Zurich Classic Preview 2019

Zurich Classic Preview 2019
2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Preview

2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans pre-tournament notes Dates: April 22-28, 2019

Where: Avondale, Louisiana
Course: TPC Louisiana (Pete Dye/2004), 36-36—par 72/7,425 yards
Field size: 80 teams/160 players
2018 winning team: Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy
Purse: $7,300,000 ($1,051,200 to each winning team member)
FedExCup: 400 points (to each winning team member)
Format: Four-ball (Thursday/Saturday) and Foursomes (Friday/Sunday)

Tournament Format

  • A two-player team event, with each team comprised of two professionals, featuring 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 (160 players).
  • Following the conclusion of the second round, there will be a 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 Foursomes format for the first extra hole, Four-ball for the second extra hole and the alternating formats, thereafter, on a set rotation of holes.
  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans awards FedExCup points and official money and will count as an official victory  for the members of the winning team. As such, both players will receive a two-year winner’s exemption and an eligibility into Invitational fields, including the Sentry Tournament of Champions and THE PLAYERS Championship. FedExCup points and prize money will be awarded to teams making the cut based on combining every two  positions from the distribution table for a standard TOUR event, with each team member receiving an equal    share. For example, the winning team will evenly split first- and second-place FedExCup points (500 for first and  300 for second for 800 total points, or 400 for each player). Official prize money will be distributed in the same manner.

History of PGA TOUR team events

  • The 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans was the first official PGA TOUR team event in 36 years, since the 1981  Walt Disney World National Team Championship held at the Magnolia, Palm and Lake Buena Vista courses at Disney, won by Vance Heafner and Mike Holland. That tournament went to individual stroke-play event in 1982.
  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans uses a Four-ball and Foursomes format. The closest the PGA TOUR had previously come to using a Foursomes format in an official event was at the 1934 Pinehurst Pro-Pro held at Pinehurst’s No. 2 and won by Tommy Armour and Bobby Cruickshank. That tournament played under Scotch Foursomes rules, a setup that allows each player to hit a drive on each hole and then whichever player’s ball is in the best position, the teammate hits the next shot in alternate-shot fashion until the ball is holed.

2018 Final-Round Leaderboard

  Pos   Player Score
R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Scott Piercy/Billy Horschel 65 73 61 67 266/-22
2 Jason Dufner/Pat Perez 66 72 61 68 267/-21
3 Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel 66 72 62 68 268/-20
T4 Brice Garnett/Chesson Hadley 64 73 61 71 269/-19
T4 Tommy Fleetwood/Chris Paisley 62 75 63 69 269/-19

How Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy won the 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy shot a final-round 5-under 67 to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by one stroke over  Jason Dufner and Pat Perez. After a second round that included two bogeys and two double bogeys on the first day of Foursomes, Horschel and Piercy were bogey-free in the final round. Horschel won in his 191st PGA TOUR start at the age of  31 years, 4 months, 22 days, while the victory for Piercy came in his 251st start at the age of 39 years, 5 months, 23 days.

More on Billy Horschel

  • Current Zurich ambassador previously won the Zurich Classic in 2013
  • Became the 10th player to claim multiple victories at the event and first to win in both the individual and team formats
  • Became the first past FedExCup champion to win the Zurich Classic (won FedExCup title in 2014)
  • Second-most career money at Zurich Classic ($2,309,089) behind Jason Dufner ($2,458,112)
  • Finished runner-up at 2018 TOUR Championship and fifth in the 2018 FedExCup standings

More on Scott Piercy

  • 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans was his fourth PGA TOUR victory
  • Advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs nine of 10 times since joining TOUR in 2009
  • Before the win in 2018, made the cut twice (T13/2012, T34/2009) in eight previous appearances at the Zurich Classic, all in the individual stroke-play format

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the FedExCup

  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is the 27th event in the PGA TOUR’s 2018-19 season with 46 official events.   Players vie to become the FedExCup champion and, new in 2018-19, the winner of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, which honors the top-10 players in the FedExCup standings at the end of the Regular Season
  • 14 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings are in the field led by Brooks Koepka
  • Three FedExCup champions are in the field: Jim Furyk (2010), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014)
  • Since 2007, seven of the 14 winners of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans have gone on to qualify for the season- ending TOUR Championship: Andres Romero (2008), Jerry Kelly (2009), Bubba Watson (2011), Jason Dufner (2012), Billy Horschel (2013, 2018) and Justin Rose (2015)

