NEW ORLEANS — Keegan Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA Championship in his rookie year, has teamed in the 2017 Zurich Classic with Brendan Steele, who also earned his first title title that same year as a rookie, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“Brendan has already won once this season, and Keegan has three top-10 finishes this year,” said Worthy. “In addition, they have played as a team before, so we expect them to form a strong pair in our tournament next week,” Worthy added.
Bradley burst on the PGA TOUR with two wins in his rookie year, including the PGA Championship, and was voted Rookie of the Year in 2011. He finished tied for seventh in only his second tournament that year, then took ninth a few weeks later before posting his first victory in a playoff at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
He has since won the 2012 World Golf Championship—Bridgestone Invitational and teamed with this year’s playing partner Steele to win the 2011 Franklin Templeton Shootout.
He played on the Presidents Cup team in 2013 and made two Ryder Cup teams in 2012 and 2014. A regular at the Zurich Classic, his best finish was a tie for eighth in 2014.
Steele is a two-time regular season winner on the PGA TOUR. His most recent victory was at this season’s first event, the Safeway Open. He has also finished tied for sixth twice this season and currently ranks tenth in FedExCup points.
Like Bradley, Steele enjoyed a successful rookie season on the PGA TOUR in 2011 with eight top-25 finishes and his first tournament win. His best finish at the Zurich Classic was a tie for 32nd in 2013.
He was a two-time Academic All-American in college and was named to the All-Big West Conference team four years in a row.
Both Steele and Bradley list “Seinfeld” as their favorite TV show. A truly bi-coastal pairing, Bradley is a native of Vermont, and Steele hails from California.
The Zurich Classic this year will feature the strongest field in recent history, with six players ranked in the world’s top 10, nine in the top 20 and 15 in the top 30.
Top ten players entered include Jason Day (third), Hideki Matsuyama (fourth), Jordan Spieth (fifth), Henrik Stenson (sixth), Justin Rose (eighth) and Rickie Fowler (ninth). Justin Thomas was tenth in the world but dropped to 11th in this week’s rankings following the RBC Heritage.
Day, ranked number one in the world for 47 weeks, is teaming with Fowler. Masters runner-up and Olympic gold medal winner Rose has paired with Olympic silver medalist Stenson in this year’s unique team format.
The new 72-hole stroke play format will feature Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of a field of 80 teams. Following the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low 35 teams and ties at the 35th position. In case of a tie after 72 holes, there will be a sudden-death playoff using the Four-Ball format.
About Fore!Kids Foundation:
Since 1958, the Fore!Kids Foundation has raised money to fund children’s service organizations through golf events like the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Golf Ball Gala and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has helped to raise more than $32 million to date for children’s charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at www.forekidsfoundation.com.
About the Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
Televised in more than 224 countries and territories, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans generates a significant economic impact on the city of New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana. Independent research has shown that the tournament generates spending of more than $40 million within the local economy and garners $33 million in positive national and international media exposure for both the city and state throughout the year beyond the four days of competition.
The tournament will be played April 24-30, 2017 at TPC Louisiana in Westwego. Purse for 2017 totals $7.1 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,022,400.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $25 each in advance and $35 each the week of the tournament starting April 24. Weekly passes are $75 and choices of suite and specialty venue options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.