Can't possibly wait until the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup for another team golf event? Worry not, golf fans: The 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans will provide you with the fix you need. Here's everything you need to know about the changes to the regular Tour stop in Louisiana.
1. The Basics
What: The Zurich Classic of New Orleans Where: TPC Louisiana, New Orleans, LA When: April 27-30, 2017 TV schedule (EST): Thursday: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Golf Channel) Friday: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Golf Channel) Saturday: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST (CBS) Sunday: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST (CBS)
Zurich Insurance Group came on as the title sponsor in 2005, though the tournament has been an annual event since 1958, when Billy Casper beat Ken Venturi in a playoff to capture the first of what would be 14 Greater New Orleans Open Invitational titles. Before heading to TPC Louisiana in 2005, the tournament was held at English Turn Golf & Country Club for 16 straight years. It has remained since, save for 2006, when damage from Hurricane Katrina forced the event back to English Turn for a year.
The 2017 edition of the tournament will be a two-man team event, with two rounds each of foursome and four-ball play. This is the first time the Zurich Classic won't be a stroke-play event.
Eighty teams (160 players) are entered. The top committed players choose their playing partner, provided they have full PGA Tour status or have been invited to play the event on a sponsor exemption.
Rounds one and three will be foursomes (alternate shot), and rounds two and four will be four-ball (best ball). A cut will be made with the top 35 teams, including ties, after two rounds. In the event of a tie after 72 holes, a sudden-death four-ball playoff format will follow.
4. What's at stake
In addition to divvying up the $7.2 million purse, both teammates will earn a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and be eligible for invitational events like the Players Championship and the Tournament of Champions.
Each player will also receive FedEx Cup points by combining every two positions from the official FedEx Cup point list and splitting them evenly. For example, the winner of the event would receive 500 points and the runner-up 300, so each player on the winning team will receive 400 points (half of the total 800 from first and second; the prize money will be split the same way).
5. The field
Seven of the world's top-10 players will tee it up at TPC Louisiana next Thursday. Notable pairings include Olympic medalists Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, former Players champions Jason Day and Rickie Fowler and Texas duo Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer.
Jordan Spieth, Ryan Palmer Jason Day, Rickie Fowler Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson Justin Thomas, Bud Cauley Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay Daniel Berger, Thomas Pieters Tyrrell Hatton, Jamie Donaldson Jimmy Walker, Sean O’Hair Russell Knox, Kevin Streelman Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace Brooks Koepka, Chase Koepka Charley Hoffman, Nick Watney Luke Donald, Jamie Lovemark Jason Dufner, Patton Kizzire Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly Billy Horschel, Matt Every Smylie Kaufman, Harold Varner III John Peterson, Andrew Loupe Seung-Yul Noh, Byeong Hun An Kevin Kisner, Scott Brown Hudson Swafford, Harris English Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd David Hearn, Graham DeLaet Freddie Jacobson, Willy Wilcox Steve Marino, Will MacKenzie Michael Thompson, Tim Wilkinson Jason Bohn, Carl Pettersson K.J. Choi, Charlie Wi William McGirt, Robert Garrigus Steven Bowditch, Boo Weekley Tony Finau, Daniel Summerhays Fabian Gomez, Jhonattan Vegas Cody Gribble, Jim Herman J.J. Henry, Tom Hoge Mackenzie Hughes, Nick Taylor Si Woo Kim, Sung Kang Peter Malnati, Mark Wilson Ben Martin, Ben Crane Troy Merritt, Robert Streb Rod Pampling, John Senden Brian Stuard, Chris Stroud Russell Henley, Blayne Barber Zac Blair, C.T. Pan Brian Harman, Johnson Wagner