DP World Tour, four leaders with Rory McIlroy

The Zurich Classic 2024 is underway, featuring a unique format with teams of two players. Currently, a quartet of couples is commanding the leaderboard in New Orleans

by Andrea Gussoni
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DP World Tour, four leaders with Rory McIlroy
© Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Sport

The Zurich Classic 2024 is underway, featuring a unique format with teams of two players. Currently, a quartet of couples is commanding the leaderboard in New Orleans, all tied with an impressive score of -11. Leading the pack are Ryan Brehm/Mark Hubbard, Ben Kohles/Patton Kizzire, Aaron Rai/David Lipsky, and Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry.

Zurich Classic, results

Close behind in fifth place at -10 are Davis Thompson/Andrew Novak, Thomas Detry/Robert MacIntyre, and Cameron Champ/M.J. Daffue. Notably, American pairs dominate this tier, with the exception of Rai (English), McIlroy and Lowry (Irish), Detry (Belgian), and MacIntyre (Scottish).

The field tightens with a multitude of duos tied at -9, totaling 13 pairs with identical scores. Among them, the all-Canadian team of Corey Conners/Taylor Pendrith stands out, alongside Johnson/Palmer, Lashley/Campos, and Taylor/Hadwin.

Meanwhile, Francesco Molinari and Luke Donald find themselves in the midst of the pack, currently tied for twenty-ninth place at -7. It's a promising start for the duo comprised of Italy's sole Major winner and the renewed European Ryder Cup captain.

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a prestigious golf tournament held annually on the PGA Tour, taking place at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana, a suburb southwest of New Orleans. With a history spanning 86 years since its inception in 1938, the tournament has been a staple in the golfing calendar, transitioning to an event held in early to mid-spring since 1958.

Zurich Insurance Group serves as the primary sponsor, with the tournament organized by the Fore!Kids Foundation. Over the years, the prize money for the Zurich Classic has seen significant growth, reflecting the tournament's stature in the golfing world.

The first prize crossed the five-figure mark in 1965, soared into six figures in 1988, and surpassed the million-dollar milestone in 2006. In 2022, the winning team split a staggering $2.39 million in prize money. A notable evolution in the Zurich Classic occurred in 2017 when it transformed into a team event, featuring eighty pairs of golfers.

Each team consists of one player chosen from the Tour priority rankings, with their partner either being a PGA Tour member or earning entry through a sponsor exemption. The tournament adopts a stroke play format, with alternate shot (foursome) play in the first and third rounds and better ball (fourball) in the second and fourth rounds.

The cut line typically falls at 33 teams, plus ties. Winners of the Zurich Classic not only secure 400 FedEx Cup points and two-year exemptions but also forego Masters invitations and do not earn world ranking points for the event.

In 2018, a tweak was made to the format, with fourball play introduced in the first and third rounds, while alternate shot format was reserved for the second and fourth rounds. This adjustment added further intrigue to an already exciting tournament, capturing the attention of golf enthusiasts worldwide.

DP World Tour Rory Mcilroy
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