The PGA Tour is adding an interesting wrinkle to the schedule next season. The Zurich Classic will change from a 72-hole stroke-play event to a team format. It’ll be the first time in 40 years that the PGA Tour has featured a team event.
According to Golf Channel’s George Savaricas:
The event will feature 80 teams of two. Both members of the winning team will receive the two-year Tour exemption that typically accompanies a victory in an official event, and each winning player will receive 400 FedEx Cup points. A regular tournament offers 500 points to the winner and 300 to the runner-up.
According to Savaricas, both winning team members will earn spots in the Tournament of Champions and PGA Championship, but will not receive Masters invitations for the team win.
The top 80 qualifiers will be allowed to choose their own teammate, with the caveat that their partner must have at least some PGA Tour status this season. If not, the selection will require the use of a sponsor invite.
Savaricas reports that play will include one round of foursomes (alternate shot) and one round of fourballs (best ball) before the 36-hole cut to the low 35 teams.
While it won’t be anywhere on the level of the Ryder Cup, this definitely a positive move for the PGA Tour. The Zurich Classic has provided some decent golf over the years, but for the most part it goes by the wayside outside of the golf community which needs to spark things up in tournaments like the Zurich in order to help the ratings.
There is no word on what role if any that new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan played in the change to the tournament, but it will interesting to see how this came to be.