Jordan Spieth took time out of his spring break on Friday to commit to teaming up with Ryan Palmer in the Zurich Classic later this month.
— Zurich Classic (@Zurich_Classic) April 14, 2017
The Zurich Classic shook things up last November by announcing a switch to a two-person team format beginning this year. Two teams of top-10 players have already committed to the tournament, with world No. 3 Jason Day committed to play with No. 9 Rickie Fowler, and No. 8 Justin Rose teaming up with No. 5 Henrik Stenson–the Olympic gold and silver medalists, respectively.
The Spieth-Palmer tandem delivers yet another marquee pairing–or at least name–to the list, and further elevates the Zurich from just another tournament between the Masers and the Players to a can’t-miss event that has the attention of the golf world. Seven of the world’s top-10 ranked players are now committed to the tournament, which runs April 27-30 in New Orleans. The tournament will alternate between rounds of four-ball (best ball) and foursomes (alternate shot).
The top 80 eligible players chose their playing partners from a pool of eligible players, meaning fifth-ranked Spieth likely extended the invitation to his fellow Texan, perhaps a curious selection.
Palmer, 40, has missed the cut in five of seven events this year, and has never participated in either of the bi-annual team events, the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup. Spieth, meanwhile, has played in two Ryder Cups and two Presidents Cups.
Other top-ranked players committed to the tournament include world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama, playing with No. 49 Hideto Tanihara, and No. 10 Justin Thomas partnering with No. 181 Bud Cauley.
Trying something new always comes with risks, so the masterminds behind the Zurich’s move to a team format deserve some serious credit for a shakeup of this magnitude. They took an ordinary, run-of-the-mill tournament, and transformed it into a captivating event that piqued the interest of fans and players alike. The star-studded list of committed teams is proof of the player’s excitement.
— Zurich Insurance (@Zurich) April 17, 2017
As long as it’s a team event, you can add the Zurich to the list of the year’s can’t-miss tournaments, along with the four majors, Match Play Championship, Players Championship, and the Ryder Cup.