A 65-year-old former PGA Tour winner is playing in this week's Zurich Classic

A 65-year-old former PGA Tour winner is playing in this week's Zurich Classic

Russ Cochran will make his first PGA Tour starts in over a decade at this week’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

The 65-year-old Cochran, who hasn’t played on Tour since tying for 41st at the 2013 Sony Open, is slated to team up with Eric Cole in the team event at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, just outside of New Orleans. Cochran is the father of Cole’s caddie, Reed Cochran.

A one-time Tour winner, Cochran plays sparingly even on the PGA Tour Champions these days. This year, he’s logged just three senior starts with a best finish of T-48 at the Chubb Classic last February. His last top-10 on the senior circuit came in 2018.

Since it switched to a team format in 2017, the Zurich has been no stranger to head-scratching competitors since Tour pros are allowed to partner with anyone, assuming their partner has some sort of Tour status or receives a sponsor exemption. Just last year saw David Duval and John Daly team up to finish last, 12 shots behind the next-to-last duo of Michael Thompson and Paresh Amin, a 43-year-old military veteran who had missed all 26 of his cuts on the GPro Tour and recently shot 42 over in four rounds of PGA Tour Canada Q-School.

Cochran is playing as a past champion member, not a sponsor invite.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Round Three
Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Round Three

Zurich Classic format and full field for the PGA Tour’s team event

Here are the 80 teams competing this week in New Orleans and the format for the event.

Cochran’s lone Tour victory came at the 1991 Centel Western Open. He hasn’t played a full season on Tour since 2004, when he posted just two top-25s in 25 starts. His last Tour top-10 was a year before that, a T-10 at the 2003 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

He's had more success on the PGA Tour Champions, winning five times, most recently at the 2013 SAS Championship. One of those wins was a major, the 2011 Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath; a 25-year-old Reed Cochran was on the bag for his dad for that victory.

Reed attended undergrad at the University of Florida before going to the University of Kentucky for law school. He previously caddied for Curtis Luck before taking on Cole’s bag.

Cole is currently ranked No. 41 in the world rankings, and though he owns just one top-10 this year, he's posted six top-25 finishes.