Zurich Classic of New Orleans underway: McIlroy and Lowry in contention

The World No.2 delivers on ‘drunken lunch’ promise and teams up with pal Lowry to make his debut in the Louisiana team event.

2024’s edition of the Zurich Classic celebrates the insurance group’s 20th year as title sponsor of the event which only became a team competition from 2017.

Stealing the pre-event headlines this year is Rory McIlroy, making his debut in New Orleans with Shane Lowry after the Emerald Isle compatriots decided to team up during ‘drunken lunch’ whilst celebrating their Ryder Cup victory.

Lowry is no stranger to the event though having previously partnered up with Ian Poulter in 2022, Australia-bound this week for LIV Adelaide, and Padraig Harrington in 2018 and 2019. The McIlroy-Lowry partnership’s only outing to date ended in a convincing 4&3 defeat to Tony Finau and Harris English at Whistling Straits in 2021. They’ll be hoping for more laughs this time around.

A more decorated partnership, however, is Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who despite having an uncharacteristically poor Ryder Cup together in Rome, remain a formidable pairing, and picked up the trophy here two years ago in a two-stroke victory.

LIV players have fared well in New Orleans in recent years with Cameron Smith winning twice in 2017 (w/ Jonas Blixt) and 2021 (w/ Mark Leishman), and Jon Rahm winning alongside Ryan Palmer in 2019.

Last year saw American pairing Nick Hardy and Davis Riley take the victory, finishing 30-under-par.

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay won the 2022 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

What is the format of the Zurich Classic?

The PGA Tour takes a welcome break from its alternating regular and Signature Event strokeplay schedule with four days of paired competition. Thursday and Saturday take on a four-ball ‘better ball’ format, while Friday and Sunday’s rounds are played in the alternate shot ‘foursomes’ format.

What is fourballs?

Each member of the two-man team plays their own ball, meaning there will be four balls in play on every hole (two pairs). The lowest recorded score from each team is counted, hence the term ‘better ball’.

What is foursomes?

The difference with foursomes is that each two-man team only plays one ball per hole, taking alternate shots until the hole is completed. One player will hit tee shots from odd-numbered holes, with the other hitting first on even-numbered holes.

Where is the Zurich Classic played?

TPC Louisiana in Avondale, New Orleans hosts the Zurich Classic. Open to the public, the par 72 Pete Dye-designed course is constructed on 250 acres of wetlands along the Mississippi River Delta and plays 7,442 yards.

The wildlife-rich course features over 100 bunkers and provides a challenging finish with its signature 18th hole, flanked with water down the entire right-hand side.

The TPC Louisiana wildlife will be looking forward to the action once more.

Who is in the field for the Zurich Classic?

McIlroy-Lowry and Cantlay-Schauffele are the headline acts this time around, adding some Ryder Cup magic to proceedings with 2023 captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson also joining in on the action alongside Francesco Molinari and Ryan Palmer respectively.

Other power pairings in the field include Morikawa-Kitayama, Zalatoris-Theegala, Taylor-Hadwin, and two sets of twins in the Fitzpatrick and Hojgaard brothers who team up.

The 85 Teams:

One member of each team qualifies via the PGA Tour priority rankings, who can then select a partner providing they are a PGA Tour member or earn entry through a sponsor exemption.

