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The First Look: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

5 Min Read

The First Look


    Written by Adam Stanley @Adam_Stanley

    It’s time to team up.

    The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is the lone two-man team event on the PGA TOUR schedule and boasts plenty of the game’s best, with five of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking heading to TPC Louisiana.

    This is the seventh year the tournament has been played as a team event, with each duo playing Four-ball (also known as best ball) in the first and third rounds, and Foursomes (alternate shot) for the second and fourth rounds.

    With Presidents Cup pairs, Ryder Cup heroes, twins, fan favorites, college teammates, and more joining forces in NOLA it should be a special week.

    This week marks the second of three events to earn points towards the Aon Swing 5 and Aon Next 10 as we inch closer to the next Signature Event on the PGA TOUR schedule – the Wells Fargo Championship in two weeks.

    Here’s everything you need to know as the TOUR returns to New Orleans.

    FIELD NOTES: Rory McIlroy will make his tournament debut alongside good pal, Ryder Cup teammate, and Irishman Shane Lowry – a duo that was firmed up during a celebratory lunch after the Ryder Cup last fall… Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will try to reprise their 2022 win here. Cantlay and Schauffele have both the Foursomes and Four-ball scoring records at this event… Davis Riley and Nick Hardy will defend their 2023 title. No team has gone back-to-back… Three sets of brothers (and two sets of twins!) will play together with twins Rasmus and Nicolai Højgaard and Parker and Pierceson Coody in the field along with Alex and Matt Fitzpatrick. Alex Fitzpatrick and Rasmus Højgaard are sponsor invites… Billy Horschel, who won last week at the Corales Puntacana Championship, will be without his previous partner Sam Burns, as Burns and his wife are expecting their first child any day. Horschel will instead be paired with fellow University of Florida alum Tyson Alexander. Horschel has won the Zurich Classic when it was both an individual and team event… Other notable pairings include Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama, Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris, and Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin. The Canadian duo finished runner-up a year ago and would like nothing more than to show Presidents Cup International Team captain Mike Weir how well they play together… Steve Stricker will play his second TOUR event this season (after earning his way into THE PLAYERS Championship), teaming up with Matt Kuchar. Stricker has four top-10s in five events on PGA TOUR Champions this season… Other sponsor exemptions include the South African pairing of Aldrich Potgieter and Thriston Lawrence. Potgieter, the winner of The Amateur Championship last year (the second youngest winner in the tournament’s history) won The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour earlier this season – the youngest winner in Korn Ferry Tour history. Lawrence, who has two runner-up finishes on the DP World Tour this season, made his 2024 TOUR debut last week at Corales (MC)… Jason Dufner and Kevin Chappell, Kevin Tway and Kelly Kraft, and Brandon Wu and James Nicholas are the other sponsor invites.

    World RankingFedExCup
    2. Rory McIlroy3. Xander Schauffele
    3. Xander Schauffele4. Sahith Theegala
    8. Patrick Cantlay10. Patrick Cantlay
    12. Matt Fitzpatrick11. Collin Morikawa
    13. Collin Morikawa14. Will Zalatoris
    17. Sahith Theegala17. Tom Hoge
    27. Nick Taylor21. Nick Taylor
    28. Sepp Straka28. Austin Eckroat
    29. Will Zalatoris29. Peter Malnati
    34. Nicolai Højgaard30. Sepp Straka

    SIGNATURE EVENT STORYLINES: The next Signature Event on the schedule is the Wells Fargo Championship… With his win at the Corales Puntacana Championship, Horschel tops the Aon Swing 5, which continues this week in New Orleans… Wesley Bryan, Tway, Charley Hoffman and Justin Lower make up the rest of the Aon Swing 5… The final event of the Aon Swing 5 prior to Quail Hollow is THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson… Justin Thomas’ T5 was his first top-10 finish on TOUR since February and in the process he moved from No. 14 to No. 6 in the Aon Next 10… Jake Knapp (No. 7) and Christiaan Bezuidenhout (No. 8) got bumped a spot. Austin Eckroat remained at No. 9 while Peter Malnati moved to No. 10. He leads No. 11 – Thomas Detry – by just 73 points… Ludvig Åberg remains on top of the Aon Next 10 followed by Matthieu Pavon. Zalatoris, Stephan Jaeger and Akshay Bhatia round out the rest of the Aon Next 10.

    COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10 UPDATES: With his fourth win in his last five TOUR starts, a three-shot triumph at the RBC Heritage, Scottie Scheffler remained atop the standings. Scheffler was the first player ranked No. 1 in the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 to win the RBC Heritage and now leads by 2,023 points – the largest lead with 15 weeks left in the Regular season (since 2009)… Thanks to his solo second at the RBC Heritage, Theegala moved up to No. 4 in the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10. Cantlay finished T3 at Harbour Town and rose 13 spots from No. 23 to No. 10 in the standings. Cantlay was the only new entrant into the TOUR TOP 10 after last week… Chris Kirk and Byeong Hun An are the only two to remain in the TOUR TOP 10 every week so far this season.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 400 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: TPC Louisiana, par 72, 7,425 yards. Located just 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans, the course features plenty of water even as the Pete Dye design (Steve Elkington/Kelly Gibson as consultants) is one of the TOUR’s most scoreable layouts. It stretches over 250 acres of wetlands and features 100 bunkers.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 258, Hardy/Riley (2023)

    FOURSOMES (ALTERNATE SHOT) RECORD: 63, Hadwin/Taylor (4th round, 2023), Cantlay/Schauffele (Round 2, 2023)

    FOUR-BALL (BEST BALL) RECORD: 59, Cantlay/Schauffele (1st round, 2022).

    LAST TIME: Riley and Hardy each won for the first time on the PGA TOUR. They birdied four of their final six holes – highlighted by Riley’s 30-foot birdie bomb on 17 – to win by two over Hadwin and Taylor. Riley and Hardy started the final round three shots back but fired a 7-under 65 in Foursomes to end the week with a new tournament scoring record of 30-under 258. Taylor and Hadwin, who grew up playing the same course near Vancouver, tied the Foursomes record of 9-under 63 (set earlier in the week by Cantlay and Schauffele) to zip into second alone. Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler, the 54-hole leaders, finished third, while Schauffele and Cantlay tied for fourth with Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore.

    HOW TO FOLLOW (all times ET):


    • Thursday-Friday: 3:30-6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)
    • Saturday-Sunday: 12:45-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)


    Stream 1Main feed: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Main feed: 9:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Main feed: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.Main feed: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured group: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured group: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured group: 12:45-6 p.m.Featured group: 12:45-6 p.m.
    Stream 2Marquee: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Marquee: 9:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Marquee: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Marquee: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured group: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured group: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured group: 12:45-6 p.m.Featured group: 12:45-6 p.m.
    Stream 3Featured groups: 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Featured groups: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Featured groups: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured groups: 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured hole: 3:30.-6:30 p.m.Featured hole: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured hole: 12:45-6 p.m.Featured hole: 12:45-6 p.m.
    Stream 4Featured holes: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Featured holes: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Featured holes: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.Featured holes: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Featured hole: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured hole: 3:30-6:30 p.m.Featured hole: 12:45-6 p.m.Featured hole: 12:45-6 p.m.

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