Field Highlights

  • Eight of top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Brooks Koepka (3), Jon Rahm (11), Jason Day (14), Tony Finau (15), Tommy Fleetwood (16), Bubba Watson (17), Patrick Cantlay (18), Patrick Reed (19)
  • Eight winners of THE PLAYERS Championship: Davis Love III (1992, 2003), David Duval (1999), Adam Scott (2004), Sergio Garcia (2008), Henrik Stenson (2009), K.J. Choi (2011), Jason Day (2016), Si Woo Kim (2017)
  • 19 major champions combining for 27 major titles, led by Ernie Els (4)
  • Eight winners during the 2018-19 season: Kevin Tway, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Champ, J.B. Holmes, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Kisner, Corey Conners, C.T. Pan
  • 12 past Zurich Classic of New Orleans winners: Davis Love III (1995), K.J. Choi (2002), Nick Watney (2007), Andres Romero (2008), Jerry Kelly (2009), Bubba Watson (2011), Jason Dufner (2012), Billy Horschel (2013, 2018), Brian Stuard (2016), Cameron Smith (2017), Jonas Blixt (2017), Scott Piercy (2018)
  • Four Zurich Ambassadors:  Jason  Day, Sergio  Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Billy Horschel

Team Highlights

  • Jason Day/Adam Scott: only team of two THE PLAYERS Championship winners
  • Jason Day/Adam Scott: only team with two players ranked inside the top 30 in the FedExCup
  • Five teams feature a pair of major winners: Jason Day/Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson/Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els/Trevor Immelman, David Duval/Jim Furyk and Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel
  • At 37, Patrick Cantlay (18)/Patrick Reed (19) have the best combined Official World Golf Ranking
  • David Duval/Jim Furyk: combine for the most PGA TOUR wins of any team (Furyk 17 + Duval 13 = 30)
  • David Duval/Jim Furyk: only team with two players who have sub-60 scores on TOUR
  • No team is compiled of two winners this season

Notable Teams

Jason Day/Adam Scott

  • Australian duo won 2013 ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf
  • Day, a Zurich ambassador, played with Rickie Fowler in 2017 (MC) Ryan Ruffels in 2018 (T34)
  • Day makes his seventh start at the Zurich Classic where he has two top-fives to his credit (T4/2014, T5/2016)
  • Scott, the 2013 Masters winner, makes first appearance at Zurich Classic

Brooks Koepka/Chase Koepka

  • Three-time major champion teams with younger brother, Chase, for second time at Zurich Classic
  • Duo finished T5 in 2017 with Chase making his PGA TOUR debut at the event while playing on a sponsor exemption
  • Chase’s only other PGA TOUR appearance was the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship (MC), where he  earned  a spot  in the field after his T5 result at the Zurich Classic
  • Chase attended USF where he exceled, winning a school-best four tournaments
  • Chase posted five top-10 results on the Challenge Tour in 2017 to finish 9th on the Oder of Merit and earn European Tour membership for 2018, where he made seven cuts in 22 starts
  • One of Brooks’ five PGA TOUR titles came this season at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES and he is coming off a T2 at the Masters Tournament
  • Brooks owns victories on the PGA TOUR, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour and Challenge Tour
  • Brooks finished T21 in his tournament debut in New Orleans in 2014

Sergio Garcia/Tommy Fleetwood

  • Zurich ambassadors will play together as a team at the Zurich Classic following past performances with different partners (Garcia/MC/2018 with Rafa Cabrera Bello, Fleetwood/T4/2018 with Chris Paisley)
  • Garcia’s 10 PGA TOUR victories and 15 European Tour titles include the 2017 Masters Tournament
  • Fleetwood owns two runner-up results while seeking first PGA TOUR title (2017 WGC-Mexico Championship, 2018

U.S. Open)

Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay

  • Duo finished T7 in 2018, with Reed making his first TOUR start following his Masters victory. Pair were T14 in tournament debut in 2017
  • Cantlay took the solo lead in the final round of the Masters earlier this month at 12-under, but bogeyed 16 and
  • 17. His 64-68—132 on the weekend was one stroke shy of the Masters record for the last 36 holes (Johnny Miller/1975)
  • Reed won two high school state championships while attending University High in Baton Rouge

Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes

  • Americans partner with each other again after finishing T5 in 2017 Zurich Classic
  • Pair ranked No. 1 (Holmes) and No. 4 in the Driving Distance category in the 2015-16 PGA TOUR Season
  • Watson won the Zurich Classic in 2011, one of 12 TOUR titles, including a three-win season in 2017-18
  • Holmes represented the United States on one Presidents Cup team (2015) and two Ryder Cup teams (2008, 2016), with the U.S. Team winning all three events
  • Duo went 4-1-1 in four matches at the 2015 Presidents Cup in Korea
  • In three starts at the Zurich Classic before it became a team format, Holmes recorded nine of 10 rounds under par (75/R2/2009)
  • Holmes claimed his fifth TOUR title at Genesis Open earlier this season
  • Watson has two T4 results this season (Waste Management Phoenix Open, Valspar Championship)

Henrik  Stenson/Graeme McDowell

  • Stenson is the 2013 FedExCup champion while McDowell’s best finish in the season-long competition is 42nd in 2012
  • Stenson’s six TOUR wins include The Open Championship in 2016
  • McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, won the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, his fourth TOUR win and first since 2015 Mayakoba Golf Classic
  • At the Zurich Classic, Stenson teamed with Justin Rose to miss cut in 2017 and finished T19 in 2018. McDowell finished T22 while paired with Ian Poulter in 2018

Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown

  • Pair were defeated by Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt in a Monday playoff at 2017 Zurich Classic
  • After holding 54-hole lead, shot final-round 5-over 77 to finish T15 in 2018
  • Prior to final-round 77 in 2018, the pair had played the previous seven rounds in a combined 47-under
  • Both play out of Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina
  • Kisner seeks fourth PGA TOUR title (2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, 2017 Charles Schwab Challenge, 2015 The RSM Classic) while Brown searches for his second victory (2013 Puerto Rico Open)

Jason Dufner/Pat Perez

  • In 2018, improved their score the second time playing each format (66/R1, 61/R3 in Four-ball; 72/R2, 68/R4 in Foursomes)
  • Dufner won the 2012 Zurich Classic and has finished in the top 10 six of the last seven years (2nd/2018, T5/2017, Won/2012, T3/2011, T7/2010, T9/2009). Dufner teamed up with Patton Kizzire in 2017
  • The runner-up finish in 2018 marked Dufner’s best finish since winning the 2017 Memorial Tournament presented  by Nationwide. Since the runner-up result, Dufner’s lone top-10 is T5 at THE PLAYERS in 2018
  • Perez withdrew prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship due to an Achilles injury and has not played since

Chesson Hadley/Brice Garnett

  • Took the lead at 22-under during the final round in 2018, but played the back nine in 3-over to finish T4
  • Hadley (No. 1) and Garnett (No. 2) were the top two finishers on the combined 2017 Web.com Tour Regular Season and Finals money list
  • Both won their first PGA TOUR events in the Caribbean: Hadley (2014 Puerto Rico Open) and Garnett (2018 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship)

Ian Poulter/Sam Horsfield

  • Poulter partners with fellow Englishman Horsfield, his third teammate in as many years (Geoff Ogilvy/2017/T32, Graeme McDowell/2018/T22)
  • 22-year-old Horsfield played in the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Opens and announced on May 22, 2017 that he was turning professional
  • Horsfield made his first start as a professional at the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic, missing the cut. In nine PGA TOUR starts as a professional, he’s made four cuts
  • Horsfield took the top spot at the 2017 European Tour qualifying school

Ernie Els/Trevor Immelman

  • South African duo are Presidents Cup International Team captain (Els) and captain’s assistant (Immelman)
  • Els is a 19-time PGA TOUR winner, including four major championships while Immelman won the 2008 Masters Tournament, one of two PGA TOUR wins on his resume
  • Els has made 15 cuts in his last 19 starts worldwide, including two top-10 results (T7/2019 Maybank Championship, T3/2018 Fiji International)
  • Els made eight appearances at the Zurich Classic before it became a team event, posting a runner-up finish in 2012 and a third-place result in 2001
  • Immelman advanced to the weekend once (2013/T65) in five appearances at the Zurich Classic

David Duval/Jim Furyk

  • Veteran duo has combined for 30 PGA TOUR wins (Furyk/17, Duval/13)
  • Duval reached the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking, while Furyk’s highest position was No. 2 (following 2007 THE NORTHERN TRUST)
  • Highlight for Furyk this season is runner-up at The PLAYERS Championship
  • Both players are among the exclusive group of nine players who have shot sub-60 rounds on TOUR, while Furyk is the only player to achieve the feat twice

