When: April 26-29, 2018
Where: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
Format: Two-Man Team Competition
Defending Champion: Jonas Blixt / Cameron Smith
TV Coverage: GOLF Channel and NBC
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans gets started April 26-29, 2018 in Avondale, Louisiana. The second edition of the new two-man team competition will attract a world class field.
Last year the tour experimented with a brand new, one of a kind, two-man team competition and the players loved it. The field will consist of 80 two-man teams. One member of each team is exempt via the money rankings, and his partner must be either a PGA Tour member or earn entry through a sponsor exemption.
The stroke play format will be alternate shot in the first and third rounds and better ball for the second and fourth rounds. The cut line is 35 teams, plus ties. The winners earn 400 FedEx Cup points and two-year exemptions, but will not receive Masters invitations and no world ranking points are awarded for the event.
TPC Louisiana is the host course, that measures 7,425 yards and plays to a par 72. The 2004 Pete Dye creation, with Steve Elkington as a consultant, winds through some 250 acres of Louisiana wetlands just west of New Orleans. Featuring stately stands of cypress and oak trees, Dye added more than 100 bunkers and five ponds to try and make the track tougher, but every year, TPC Louisiana ranks among the PGA Tour’s 10 easiest among those used all four days. Birdies are plentiful this week!
Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the inaugural event last year in an exciting playoff that spilled over until Monday. Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown were the team on the losing side and it was Smith who made birdie in the playoff to secure the win for he and Blixt.
The PGA Tour heads to the “Big Easy” this week for the Zurich Classic that features a one-of-a-kind two-man team tournament. The teams will play Best-Ball on Thursday and Saturday and Alternate-Shot on Friday and Sunday. Last year was the first year of the format and it was a hit - the players really liked it. Continue...
It is a four-day golf event filled with world-class players and non-stop PGA Tour betting action. Many golf bettors have won plenty of cash, with the right skills and judgment both on and off the greens.
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How will the players fare on the challenging TPC Louisiana is still up in the air. The TPC will challenge the players with it's length while still demanding shotmaking.
The course has been tweaked in recent years to enhance playability yet retain difficulty. The par-3 third hole measures 221 yards and tests the player with mounding front of the green and water in the back and right. Players will need to be up too speed early to tame this hole.
The finishing two holes will certainly play center stage should the tournament come down to the wire on Sunday.
Seventeen is another lengthy par-3 at 215 yards, with a re-shaped green that will make par a good score.
Eighteen is a middle length par-5 at 589 yards that is a true risk/reward hole with fairway mounding that will test the golfers to lay up in the right area should they decide not to go for the green in two.
Even though the Zurich Classic is being played on a new course, don't be quick to bet against players who have had success here in years past. The course has been good to golfers looking for their first win however, five players have earned their first PGA victory in the last six years here.
New Orleans has played host to a PGA Tour tournament since 1938, when the Greater New Orleans Open Invitational was introduced at City Park Golf Club. The tournament was not held from 1949-1957, then returned to City Park before moving to Lakewood Country Club in 1963 and then to English Turn Golf & Country Club in 1989.
It sense has been relocated to the Tournament Players Club of Louisiana and the golf course was designed by Pete Dye, with input from player consultants Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson.
Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic after four holes of sudden-death playoff Monday at TPC Louisiana.
Smith rolled in a short birdie putt at 18 to secure the win over Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown, who forced a playoff Sunday night on Kisner’s eagle hole out.
The two teams traded pars for the first three holes, playing 18, 18 and 9 before Smith’s birdie. It’s the first official PGA Tour win for Smith, who is now eligible for this month’s Players Championship and the PGA Championship.
Blixt hit a 5-iron close at the third playoff hole, the par-3 ninth, while Smith and Kisner each had birdie looks as well. Kisner was first to go and missed, leaving Blixt/Smith with two chances to win it. Smith was unable to convert and Blixt missed his from inside 10 feet, the two teams recording matching pars.
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