When: April 27-30, 2017
Where: TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
Format: Two-Man Team Competition
Defending Champion: Brian Stuard
TV Coverage: Golf Channel
In one of the most significant changes to the regular PGA Tour schedule in, well, maybe ever, we now get a full-field team event at the Zurich Classic on April 27-30, 2017. The annual tournament in New Orleans is one of the oldest on the PGA Tour, dating all the way back to 1938 when Harry Cooper won the first edition of the New Orleans Open.
The new 72-hole stroke play format will feature alternate-shot during the first and third rounds and best-ball during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of 80 teams.
World No.1 Jason Day is set to team up with Rickie Fowler and the gold and silver Olympic medalists in Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are also suiting up. Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele are another formidable team. Great idea and should be a hit, if they can attract top players. Can you imagine Rory McIlroy pairing up with Dustin Johnson…that would be cool.
TPC Louisiana is the host course this week and it 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!
Team competition returns to the PGA TOUR for the first time in 36 years at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Teams will play alternate-shot on Thursday and Saturday and best-ball on Friday and Sunday. The field will be cut down to the low 35 and ties after Friday’s round.
Olympic Gold and Silver medalists Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are the betting favorites but will be challenged by multiple elite tandems that include Jason Day and Rickie Fowler, Daniel Berger and Thomas Pieters, Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer and veterans Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly. 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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