  • Matt Fitzpatrick and Alex Fitzpatrick
  • Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama
  • Gary Woodland and Lee Hodges
  • Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry
  • Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele
  • Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala
  • Pierceson Coody and Parker Coody
  • Rasmus Højgaard and Nicolai Højgaard
  • Davis Riley and Nick Hardy
  • Taylor Pendrith and Corey Conners
  • Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin
  • Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler
  • Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander
  • Luke Donald and Francesco Molinari
  • Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar
  • Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney
  • Thorbjorn Olesen and Matt Wallace
  • Justin Suh and Rico Hoey
  • Eric Cole and Russ Cochran
  • Taylor Moore and Matt Nesmith
  • Sepp Straka and Brice Garnett
  • Peter Malnati and Russell Knox
  • Ryan Fox and Garrick Higgo
  • Tom Hoge and Maverick McNealy
  • Austin Eckroat and Chris Gotterup
  • Daniel Berger and Victor Perez
  • Ryan Brehm and Mark Hubbard
  • Cameron Champ and MJ Daffue
  • Nico Echavarria and Max Greyserman
  • Brice Garnett and Sepp Straka
  • Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown
  • K.H. Lee and Michael Kim
  • Luke List and Henrik Norlander
  • Peter Malnati and Russell Knox
  • Taylor Moore and Matt NeSmith
  • Vincent Norrman and Jorge Campillo
  • Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer
  • Chez Reavie and Brandt Snedeker
  • J.J. Spaun and Hayden Buckley
  • Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer
  • Kelly Kraft and Kevin Tway
  • Kevin Chappell and Jason Dufner
  • Brandon Wu and James Nicholas
  • Thriston Lawrence and Aldrich Potgieter
  • Andrew Putnam and Joe Highsmith
  • Taylor Montgomery and Ben Griffin
  • Alex Smalley and Matti Schmid
  • Thomas Detry and Robert MacIntyre
  • Beau Hossler and Sam Ryder
  • Keith Mitchell and Joel Dahmen
  • Sam Stevens and Paul Barjon
  • Aaron Rai and David Lipsky
  • S.H. Kim and Sangmoon Bae
  • Davis Thompson and Andrew Novak
  • Ben Taylor and Sean O’Hair
  • Garrick Higgo and Ryan Fox
  • Robby Shelton and Wilson Furr
  • Callum Tarren and David Skinns
  • Dylan Wu and Justin Lower
  • Harry Hall and Justin Lower
  • Nate Lashley and Rafael Campos
  • Greyson Sigg and Chesson Hadley
  • Carson Young and Ben Martin
  • Kevin Streelman and Martin Laird
  • Zac Blair and Patrick Fishburn
  • Kevin Yu and C.T. Pan
  • Doug Ghim and Chan Kim
  • Troy Merritt and Robert Streb
  • Carl Yuan and Zecheng Dou
  • Jhonattan Vegas and Bronson Burgoon
  • Vince Whaley and Adam Long
  • Ben Kohles and Patton Kizzire
  • Chandler Phillips and Jacob Bridgeman
  • Erik Barnes and Harrison Endycott
  • Jimmy Stanger and Adrien Dumont de Chassart
  • Alejandro Tosti and Ted Potter, Jr.
  • Ben Silverman and Kevin Dougherty
  • Hayden Springer and Tom Whitney
  • Mac Meissner and Austin Smotherman
  • Norman Xiong and Ryan McCormick
  • Trace Crowe and Harry Higgs
  • Roger Sloan and Josh Teater
  • Raul Pereda and Austin Cook
  • Scott Gutschewski and Jonathan Byrd
  • Blaine Hale, Jr. and Paul Haley II
Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick will team up for the 2024 Zurich Classic.

How much will the Zurich Classic winners receive?

The winning team in New Orleans will split $2,572,100 ($1,286,050 each) from the $8.9 million purse and share the 500 FedExCup points on offer. The winning pair both receive two-year PGA Tour exemptions, although will not receive Masters invitations, and there are no OWGR points up for grabs.

How to watch the Zurich Classic?

US viewers can catch all the action on the Golf Channel.

All times EDT

Friday, April 26: The Golf Channel, 15.00

Saturday, April 27: The Golf Channel, 15.00

Sunday, April 28: The Golf Channel, 15.00

UK viewers can catch all the action on Sky Sports Golf.

All times GMT

Friday, April 26: Sky Sports, 16.00

Saturday, April 27: Sky Sports, 16.00

Sunday, April 28: Sky Sports, 16.00

Zurich Classic: Tee Times

Tee times and groupings for rounds 3 & 4 can be found here.

SUBSCRIBE TO TODAY’S GOLFER: Print and Digital access, discounts and rewards!

About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.