Thomas Long Corporate Communications
email@example.com Steve Worthy
NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 20, 2017) -This year's Zurich Classic of New Orleans will offer fans perhaps the strongest field ever to play here in modern times, said Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: the complete list of teams to date appears at the end.)
The Zurich Classic this year will feature six players ranked in the world's top 10, 15 in the top 30 and 25 of the top 50. "When you account for the number of players who focus on international tours and aren't eligible on the PGA Tour, the depth of the field looks even stronger," said Worthy.
Top ten players entered include Jason Day (third), Hideki Matsuyama (fourth), Jordan Spieth (fifth), Henrik Stenson (sixth), Justin Rose (eighth) and Rickie Fowler (ninth).
Day, ranked number one in the world for 47 weeks, is teaming with Fowler. Masters runner-up and Olympic gold medal winner Rose has paired with Olympic silver medalist Stenson in this year's unique team format.
Some other strength of field highlights Worthy pointed out include:
On the PGA TOUR, this year's field includes six of the top 10 in FedExCup points, 12 of the top 20 and 17 of the top 30 to date.
The 158 players committed to date forming 79 teams (one team is held open pending the results of this weekend's Valero Texas Open) represent a combined 260 wins on the PGA TOUR.
The player with the most tournament wins is 2017 Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker, who has posted 12 victories in his career. Just behind Stricker are Day with 10 titles; Bubba Watson and Spieth with nine; Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi with eight and 2015 Zurich Classic champion Justin Rose and Retief Goosen with seven.
The last eight Zurich Classic champions are all entered this year. They include: Jerry Kelly (2009), Jason Bohn (2010), Watson (2011), Jason Dufner (2012), Billy Horschel (2013), Seung-Yul Noh (2014), Rose (2015) and Brian Stuard (2016). In addition, Choi won the tournament in 2002 for a total of nine past champions playing in 2017.
Twelve of the competitors in the Zurich Classic have won one or more of the majors: Keegan Bradley, Day, Dufner, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy, Louis Oosthuizen, Rose, Spieth, Stenson, Jimmy Walker and Watson.
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.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Confirmed Teams
Harold Varner III
Si Woo Kim
Kyle Ramey #
Phil Schmitt #
Byeong Hun An
Tyrone Van Aswegen
# PGA of America Section Exemption
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 in advance and $35 each the week of the tournament starting April 24. 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.