Davis Love III/Dru Love

  • Duo won the 2012 and 2018 PNC Father Son Challenge
  • 54-year-old Davis, a PGA TOUR Life Member and World Golf Hall of Fame member with 21 TOUR victories, will play his 767th PGA TOUR event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Since turning 50, Davis’ PGA TOUR Champions career includes five top-10s in 13 starts
  • In eight PGA TOUR starts this season, Davis has made five cuts with best result (7th) coming at the Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Davis is one of 12 past Zurich Classic champions in the field
  • Dru’s 1-under 71 in the opening round of the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship bettered the score of his father by a stroke, marking the first time that the younger Love had posted a score lower than his father when competing in the same event
  • Dru will tee up in his 17th TOUR event. This week marks the 16th time the pair have competed in the same PGA TOUR event (2017 U.S. Open/Dru played while Davis didn’t)
  • In 16 previous starts on TOUR, Dru has made three cuts with a T30 at the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship his best result
  • Most recent father/son duo to make the cut in the same TOUR event (2018 The RSM Classic)

Charl Schwartzel/Louis Oosthuizen

  • South African duo finished third in 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Oosthuizen, winner of The Open Championship in 2010, is one of seven players  (since 1923) to finish runner-up in  all four major championships
  • Schwartzel won the 2011 Masters. His only other TOUR title is the 2016 Valspar Championship
  • Oosthuizen also finished T24 in 2017 while partnering with Branden Grace at the Zurich Classic

Several international teams are made up of players from the same country, including:

  • Australia: Jason Day/Adam Scott, Rod Pampling/John Senden
  • Argentina: Julian Etulain/Andres Romero
  • Canada: Corey Conners/Mackenzie Hughes
  • England: Ian Poulter/Sam Horsfield
  • India:  Shubhankar Sharma/Anirban Lahiri
  • Ireland:  Padraig Harrington/Shane Lowry
  • South Africa: Ernie Els/Trevor Immelman, Justin Harding/Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel
  • South Korea: Si Woo Kim/Sangmoon Bae, Whee Kim/Sungjae Im

Tournament notes

  • Since 1990, 17 players have made the Zurich Classic of New Orleans their maiden victory on the PGA TOUR, including nine in the last 14 years; Cameron Smith (2017), Brian Stuard (2016), Seung-Yul Noh (2014), Billy Horschel (2013), Jason Dufner (2012), Andres Romero (2008), Nick Watney (2007), Chris Couch (2006) and Tim Petrovic (2005)
  • There have been eight international winners of the Zurich Classic since 2000 (2017/Cameron Smith/Australia- Jonas Blixt/Sweden, 2015/Justin Rose/England, 2014/Seung-Yul Noh/South Korea, 2008/Andres Romero/Argentina, 2004/Vijay Singh/Fiji, 2002/K.J. Choi/South Korea, 2000/Carlos Franco/Paraguay)
  • TPC Louisiana is the sixth of 10 TPC Network venues to host PGA TOUR events this season
  • Last year, Chez Reavie/Lucas Glover teamed to fire a 12-under 60 to share the first-round lead with Xinjun Zhang/Zecheng Dou, from China, and equal the 18-hole tournament record (both Four-ball), set by Retief Goosen/Tyrone Van Aswegen (R2/2017) and Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (R4/2017)

Charity

  • Since 1958, the Fore!Kids Foundation has raised money to fund children’s service organizations through golf events, including the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Fore!Kids has raised just over $30 million to date, providing healthcare, education and hope for over 200,000 children each year

New Trophy

  • A new Waterford-crafted crystal trophy in the form of the Fleur-de-lis will be awarded to the winning team at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2019

First PGA TOUR event to feature walk-up music

  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2018 was the first PGA TOUR event to feature walk-up music. Each two- player team selected their walk-up song to be played on the first tee at TPC Louisiana as they were introduced. This year, walk-up music will be used before play on Saturday

Tuesday Celebrity Shoot-out

  • The Celebrity Shootout takes place Tuesday at 3  p.m. The competition, over four holes (Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 9), using   the same Foursomes/Four-ball format as the Zurich Classic, will determine the winner. A $40,000 charitable  donation will be made. Celebrities scheduled to compete include Chris Berman, Sean Payton, Ed Reed, Brett Favre and Reggie Bush

via PGA TOUR

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