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Tom Long 
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tom@thomaslong.net                                               

NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 3, 2018)—Jon Rahm, who rocketed to #3 in the world after his first full season on the PGA TOUR, has committed to play in his first Zurich Classic, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.

Rahm will partner with Wesley Bryan, who also won a title in his first fulltime year on the TOUR.

In addition to the Rahm-Bryan team, Worthy also announced  that Sam Burns, who just claimed his first Web.com contest this week, will team with PGA TOUR veteran William McGirt, who won the Memorial Tournament in 2016.

“Jon has quickly established himself as a fan favorite for his passion on the course and the quality of his game,” said Worthy. “We welcome him to his first Zurich Classic and welcome back Wesley to his second,” Worthy added.

Rahm won his first title last year at the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open and claimed another victory this season at the 2018 Career Builder Challenge to vault him to third in the world golf rankings.

In the last 18 months, he has recorded two wins on the PGA TOUR and two more on the European Tour, accelerating his rise in the world rankings from 45th to third. He recorded four top-10 finishes in the FedExCup playoff tournaments that concluded last season.

In his first full season on the TOUR, he recorded 11 top-10 finishes, behind only Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. He also won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award on the European Tour.

Competing for Arizona State, he became the first player to twice win the Ben Hogan Award, given to the best collegiate golfer. He also won the Jack Nicklaus Award, given to the top Division I collegiate golfer and played on the 2014 World Cup team and the 2015 Palmer Cup squad.

During his collegiate career, he recorded 11 victories, second only to former Sun Devil Phil Mickelson. He won the 2016 individual Pac-12 title and was a three-time All-American. He also won the 2015 Mark McCormack Medal and the 2014 World Amateur Championship, breaking a record held by Jack Nicklaus. Overseas in his native Spain, he won the Spanish Amateur Championship back-to-back in 2014-15.

Bryan started his first full season on TOUR fast as well, winning the RBC Heritage the week before he made his debut at the Zurich Classic last season, when he finished tied for 29th teaming with Ryan Blaum.

In the weeks leading up to his first victory last year, he claimed two fourths and a tie for seventh  in the space of a month.

He comes from a golfing family. His older brother George IV was a three-time All-American at the University of South Carolina and his sister played for the College of Charleston. His father, George, played in the 1999 PGA Championship and now runs the George Bryan Golf Academy.

While on the Web.com Tour, Bryan won three titles, including the 2016 Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER.

Burns, who starred at LSU, took an eighth at the Honda Classic this year, his fourth start on the PGA TOUR. Earlier, in his third start as a professional, he finished second at the Web.com Club Colombia Championship behind Ben Taylor, who also played for LSU.

The Shreveport native broke through this week by winning the Savannah Golf Championship and now ranks fourth on the Web.com money list. The top 25 players on the money list at the end of the season earn their cards on the PGA TOUR for the next season. Burns has made the cut in five of his six PGA TOUR starts this season.

McGirt is a TOUR veteran with 212 starts in his career going back to 2011. His best finishes this season have been a tie for eighth in the RSM Classic and a tie for 10th in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

He has made the FedExCup playoffs for the last seven seasons.

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 the Four-Ball format.

Already committed to the tournament are Justin Thomas, ranked second in the world; Sergio Garcia, the reigning Masters champion;  Bubba Watson, who has won twice this season, playing with Matt Kuchar; Ian Poulter, who won this week to qualify for the Masters;  U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk; 2016 Olympic medalists Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson and Patrick Reed, known for his intensity in team competition.

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 Westwego. 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.

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