Thomas Long Corporate Communications
NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 27, 2017)- Tyrrell Hatton, who burst on the PGA TOUR this season to earn temporary membership after only four tournaments and is now ranked 15th in the world, will partner with Jamie Donaldson in the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
"Tyrrell earned temporary membership on the TOUR after only four U.S. tournaments, an almost unprecedented achievement," said Worthy.
Hatton vaulted from 121st in the world to 14th last week in less than 12 months of play on the European and PGA tours starting in April 2016.
He posted two ties for fourth to go with a tenth and a tie for 23rd in four tournaments in the 2016-17 season to earn his temporary PGA TOUR membership. He has also earned finishes of second and a tie for third in European Tour events this year.
Last year, he finished tied for tenth in the PGA Championship and tied for fifth in The Open Championship at Royal Troon. He also won his first tournament on the European Tour last year to go with two seconds and five other top 10s in 2016.
Hatton currently ranks first for Strokes Gained: Putting and third for Strokes Gained: Total on the TOUR.
Jamie Donaldson, Hatton's teammate, has earned three titles on the European Tour and one on the Asian Tour. "Jamie has been a mentor to Tyrrell and they are represented by the same management agency and share a love of the Liverpool Football Club. Their partnership was a natural one," Worthy said.
Donaldson is also entered on an exemption in the 2017 Zurich Classic because he did not play enough events in the U.S. last year to keep his TOUR card. "Jamie has a relationship with Zurich and we are happy to have him back in New Orleans," said Worthy.
He finished tied for 48th in last year's Zurich Classic, which will also be his first tournament on the PGA TOUR in the 2016-17 season.
He was a member of the 2014 Ryder Cup team and hit the winning shot on the 15th hole in singles play Sunday that clinched the victory for the European squad.
Knox, a two-time winner on TOUR in 2016 including World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and currently ranked 23rd in the world, will partner with Kevin Streelman, who has also won twice on the PGA TOUR.
Knox's best finishes this season include a third in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and two top 10s in the WGC-HSBC Champions and CIMB Classic.
His last appearance in the Zurich Classic was in 2015, when he finished tied for 43rd.
Streelman advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs last year for the ninth consecutive time. His best finish this season was a fourth in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Winner of the 2013 Tampa Bay Championship and the 2014 Travelers Championship, he last played the Zurich Classic in 2012, when he finished 71st.
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.
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.
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 Golf Ball Gala and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has helped to raise more than $32 million to date for children's charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at 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 24-30, 2017 at TPC Louisiana in Westwego. Purse for 2017 totals $7.1 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,022,400.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $25 each, weekly passes are $75 and choices of suite and specialty venue options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.