wake Forest (Arnold Palmer’s alma mater) and was named first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year in 2017. He made the Walker Cup team that year to contribute to the U.S. 19-7 win over the Europeans by going 3-1 in his matches. That American team included Collin Morikawa, Cameron Champ, Doug Ghim and Maverick McNealy, all of whom compete on the PGA Tour today.
Davis Riley joined the PGA Tour just this year but has already taken a second at the Valspar Championship when he lost in a playoff to Sam Burns. Riley also finished tied for seventh at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship during the fall portion of the current season in only his fourth start as a member of the PGA Tour.
He won twice in his second season on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, with victories at the Panama Championship and the TPC San Antonio Championship.
The Hattiesburg, MS native played for the University of Alabama one year before turning pro in 2019. In his one year playing collegiately, he made the 2018 Palmer Cup team and was named third-team All-American.
The 2022 Zurich Classic field is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever. With the addition of Scheffler, the field now includes seven of the top 11 players in the world.
· New world number-one ranked Scottie Scheffler will pair with fellow Texan and former Zurich Classic champion Ryan Palmer.
· Collin Morikawa, now ranked third 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.
· Patrick Cantlay, the 2021 FedExCup winner ranked fifth in the world, will pair with 2020 Olympic gold medal winner Xander Schauffele, ranked tenth, to make a second top-10 ranked team in the field.
· 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.
· Sam Burns, whose repeat victory in the Valspar Classic moved him up to 10th in the world rankings, slipped to 11th this week after skipping the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He 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.
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.