NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 10, 2018)—Steve Stricker, captain of the victorious 2017 U.S. Presidents Cup team, and Charley Hoffman, ranked 26th in the world after his solid finish at the Masters, including an ace on the 16th hole Sunday, are partnering again with two former Zurich Classic winners to play in the 2018 tournament, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
Stricker will partner again with Jerry Kelly, 2009 Zurich Classic champion. Hoffman will team with Nick Watney, winner of the Zurich Classic in 2007.
Hoffman and Watney finished tied for fifth in the 2017 Zurich Classic, and Kelly and Stricker tied for 14th in last year’s tournament, the first to feature the team format.
Stricker has won 12 times on the PGA TOUR and twice internationally.
This season on the Champions Tour, he has played only three times, but won two of those tournaments and finished second in the third. He currently leads the Champions Tour in money winnings.
In PGA TOUR career that started in 1990, Stricker ranks 11th all-time with more than $43 million in earnings. At the Zurich Classic, he has finished in the top 10 three times and the top 20 nine times.
Stricker played on five President Cup teams before leading the 2017 team to victory as captain. He has also played on three Ryder Cup teams.
Kelly graduated to the Champions Tour in 2017, the same year as his close friend Stricker. He won the 2017 Rookie of the Year award and already owns three Champions victories to go with his three PGA TOUR titles. He currently ranks second in winnings on the Champions Tour—to Steve Stricker.
Before he left the PGA TOUR fulltime after the 2016 season, he advanced to the FedExCup playoffs ten consecutive years.
Hoffman is currently ranked 26th in the world. He has won four times on TOUR, most recently in last year’s Valero Texas Open. He finished 12th in the Masters this year to automatically qualify for next year’s event. He has also posted three other top 20 finishes this season on the PGA TOUR.
He teamed with Billy Horschel for a third-place finish in last year’s Franklin Templeton Shootout and was a member of the 2017 Presidents Cup team captained by Stricker.
Watney has won five times of the PGA TOUR, including his first TOUR victory at the Zurich Classic in 2007.
He played in the 2011 Presidents Cup, the 2009 World Cup and in the collegiate 2002 Palmer Cup.
The Zurich Classic is the only team tournament on the PGA TOUR season. This year’s 72-hole stroke team play format will feature Four-Ball (best ball) during the first and third rounds and Foursomes (alternate shot) during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of 80 teams. Following the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low 35 teams and ties. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using Foursomes (alternate shot) for the first extra hole and Four-ball (best ball) for the second extra hole and alternate each hole thereafter.
Already committed to the tournament are: new Masters champion Patrick Reed; FedExCup leader Justin Thomas, ranked second in the world; Jon Rahm, ranked fourth in the world; Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion; Bubba Watson, who has won twice this season and will be paired with 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Matt Kuchar; 2016 Olympic gold and silver winners Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson playing as a team again and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk.
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 Taste of the Tournament gala and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has helped to raise more than $34 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 23-29, 2018 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Purse for 2018 totals $7.2 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,036,800.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $35 and weekly passes are $85. Single day tickets for the two most popular hospitality venues on the PGA TOUR start at $85 for Acme Oyster House and $185 for The Champions Club. Other choices of suite and specialty venue options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.