TWO-TIME ZURICH CLASSIC WINNER BILLY HORSCHEL WILL TEAM WITH FORMER LSU PLAYER SAM BURNS FOR 2021 TOURNAMENT
Tony Finau, ranked 13th in the world, will partner with Cameron Champ
NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 1, 2021)—Billy Horschel, the only player to claim both individual and team titles at the Zurich Classic, will pair with former LSU All-American Sam Burns in this year’s tournament, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
In addition, Worthy announced that Tony Finau, ranked 13th in the world, will partner with Cameron Champ in this year’s Zurich Classic.
“Billy is well known for his hot streaks and he is enjoying one now after his win in the WGC Dell Match Play,” said Worthy. “At the same time, Sam is putting up his best year on the PGA Tour so these two will be a very dangerous team,” Worthy added.
“Tony Finau and Cameron Champ are two of the longest drivers on Tour and have called themselves “Team Send It,” said Worthy. “Tony has been in contention every week, and Cameron has already posted two PGA Tour wins in his young career,” he added.
Horschel is indeed hot this season. In addition to his WGC Dell Match Play victory, he has tied for second at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship, tied for fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and tied for seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
His victory at WGC Dell Mach Play vaulted him from 34th to 17th in the world.
He has won six times on the PGA Tour, twice at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He scored his first Tour victory in 2013 at the Zurich Classic and is the only player to have won both individual and team titles.
He followed up his first win with one of the best closing stretches in PGA Tour history in the 2014 FedExCup Playoffs. He finished second in the Deutsche Bank Championship, then went on to win the BMW Championship and capped the playoffs with a win at the Tour Championship by Coca Cola to take the overall FedExCup.
At 27, he became the youngest winner of the FedExCup. His final round of 68 in the Tour Championship was his 12thconsecutive round in the 60s, the longest streak of sub-70 rounds in PGA Tour history.
In 2018, Horschel teamed with Scott Piercy to win the Zurich Classic again. Team Horschel beat the team of Pat Perez and Jason Dufner (himself a former Zurich Classic winner) by one stroke.
As an amateur, he was a three-time first-team All-American at the University of Florida. He was named to the 2007 and 2008 Arnold Palmer teams and the winning 2007 Walker Cup squad that included Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson. Horschel posted a 3-1 record in that year’s competition, helping the U.S. squad to a narrow one-point victory.
Sam Burns has been knocking on the door of his first PGA Tour victory this season, holding the lead in three different tournaments. His closest chance for victory came at the Genesis Invitational, where he held the lead through the first three rounds before finishing third. He also held leads at in the Vivint Houston Open and the Safeway Open.
He has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs each year since he joined the PGA Tour but was unable to compete in the 2019 series due to a wrist injury. Before that, he scored three top-10 finishes in his first season on the Tour.
In the shortened 2020 season, he finished tied for sixth at the American Express and took two more top-20 finishes to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs.
Playing for LSU, Burns made first-team All-American in 2016-17 and was named Jack Nickalus National Player of the Year in the NCAA. He represented the United States on the winning Arnold Palmer Cup team in 2017.
A prodigy of former LSU great and Zurich Classic champion David Toms, Burns was honored by the AJGA as Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2014.
Finau and Champ partner in 2021 tournament
Both Finau and Champ won tournaments in their first two years on the PGA Tour.
Finau, currently ranked 13th in the world, is enjoying a stellar season this year, with five top-10 finishes in only 12 starts. He has finished second twice and fourth once this season, losing The Genesis Open to Max Homa in a playoff.
Finau won the Puerto Rico Open in his second full-season on the Tour and has since come close over the past six years with eight seconds, three thirds and a total of 44 top-10 finishes.
Playing with Daniel Summerhays, he finished sixth in the 2018 Zurich Classic.
He has also finished in the top five in all four majors. In the FedExCup Playoffs, he has taken a top seven finish in all four events over the past three years.
He played on the 2018 Ryder Cup team and the 2019 Presidents Cup team. He was one of only four U.S. Ryder Cup team members to post a winning record in 2018.
He turned pro right out of high school, where he played basketball and helped his team to the state tournament in his junior and senior years. Like Collin Morikawa, he is a food lover and has said if he were not a professional golfer, he would be a chef.
His first sport was fire-knife dancing, a Samoan ritual that is part of his heritage.
Cameron Champ won twice in his first two years on the PGA Tour full time. He won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2019, his first year on the Tour, and took the Safeway Open in 2020.
His best finish so far this season was a tie for eighth in the Zozo Championship.
Last season, he earned his first top-10 finish in a major at the PGA Championship, which qualified him for the 2020 U.S. Open. He led the PGA Championship field in driving that week, with 321.1 yards. In 2019, he partnered with Sam Burns in the Zurich Classic.
As an amateur, he was named to the 2017 Walker Cup team that included Collin Morikawa that won by a margin of 19-7. Champ played for Texas A&M, where he was chosen first team All-SEC in 2016-17. He is a product of the First Tee program.
The Zurich Classic is the only team tournament on the PGA TOUR season. Since launching the team format in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans has drawn some of the highest ranking fields for any regular-season tournament on the PGA TOUR.
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 helped to raise more than $40 million to date for children’s charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at http://www.forekidsfoundation.com.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, Zurich Insurance donated funds to the Fore!Kids Foundation to make $1.5 million in contributions to area non-profits, the same amount as the year before.
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 19-25, 2021 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Purse for 2021 totals $7.4 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,069,300.
Day-specific grounds tickets are only $35. In addition, the Best of the Zurich Class Pass offers a variety of dishes from some of New Orleans most famous restaurants at four locations across the TPC course. Additional ticket options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.