The PGA Tour rolls into New Orleans this week for a unique twist on a mainstay event. The Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be contested under a new two-man team format featuring Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds. Since the formation of the PGA Tour in 1968, this is the first time an official event has utilized Foursome play as part of a team competition, and the event is the first official team event since 1981.
The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players). Following the conclusion of the second round, there will be a cut to the low 35 teams and ties. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using the Four-Ball format.
And as the teams look to take on the Par 72, 7,425-yard Pete Dye layout at TPC Louisiana Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 113 players teeing up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball. That’s more than seven times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist is also the top choice of players in the hybrids (27 ) and irons (48 ) categories. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge ( 208) category. Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice in the putter (64 ) category.
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Martin (Pro V1), who is teaming with Titleist golf ball loyalist Ben Crane (Pro V1x) this week, set the TPC Louisiana course record with a 10-under-par 62 in the opening round of the 2014 Zurich Classic.
- The 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be the first official PGA Tour team event in 36 years. The last official PGA Tour team event was the 1981 Walt Disney World National Team Championship held at the Magnolia, Palm and Lake Buena Vista courses at Disney.
- The Zurich Classic of New Orleans will use a four-ball and foursomes format. The closest the PGA Tour has previously come to using a Foursomes format in an official event was at the 1934 Pinehurst Pro-Pro held at Pinehurst’s No. 2. That Tournament played under Scotch Foursomes rules, a setup that allows each player to hit a drive on each hole and then whichever player’s ball is in the best position, the teammate hits the next shot in alternate-shot fashion until the ball is holed.
TEAMS TO WATCH:
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas (Pro V1x) is teaming up with his fellow University of Alabama alum, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley (Pro V1x). Thomas is currently third in the FedExCup standings on the strength of three wins this season. In 2013, Thomas helped lead Alabama to its first NCAA golf national championship and was named second-team All-American. He left Alabama after his sophomore season to turn professional, having won six individual titles in two years. Cauley was a three-time All-American at Alabama and represented the U.S. at the 2009 Walker Cup, where he posted a 3-0-1 record. Seeking his first PGA Tour victory, Bud has posted three top-10 finishes this season (T3/CareerBuilder Challenge, T9/RBC Heritage, T10/Valero Texas Open).
- South Africa is well represented this week by two Titleist golf ball loyalists, Louis Oosthuizen (Pro V1x) and Branden Grace (Pro V1). Oosthuizen has collected 12 international victories including his sole PGA Tour title at the 2010 Open Championship. Grace, who has won 10 international titles, including one PGA Tour title at the 2016 RBC Heritage. In the last eight major championships, Grace has recorded four top-five finishes (T4/2016 PGA, T5/2016 U.S. Open, 3rd/2015 PGA, T4/2015 U.S. Open).
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth (Pro V1x) is teaming up with fellow Texan, Titleist golf ball loyalist Ryan Palmer (Pro V1x). Spieth, who captured his ninth PGA Tour victory at the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, became the second-youngest player since WWII to win nine times on Tour. Palmer has three PGA Tour victories to his credit. He finished T3 when Jordan won the 2016 Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial.
- Titleist Brand Ambassadors Andrew Loupe (Pro V1x) and John Peterson (Pro V1) each have strong Louisiana ties. Loupe is a Baton Rouge native who attended LSU, as did Peterson, who was a three-time All-America and two-time All-SEC selection. Peterson won twice in college, including the 2011 NCAA Division I individual championship.
- Six past champions who rely on a Titleist golf ball are in the field this week, including Brian Stuard (2016 - Pro V1x), Seung-Yul Noh (2014 - Pro V1x), Billy Horschel (2013 - Pro V1x), Jason Dufner (2012) - Pro V1x), Jason Bohn (2010 - Pro V1) and Nick Watney (2007 - Pro V1x).
Louisiana is known as The Pelican State, but as Titleist Brand Ambassador Ian Poulter notes, there's no shortage of gators, either!
A nice surprise in the locker of Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman.
On the same wavelength: Titleist golf ball loyalist Ryan Palmer and his partner, Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Zac Blair shares some of the local flavor from the Big Easy.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley is going to love this custom K-grind lob wedge created on the Titleist Tour Van by Vokey Tour Representative Aaron Dill.
There's going to be a lot of support for the hometown team this week, Titleist Brand Ambassadors John Peterson and Andrew Loupe.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this weekend!