Zurich Classic Offers Refreshing Format

By Nick Heidelberger

Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer are teamed up again

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is the PGA Tour’s annual equivalent of finding $10 in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn in months. It’s a nice little treat, even if it doesn’t last long.

The Zurich became the PGA Tour’s first two-man team event since 1981 when it changed formats in 2017, giving fans a reprieve from the individual stroke play routine. Instead, the Zurich has opted for two rounds of Four-ball (the first and third) and two rounds of Foursomes, also known as Alternate Shot (the second and fourth), giving fans a little something different to consume. It doesn’t hurt that the fan-favorite Ryder Cup employs both formats.

After the 2020 Zurich Classic was canceled due to COVID, the tournament returns to TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana, where it has been contested since 2005.

Splitting The Prize

The Zurich’s two-man format brings some non-traditional ways of allocating the benefits that accompany a PGA Tour win. The $7.4 million purse and the FedEx Cup points will be distributed in the same manner: the points and money normally awarded to every two positions will be split evenly among teammates. For example, instead of a win being worth 500 FedEx Cup points and second place being worth 300, each member of the winning team will receive 400 points, evenly splitting the first and second place points.

A win, however, will be counted as an official PGA Tour win for both partners, and each player will benefit from the exemptions that accompany winning, including eligibility into Invitationals such as The Players Championship, and Sentry Tournament of Champions. An invitation from the PGA of America into the PGA Championship is also on the table for both members of the winning team.

Zurich Classic Philanthropy: Fore!Kids Foundation

Zurich Classic winners

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is well known for its charitable contributions. Since 1958, those contributions have been channeled through the Fore!Kids Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose stated mission is “Helping Kids Through Golf”.

The organization raises money throughout the years through events like charitable golf tournaments, a kid’s summer junior tour and the Golf Ball Gala. However, the bulk of the Foundation’s funding comes through the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where all profits go to the organization. Together, Fore!Kids has raised over $30 million dollars to provide healthcare, education and other necessities to New Orleans’ area children.

The money raised by the Fore!Kids Foundation goes to a myriad of local and national sources, a full list of these charities is available in the links below. Some of the organizations include the American Cancer Society, Blessings in a Backpack, the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the Youth Empowerment Project.

One popular Fore!Kids program is an annual Toys’R’Us outing for 220 disadvantaged youth identified by local organizations. Each child is given a $100 gift card to the popular toy store to buy whatever they want. Since the program began in 2006, over 2,000 children have received more than $280,000 worth of toys to help ensure happy holidays.

About the Author

Nick Heidelberger is the Editor of GolfLink and an active member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA). He covers all things golf, from the professional tours to rules, equipment, style, and golf history. In the years prior to joining GolfLink, he worked for the New England Section of the PGA of America. Nick has a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and has been an avid golfer for more than 10 years.