Former Florida Gators Billy Horschel and Matt Every have formed a team; former Georgia Bulldogs Harris English and Hudson Swafford will play, too
NEW ORLEANS, LA —Two more teams with SEC ties have entered the 2017 Zurich Classic, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
Florida Gator alums Billy Horschel, who won the tournament in 2013, and Matt Every have formed a team, and former Georgia Bulldogs Harris English and Hudson Swafford have paired up for this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
“Two more SEC teams have been added to our field, so now we have nearly half the SEC represented at the Zurich Classic,” said Worthy. “We know of additional SEC pairings that plan on playing,” he added.
Horschel won the 2013 Zurich Classic with a 20-under 268 topping the previous-best 72-hole score at TPC Louisiana by a stroke. The following season, Horschel fired off one of the best closing stretches in PGA TOUR history and won the 2014 FedExCup with a second in the Deutsche Bank Championship and consecutive victories in the BMW Championship and the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Horschel was a three-time first-team All-American at University of Florida in 2006-07 and 2009 and a second-team selection in 2008. He earned a spot on the 2007 U.S. Walker Cup team that included Rickie Fowler, currently ranked ninth in the world.
He finished tied for 36th in last year’s Zurich Classic. His best finishes this season include a second in the RSM Classic after qualifying for the playoff and a tie for fourth in the Honda Classic.
Horschel’s playing partner Every has two PGA TOUR wins on his record—consecutive victories in 2014 and 2015 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, being played this week.
He qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs every year from 2011-2015.
Every was a walk-on for the University of Florida golf team and wound up being named an All-American three times in his collegiate career. He was named winner of the Ben Hogan Award for the top NCAA Division I golfer, the first Florida Gator ever to earn the honor. He played on the winning 2005 Walker Cup and Palmer Cup teams.
English has won four times on the PGA TOUR, and he teamed with Matt Kuchar to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2013 and 2016. His best finish this season so far was a tie for fourth at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. He tied for sixth in the 2013 Zurich Classic. He has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs the last five years.
He was a four-time All-American at Georgia and was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2008. He was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup team.
Fellow Bulldog Hudson Swafford won the first PGA tournament of his career this year at the CareerBuilder Challenge. He currently stands 13th in FedExCup point standings. He tied for 12th in the 2015 Zurich Classic.
At Georgia, he was a three-time All-American and was also named SEC Freshman of the Year.
The latest commitments add to what is shaping up as the strongest field in years for the Zurich Classic, with four players ranked in the world’s top 10.
Already announced are the teams of Jason Day with Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose with Henrik Stenson in this year’s unique team format. Day was ranked number one in the world for 47 weeks and is currently second. Fowler is ranked 9th in the world, Rose is 13th and Stenson is fifth.
Also entered are Justin Thomas, winner of three tournaments this season and currently ranked 7th in the world, along with Bubba Watson, 2011 Zurich Classic champion, currently ranked 17th.
So far, Zurich Classic field of 80 teams is more than half full, some six weeks in advance of the tournament. Some of the teams include:
Jason Day Rickie Fowler
Justin Rose Henrik Stenson
Justin Thomas Bud Cauley
Bubba Watson J.B. Holmes
Jason Dufner Patton Kizzire
Steve Stricker Jerry Kelly
Brian Stuard Chris Stroud
Seung-Yul Noh Byeong Hun An
Jason Bohn Carl Pettersson
K.J. Choi Charlie Wi
John Peterson Andrew Loupe
Smylie Kaufman Harold Varner III
William McGirt Robert Garrigus
Steven Bowditch Boo Weekley
Tony Finau Daniel Summerhays
Fabian Gomez Jhonattan Vegas
Cody Gribble Jim Herman
J.J. Henry Tom Hoge
Mackenzie Hughes Nick Taylor
Si Woo Kim Sung Kang
Kevin Kisner Scott Brown
Peter Malnati Mark Wilson
Ben Martin Ben Crane
Troy Merritt Robert Streb
Rod Pampling John Senden
Brian Stuard Chris Stroud
Hudson Swafford Harris English
Russell Henley Blayne Barber
Zac Blair C.T. Pan
Brian Harman Johnson Wagner
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 $30 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 the winner taking home $1,278,000.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $25 each, 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.